TITLE: MAP OF THE SOUL: 7
LABEL: BIG HIT Entertainment
RELEASED: February 21, 2020
Funny that this is my first review of a BTS album, but here we are. Having been in love with their last release of Map Of The Soul: Persona, my expectations were a little on the high side. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve been so nervous to listen to an album. Also, because they decided to add 5 tracks from the last mini, I won’t be giving my opinions on those, just know they all slap and I love them with every fiber of my being.
(Audios to the songs linked in the titles)
ON – TITLE TRACK
On first listen, my mind kind of glanced over the track. Nothing was really jumping out at me except for the awesome marching band in the back. But on the second and third listen, that beat became addicting. The lyrics really match the vibe of the instrumental of struggle. The way Not Today amps you up, this does the same thing. Then… the MV. It’s basically an elevated version of Not Today. No lie. I love the minimalism and the focus on the performance and my baes were looking HELLA fione. Come through Taehyung, Jimin and Yoongi!
Interlude: Shadow (Suga)
We got this one as a comeback trailer and to say my body was ready was an understatement. I will always be here for Yoongi either it be his hard hitting Augst D stuff or something like Shadow which is also hard hitting but experimental with the beats. I love how the song flows from one hip-hop genre to the next. Starting off very melodic and ending rough and grungy.
I admit, I didn’t really like this when I first heard it. It didn’t really stand out amongst anything else that was on the radio. Moments in the pre-chorus I thought it was going to change up like I’m Fine did. But like with many BTS songs, I eat my words and the damn songs grow on me. It’s not an ear worm of a song but it’s definitely one that deserves a place on my chill playlist.
Serendipity is one of my favorite BTS songs, so this was definitely a different side of my bae Jimin. It has a sexy Latin flare. To me, it feels like that stage persona of Jimin being a full on thot in song form. Vocally, I’m not that big a fan of the song as a whole. Jimin’s higher tone gets a little tiring midway through and by then I’m a bit over it.
My Time (Jungkook)
LETS GET IT MAKNAE! This was the first song in my listen that stood out and of course it was Jungkook’s solo song. Just shows how whipped I am for his solos. This more R&B Pop lean track is really a nice companion to the lyrics. Kookie is talking about growing up in this business and the song really has a nice grown and sexy vibe. His riffs… boy…. let me stop before I move you onto a bias list.
Louder than bombs
Yawn. I don’t know what it is, but I just don’t like this one. It feels generic but it doesn’t even feel like it has any of the BTS personality that the other tracks have. Definite skip.
UGH! (Suga, J-Hope, RM)
Rap Line always delivering every album. This isn’t Cypher 5 but who gives a shit when they’re giving us bars and an ass shaking beat. It’s aggressive and a big fuck you to the haters out there and I’m here for it. Chorus goes “I’m raging at the malice-filled rage. I’m raging at the rage that had to die out, hey”. I might have to save my coins and get a ticket to the tour so I can see this one live.
00:00 Zero O’Clock
(Jin, Jimin, V, Jungkook)
I don’t hate it. I just don’t like it as much as The Truth Untold. The song is a decent mid-tempo ballad and the vocal line really know how to complement each other’s voices. V and Jungkook’s lower tones add to make the song fuller and I appreciate it. Song just falls a little flat on the dynamic scale.
Inner Child (V)
First off, V is such an underrated vocalist it’s ridiculous. His unique tone isn’t really celebrated in the group songs but his solos are always different from the rest. And this isn’t any different. What started off sounding like a basic ballad quickly builds up to song you should be blasting as you’re driving down a long road and contemplating your past, present and future. This is now going on the soundtrack of the movie to my life. Thank you Kim Taehyung. We gon’ change.
Friends (V and Jimin)
Talk about cuteness. Like I want to cry from the amount of cuteness this is. It’s an upbeat track about their friendship! I mean… come on! I love this song and even more toward the end with the addition of a chorus in the background. By the end I was just singing You are my soulmate with tears in my eyes. I love my friends.
I wasn’t a fan of Jin’s solo from LYST but this one isn’t bad. It kind of sounds like an early 2010’s pop rock song, i.e Carly Rae Jepsen. It’s light and spring timey. Nothing like what I expected from Jin. I know it’s like a love song to ARMY or whatnot, but I can pretend it’s to a woman he’s been secretly been dating for years. One can only hope. Another one for the chill playlist.
Respect (Suga & RM)
If anyone knows me, they know that I love old school hip-hop. All the Tribe Called Quest and anything from the late 80’s and 90’s. With Respect, Suga and RM pay just that with a classic hip-hop beat that is both groovy and addicting. When it comes to the bars they have, they really seem to be pushing it with the whole song being about them not really understanding how one gets respect. It seems like a little controversial with their cultural standards on age and respect. Kudos.
We are Bulletproof: the Eternal
With this being a follow up to We are Bulletproof: 2, I went in thinking I knew what kind of sound this was going to be. Oh was I wrong. This is an emotional look at their growth as a group and as men. It’s like they finally believe they’re bulletproof as a whole. Even with their insecurities or the trials and tribulations they go through, as long as their together they can conquer. And the music expresses that epic feeling.
Outro : Ego (J-Hope)
I can always count on my boy Hobi for coming through with the dance-hop tracks. This to me is the perfect outro. It’s like the celebration song at the end of the party that keeps you dancing as you walk out the door. This song exudes confidence and can’t keep the smile off my face as I listen. I’m also living for the background vocals, giving me true 90’s vibes. Good job Hobi!
ON (feat. Sia)
My thoughts on the song are the same above but the addition of Sia’s haunting vocals doesn’t really do much to the track. Kind of how Halsey was on BWL. If maybe they had given her the whole bridge, it would have been a little more effective and warrant the title of remix.
I can proudly say that this exceeded my expectations. I’ve learned to stop having them when it came to alums but when you go in low, you get presently surprised. A few of the songs were steps out of the box for some members while others gave what was expected, which was perfect. Now the question is, do I open my wallet and try to go to one of the tour stops in hopes they will perform my favorite tracks or save my coins?
PRODUCTION : 4.5 / 10
VOCALS / RAPPING : 4.5 / 10
VISUALS / CONCEPT : 4.5 / 10
OVERALL : 4.5 / 10
Least Favorite Track(s): Louder than bombs
Favorite Track(s): My Time, UGH!, Friends