Map of the Soul: 7 by BTS Review

Last Friday was the release of the newest BTS album: Map of the Soul: 7! This was a long-awaited and highly anticipated release, and it definitely lived up to the hype surrounding it. BTS did not let the pressure of becoming international superstars hold them back. In fact, I think it pushed them to be even better. With a tracklist of 20 songs, and every member getting a solo song, BTS delivers on each and every tune. 


The first five songs on the album are from their previous EP entitled Map of the Soul: Persona. These songs are the perfect intro to the new album, as they combine styles and genres but they still flow and feel cohesive with the rest of the album. 



The first of the new songs is Interlude : Shadow followed by Black Swan (above), both of which were either released as a trailer or a single, respectively, for the album, so we got to hear them before the whole album was released. Both songs showcase the growing influence that BTS has on the music industry, as well as the fact that they are combining K-pop with American pop music to make a sound that is the perfect mixture of the two. Black Swan is inspired by the movie of the same name, and reflects the group’s desire to create content for themselves while not just doing what makes the music industry happy.


The next three songs are Filter, My Time, and Louder than Bombs, all of which are great in my (not so biased) opinion. Filter is sung by member Jimin, My Time by Jungkook, and the third is sung by the whole group. Personally, I think that Louder than Bombs is one of the best songs on the album. It showcases every member's talents and the message behind the song is very touching. I took it as them telling their story of their struggles with fame, and that if they could overcome it then they are here to comfort and support anyone else struggling as well.  



ON! is the title track of this album, and oh my gosh does it deliver, with a full band in the background as well as synths, amazing vocals, and raps. BTS brings it all to the table with this song. This song is about BTS not wanting to be held back, and that they are tired of being underestimated. With this song they are saying bring it all on, because we have already overcome so much, and we will overcome anything you throw at us. There are also two versions of this song, one featuring Sia and one with just the members of BTS. 


UGH! and 00:00 (Zero O'Clock) are the next songs on the tracklist. Both are done by two different halves of the group, the rap line sings UGH! while 00:00 is sung by the vocal line. Both songs display the range and talent of each line of BTS, and you can really feel the emotion of both songs. UGH! is about the hate comments that BTS gets from haters and trolls on the internet and is about understanding that while anger is something that everyone feels, it can be misguided at times. 00:00 is about how after hard days it is easy to want to give up, but knowing that the day will be over and you will be able to start a new tomorrow is a very comforting thought. This is another one of my favorite songs and it even brought me to the verge of tears when I first listened to it. One of my favorite lyrics from the song is:


Will something change?

No it probably won’t

But this day will be over soon

When the minute and second hands align

The world holds its breath for a little while

Zero o’clock

And you gonna be happy


Next is the solo song sung by V called Inner Child, which reminisces about as well as reflects on his past while saying that he (and the rest of the group, for that matter) will continue to do their best for all who’ve supported them. Friends is sung by the duo of V and Jimin, who fondly look back at their friendship with each other and the rest of the members while promising to stay friends no matter where life takes them. 



I don’t know if I can put into words how much I absolutely LOVE this next song, not only is it sung beautifully by Jin but it also has the most touching lyrics (which actually did make me cry) and he even helped to write the lyrics himself. Moon is the solo song of the eldest member Jin, and he is professing his love to the fans of BTS, known as ARMY, saying that he is the moon and ARMY is the earth and his reason for getting as far as he personally is now, and that he will be there for all who have supported him. 



Respect, sung by RM and Suga, discusses the meaning of the word respect and how there can be various different connotations. Next is We are Bulletproof : the Eternal by the whole group, which focuses on their journey of starting out as a group with “only 7” members, but now they have ARMY and together will be “forever bulletproof.” This is also another one of my favorites, as it focuses on all of the members while just being an all around great song to jam out to. The last song (other than the remake of ON with Sia) is Outro : Ego sung by J-Hope, which was also released as a trailer before the premiere of the album. Throughout this upbeat track, J-Hope looks back at his past self and experiences and realizes that he trusts who he has been and who he is now and who he will eventually be. 



All of the songs perfectly encapsulate where BTS is at the moment and they certainly didn’t let me down with this album. With this album, BTS was able to grow musically without fundamentally changing who they are or what they stand for. 


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