Park Jimin, a member of BTS and a global sensation, has released his highly anticipated solo EP Face. He is now the third member to release a complete solo project after BTS’s hiatus announcement and military enlistment plans. Jimin is known by fans for his angelic, unique vocal style, and a mesmerizing talent for dance that never wavers from perfection. This seems to be the only adjective able to describe such a person: perfect voice, perfect stage presence, perfect face. But what does a Jimin away from the cameras and screaming crowds feel like? What does his life without the pressure of perfection look like? Face shines a mirror on Jimin to reveal a journey of self-doubt, loneliness, and imperfection; all faces of him that we rarely get to see.
The short and sweet six-track EP opens with “Face-off,” a pop-R&B track that depicts an angry and jaded Jimin towards his current life situation. He sings, “Look at me right now, Living like stupid, Believing in people, It’s the beginning of this terrible nightmare.” It seems to be revealed through this track that Jimin’s only outlet for his frustration could be in the late hours of the night through alcohol. He questions his purpose and his actions, truly surrendering to the anger: “Break it down, Break it down, This is my usual story, Get it out, Get it out, I’m screaming like crazy.” A major shift in production is heard then in “Interlude : Dive,” the next on the tracklist. Unlike a traditional song, this interlude feels more like an audio journey for the listener through a day in Jimin’s life, complete with stunning synth instrumentals. We open with aggressive knocking on a door, followed by labored breathing while running, and then the most obvious of sounds: Jimin speaking to an audience of screaming fans. The track notably ends with the sound of a car engine shutting down, and the pouring of a drink. Close your eyes and immerse yourself in a piece of Jimin’s world before he carries us into the rest of the project.
The middle track, titled “Like Crazy,” is one of the lead singles and has an English version on the EP as well. The song opens with an intro from the romantic comedy by the same name, which Jimin has said was a major inspiration for the song, as it discusses “the uncertainty of ambiguous relationships.” Listening to these lyrics, it can be assumed he has maybe struggled with sincere relationships because of his fast-paced lifestyle. The chorus, “I’d rather be lost in the lights, lost in the lights, I’m outta my mind, It holds to the end of this night,” creates a dreamy, but almost manic tone when paired with its background dance track, as if Jimin wishes he could live solely in the spotlight to hide away from his darkest faces. “Alone” is the most reminiscent of Jimin’s past solo work, and features some of his infamous stunning vocals. Just like the title, he sings about a deep type of loneliness that can only really be experienced by someone of his level of fame.
The second lead single, (and my personal favorite), “Set Me Free, Pt. 2,” is the perfect introduction to Jimin’s solo career as he explodes onto the scene, not just in the music video, but within the song itself. The production sounds massive and haunting, almost like a movie score, and is very reminiscent of the BTS classic “On,” in my opinion. Jimin is angry but passionate, notably in the first verse: “I never stop, f*ck all your opps,” silencing anyone who may be doubtful of his success on his own. The vocal modulation on this track is also very unique for a BTS vocalist, let alone Jimin himself, but it adds interest rather than taking away from the quality of the song. The most important lyric that I believe sums up the entire project is in this pre-chorus: “Raise your hands for the past me, now, set me free.” Jimin doesn’t want to erase his past and individualize from his old self, he just wants to be set free from its expectations. He can celebrate the success and glory he has seen from it without letting it freeze him in time with no room to grow onward.
As a big fan of Jimin, I am so excited to see what other parts of his story he chooses to share with us during this time of uncertainty and change for the group.