The wait is over for ARMY as BTS’s 4th full album Map of the Soul: 7 dropped along with the kinetic video for the lead single, “ON.”
Its been 10 months since the released of their EP, Map of the Soul: Persona was released and the septet have returned with a brand new sound and 15 new tracks. 7, features 5 previously released tracks from Persona along with the previously reveled tracks, “Interlude: Shadow,” “Black Swan” and “Ego.”
BTS had promised that this album would hit harder and be heavier than any previous album they’ve released and they did not lie. 7 continues with the theme as Persona as they vary on with Jeungs’s theory of the map of the soul containing the themes of ego and the shadow that must coexist with the Persona to find one’s self. The album is also a marking piece for the group as it marks the septets seventh year together since their debut in 2013.
The album is part love letter to ARMY as some of the songs are directed at the fans themselves. Jin’s solo song, “Moon” and the group ballad “We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal” carry the common themes of unity between the hour and their ARMY with lyrics as “we were only seven/ but we have all you now” and “we are not seven with you.” They also share personal journeys and messages as shown in Jungkook’s solo “My Time” where he talks about his journey of growing up while in the spotlight and “Friends” where Jimin and V discussing their special bond. Jimin’s Latin inspired solo, “Filter” has him showing his many sides to the fans as well as letting us know he’s comfortable with showing his different sides to the public while acknowledging that the cameras and photos can filter the way his image is portrayed to the public.
Meanwhile, the rap line’s “Ugh” is a sort of continuation to the cyphers where RM, Suga and J-Hope take on the feeling of anger and frustration they feel at the continuous commentary and criticism they face on a daily basis while sending out the message to remember to keep our anger to ourselves instead of hiding behind a computer and spewing hate comments. Suga and RM’s “Respect” discusses takes on the overused term while talking about how to earn respect and recognition from others. The album is not complete without “Louder Than Bombs, “Inner Child” and the lead single “ON” as each song has a deeper message to those who take the time and translate the Korean lyrics. V’s ballad has him reflecting on staying in tune with his inner child and remembering that who we are depends on who we were and never forgetting to stay I tune with our inner selves. “Louder than Bombs” is a sort of anthem that makes one stronger in spite of whatever may come our way. It also is a way of BTS coming to terms with their fame and their shadows and how they will no longer get run away from what used to scare them while making a promise to ARMY with the lyrics “Louder than bombs, I sing/ Make a promise for you and I/ Whatever wave may sweep over us/We will endlessly sing to you.”
The lead single “ON,” the group reveals that they have come to terms with their fame and the pressures that come with them. They no longer shy away from the spotlight and the accompanying shadows it creates rather they are fighters that can take on whatever comes their way. “Can’t hold me down cuz you know I’m a fighter/ Carried myself into this beautiful prison/ Find me and I’m going to live with you.” The song also is a direct reference to “Blood Sweat and Tears” where they once gave in to their fears “My blood, sweat, and tears/ My body, mind, and soul/ I know well they’re all yours” and now in Jungkook’s verse he claims control of his life “My everything/ My blood and tears/ Got no fears/ I’m taking over.”
The accompanying video, filmed in L.A., features some powerful dancing from the group which helps drive the theme home with its minimalist vibe. Giving a much earned nod of recognition to 19 year old choreographer Sienna Lalau as well as featuring the music UCLA’s marching band.
Map of the Soul: 7 had over 4 million sales in ore-presets alone and achieved the #1 iTunes spot in over 90 regions with the tracks taking over the top 20 spots on its release day. Take a look at the Kinetic Manifesto Film: Come Prima for “ON” below plus the Commentary film dialogue and dance focus version along with interviews of BTS discussing Map of the Soul: 7 which can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon and Target and streamed on the Spotify player blow.