BTS released their newest album "Map of the Soul: Persona" on Friday, April 12, 2019. The album with a name related to Carl Jung's theories on Persona was highly anticipated by the band's fans, ARMY. With the end of the Love Yourself Era, the WEBTOON, and seven months since the last comeback/album, ARMY wasn't sure what to expect this comeback. But, when the video for "Boy With Luv" dropped, it was obvious that the theme of the album was all about the love between BTS and their ARMY.
While I could give a review of the album, it would only mirror the already favorable reviews from Variety and Billboard, so instead, I want to examine the album on the basis of what it means to the fans.
1. "Intro: Persona"
Leader and main rapper of BTS, RM, takes on the introduction for the album. The trailer for the album consisted of a just under three-minute video for this song. The song includes a sample from "Intro: Skool Luv Affair" from their 2014 mini album, Skool Love Affair. This album and era (and the one directly following) are classed as the most problematic eras within the BTS canon. The members have been open about their regrets with lyrics and now take steps to ensure that their lyrics are not misogynistic. This song and the era, in general, is the band reclaiming that era and turning it into something positive. RM also reclaims his name which is often touted to dismiss problematic behavior in the industry.
The song itself is an analysis of the differences between public persona and personal personas and all those in between. It touches on the love fans have for his public persona without fully knowing his personal persona (or others), but does not dismiss or blame ARMY for this. The song also acknowledges ARMY's personas and expresses a want to know them fully. This song perfectly sets up the album and has old school hip hop vibes that are irresistible.
2. "Boy With Luv" ft. Halsey
The main single from "Map of the Soul: Persona" is a collaboration with Halsey. It is widely known among ARMY that Halsey has been a long time supporter and friend of BTS, so the collaboration wasn't a huge surprise, but extremely welcome. The song is also another reclamation of their 2014 single, "Boy In Luv." It draws a direct distinction between being "in love" versus "with love" and how the members have matured.
In the song, the band makes references to ARMY and promises to keep them safe and make them happy. It is a love song to their fans and a thank you for continuing to support them and uplift them. The video many records in 24 hours including the music video with the most views and most likes.
"Mikrocosmos" is one of my personal favorites on the album and features sickly sweet lyrics that may be corny for some, but it plays into the larger story BTS is creating within their music videos and songs. The lyrics relate people to stars and find beauty in everyone, including themselves and their fans. It's a comforting song and I personally find the lyrics beautiful and insightful.
4. "Make It Right"
Co-written by Ed Sheeran (those of you who know that Ed is pretty much my favorite artist of all time: yes, I freaked out) this song relates the listener to a mirage in the desert. They help through hard times, even if not physically there. However, they feel guilty for this and want to "make it right" by providing the same comfort. It's a sweet song with a funky beat that's hard to get out of your head.
"HOME" is possibly the song ARMY will find the most sincere. With its hip-hop and easy listening feel, it thanks ARMY for making them feel at home no matter where BTS finds themselves in the world. This sweet sentiment I'm sure can be echoed by ARMY's all over the world that BTS has helped through hard times.
6. "Jamais Vu"
Jamais Vu (the opposite of deja vu) seems to be a reference back to their WEBTOON as it references something you have seen before, but don't recognize (those of you out there that read the WEBTOON understand). However, the song itself is the saddest on the album and a unit song consisting only of members Jin, J-Hope, and Jungkook. It uses the metaphor of video games to explain not being help someone the way they want to. It is a song about wishing to find a remedy for a loved one's pain. It is heartbreaking and beautiful and a song that will stick with you long after you hear it.
"Dionysus" is the wildcard song on the album. For those of you who enjoy mythology, you'll know that Dionysus is known to enjoy wine. This song uses wine and alcohol as a carefree symbol and encourages the listener to get drunk on art. It mentions rebirth and being reborn, possibly hinting towards the new BTS era. The song mixes old school hip hop and rock vibes, and quickly became an ARMY favorite upon release.
- BTS' ARMY React to 'Map of the Soul: Persona' EP | Billboard ›
- US BTS ARMY ›
- BTS' 'Map of the Soul: Persona' Album Review | Billboard ›
- BTS Map Of The Soul Persona review: most mature sound to date ... ›
- Album Review: BTS' 'Map of the Soul: Persona' – Variety ›
- BTS' 'Map of the Soul: Persona' Sells Over 2.6 Million Copies Ahead ... ›
- Map of the Soul: Persona - Wikipedia ›