One if not THE biggest album of 2020 is here. BTS, arguably the hottest band in the world right now, just delivered their new album, ‘Map of the Soul: 7’, on Feb. 21, and fans are obsessed.
February isn’t even over and what might be the biggest music event of 2020 has arrived. BTS — those K-Pop superstars that have conquered America in a way that has drawn comparison to The Beatles and the British Invasion –- have returned with their fourth LP, Map of the Soul: 7. Released on Feb. 21, less than a year after their Map of the Soul: Persona, BTS (V, 24, Jungkook, 22, SUGA, 26, Jin, 27, RM, 25, Jimin, 24, and J-Hope, 26) has delivered a 20-track album comprised of a mix of familiar and unreleased tracks. One such new song was a version of their single “ON” featuring the unmistakable voice of Sia.
Judging by the reaction online, all of Map of the Soul: 7 is amazing, as the ARMY flooded social media with their responses to the new record. After the album came out, there were several Twitter trends dedicated to BTS, including #BTSComeback2020. “I HAVE NO WORDS,” one excited fan gushed after listening to the record. Another added, “Every song on 7 is a gem, I honestly can’t pick a favorite right now,” and someone else raved, “In one album, BTS lifted me up, tore me down, broke my heart and then mended it and healed it.”
Twenty tracks in total, Map of the Soul: 7 starts with five songs from Persona, including the mammoth collaboration with Halsey, “Boy With Love.” Along with 11 previously unheard tracks, 7 contains Suga’s solo “Interlude: Shadow,” “Black Swan” (which was released ahead of the album), the other single “ON,” and “Outro: Ego,” which Billboard noted is J-Hope’s recently released solo track. Being that this is 2020 and everything is streaming, the digital version of Map of the Soul: 7 contains a very special addition: The second version of “ON” featuring Sia. Needless to say, when the ARMY finally heard this new version, they were here for it.
Map of the Soul: 7 is the band’s fourth LP, and it marks their seventh year together (they debuted on June 13, 2013, a day that will soon become a federal holiday in most countries if the ARMY gets their way.) This new album is also another piece in BTS’ big puzzle. The Map of the Soul series draws upon Jungian psychoanalytic thought for inspiration. Persona’s “Intro: Persona” and 7’s “Interlude: Shadow” and “Outro: Ego” reference different elements from the book Map of the Soul by Jungian psychoanalyst Murray Stein. The new album also references BTS’s own history. Not only does the 7 title mark how many years since their debut, but their single “ON” is also a mirror of “N.O.,” a song from their second EP, 2013’s O!RUL8,2?
As to what fans could expect on this album, Billboard reported that it would feature a variety of solo moments as well as unit tracks. BTS’ singers — Jin, Jimin, Jungkook, and V – would unite on “00:00 (Zero O’Clock),” a song that “touches the hearts of many with its heightened sense of sincerity.” RM and Suga would reportedly unite on “Respect” while Jimin and V would show off their friendship for the first time on “Friends.” Map of the Soul: 7 also features a song co-written by Troye Sivan, “Louder Than Bombs,” and Jin’s solo, “Moon,” which is a love-letter for BTS’s dedicated fandom, ARMY.
Map of the Soul: Persona debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. It was their third No. 1 album in less than 12 months, making them the first band to achieve that goal since The Beatles. With their popularity rising, expect this album to do the same. 2020 is BTS’s year and this is BTS’s world.