Disclaimer: Considering this is a review of BTS’s music, I felt really compelled to establish that if you are an ARMY who loves EVERYTHING BTS puts out without question or fail and cannot handle a nobody like me criticizing their pieces, then this review isn’t for you! Same goes for non-ARMYs as well you like BTS. You have been warned.
Hello Hello and welcome to my first ever “review” on this website. There is a another one on Dreamcatcher’s newest album that should have dropped at the same time as this one so check that out if boy groups ain’t your thing. Or if you’re like the people on a weekly livestream I frequent, just the mention of BTS gets you upset and angry because you hear about them ALL the time (and I honestly can’t blame you) than it’d be best that you toodle off to my DC review instead. I have no idea if I will do this again after these two reviews considering I have no technical knowledge of music. Oh, I would love to one day, but today is not that day, my friends.
Instead, both of these reviews will literally just be my thoughts and feelings on the songs without any technical analysis of the song itself (no breakdowns of the melody, rhythm, tempo, etc. here). Though I will add just a few lines of lyrics from each song because back in an old blog I used to run, I did similar music “reviews” and because I’m a lyric nut and actually love looking up the lyrics, I decided I’d talk just a bit on how the lyrics impacted me. Least I could do, I guess, with my limited knowledge. Oh, and I will provide English and Korean lyrics because as a Korean learner it helps me a bit as it may help others. Most of the lyrics are found on this spectacular website: https://doolsetbangtan.wordpress.com/. He or she provides really great translations and notes which I really really appreciated, so check the site out for other songs not featured here. I’ve linked back to his or her site for each song presented here, you just need to click the title of the song above every video.
One more thing I would like to add before we start is that I will rate each song, but not in the conventional way. Again, because I’m not a qualified music reviewer, I can’t just use the typical scale of rating it from a 1-10. I say this because just like in the disclaimer above, none of this should be taken seriously! Actually, I’ll probably categorized both reviews under crack posts as well as “reviews” too.
Anyway, without further ado, here are my thoughts on BTS’s Map of the Soul: 7.
RM’s solo song. I gotta admit I like the throwback to Skool Luv Affair’s sound in this. His rap is pretty solid. Honestly don’t got much to say to this. I don’t mind this song. Basically explaining his journey forging his persona and identity and concluding that he will always be questioning it but despite that he is mostly comfortable with tackling on questions hurled at him about who he is. What a nice message.
This is a good intro to the general theme of pretty much the whole album and a core message that BTS has been sending out to ARMYs for the past couple years: finding one’s identity, not being afraid to show it, and speaking out without caring what others think including that dark voice found within everyone.
As for the lyrics, these are the opening lines
나는 누구인가 평생 물어온 질문
“Who am I,” a question that I’ve been asking myself for my whole life
아마 평생 정답은 찾지 못할 그 질문
A question that I will probably never be able to find the right answer for
Rating: Still questioning my mind on why I like this song. Who am I indeed.
This song came out like a freaking year ago and I’ve heard it EVERYWHERE. Like, yo, when I was in Korea, BigHit actually opened a pop-up store and PINK. PINK was everywhere because it was styled after the colors of their album Persona (right? Can’t bother to fact-check) which this song was featured on. It played a lot in the pop-up store among other BTS songs. So honestly, I may be suffering from the exposure effect when I say it s’awright, but honestly it is a pretty generic pop “play it safe for radio” song that they produced for the West (read: America). Which before you attack me, there’s nothing too wrong with that, unless you really hate how generic BTS’s music has gotten as so many fans, yes fans, have stated. Personally, I do appreciate the general happy vibes of the song…and that’s about it. It’s on the average rating for me. Neutral on Halsey. I’ve seen a lot of people wonder why she’s part of the song and all I can say to that is I like her “Oh my my my”s.
But going back to the general vibe of this song, after looking at the lyrics only reinforces that. A lot of people will say it’s cute and it is in some parts but for me the cheesiness is real. Perhaps it’s because I’m an old maid with no love experience but I don’t know how you would be able to say some of these things with a straight face to someone. Like part the part of Suga’s verse that I’ll leave this off with. A verse that I’m still not sure how to feel about to this day.
From the moment I met you ya
My life was all you ya
You’re the star that turns ordinaries into extraordinaries
널 알게 된 이후 ya
내 삶은 온통 너 ya
사소한 게 사소하지 않게 만들어버린 너라는 별
Rating: Good enough for radio–enough said.
From here, you’ll notice that underneath some videos are descriptions written up by some person on Spotify’s team. That saves me trouble of analyzing the lyrics to tell you what the song is about cause I”ll be real, I’m pretty slow. Even when BTS fans back in 2015/2016 were scrambling around trying to unravel the mysteries of the BTS HYYH universe and making up their own theories, I sat back and just enjoyed the music and the MVs because I was too dumb for all that. So thanks, Spotify!
Anyways, the song that a LOT of people on my Twitter timeline seem to hate with a burning passion. A lot of those same people seemed to prefer Mikrokosmos over this song and say that song deserved an MV or a place here. But instead we got Make it Right and Jamais Vu (coming up). Again, for me, having trash test in music, I don’t find anything particularly bad about this song honestly. Mostly because again, it doesn’t give me strong emotions one way or the other. It’s a song I would listen to again, but wouldn’t seek it out on my own, you know? On good days though, I really don’t mind the song which probably has something to do with the fact that Ed Sheeran helped write the lyrics and compose the song. And sorry to all the Ed Sheeran haters, but I do like his music though, granted, I haven’t listened to an Ed Sheeran song for ages now. Hmm, I wonder if that says something.
The lyrics are from V’s verse. The song is frankly a “being there for you” song with some nice sentiments tied within the lyrics, not gonna lie. I have been going through a really tough time as of late with my mental health and honestly hearing some of the things wrapped up in this song would’ve been a nice comfort. I picked V’s verse because, as sappy as it may sound, for me, I really appreciate just one person being there for me despite the bullshit I may give or say.
I wasn’t invited
I wasn’t welcomed
But there’s one person who recognized me
나를 알아줬던 단 한 사람
Rating: The Mikrokosmos that we didn’t need but got anyway and we BETTER be happy about it because BigHit worked hard for the boys to get that collab with Lauv, okay?
This song only has three of the members: Jin, Jungkook, and J-hope. An interesting unit that I think before this song came out wasn’t a thing. Another one of their songs from last year repackaged with this album. I actually wonder how they make the decision of what songs to leave out and to put in. Either way, I don’t really have that many strong feelings for Jamais Vu. It has a relaxed chill vibe to it, but lately I have been feeling songs that go harder and is more upbeat than songs like this. Or perhaps BTS just didn’t do it right with this chill song. Not much else to say on the song front.
But as for the lyrics…I like how they sing “remedy.”
But really, the song seems to tell the story of the guys apparently pissing off this girl and asking for a second chance with her blaming themselves for not being perfect and being scared to fail again before even trying again. Apparently, they have been through this before whether with this girl or a different one. Hence, why the song is called Jamais Vu. For those not in the know, Jamais Vu means “never seen” in French and refers to something that should be familiar or recognized but isn’t.
BTS knows how to be breaking girls hearts out here, specifically their fans.
Lyrics are as followed:
So give me a remedy
A remedy to make my frozen heart beat again
Now what do I do?
Please save me, give me another chance
So give me a remedy
멈춰버린 심장을 뛰게 할 remedy
이제 어떻게 해야 해
날 살려줘 다시 기회를 줘
Rating: I may need a remedy to get through these next…16 songs?! God have mercy.
Here’s the song that everyone and their mother seems to love with a passion. Some love it for the general party fun time vibes it gives off. Others love it because there are hints of the old sound of BTS speckled here and there in the song. Uh, to be honest, I’m terrible with these kind of things so I honestly don’t hear that too well even after hearing it several times. Anyways, my personal rating for this song? Again, I appreciate the effort and the general vibe the song radiates but I don’t get especially “hyped” as the young’uns say for this song. But I don’t mind it. Meaning, I wouldn’t balk if you played this for me. I’d be chill.
The lyrics are about getting drunk….off of their fans~
But no, really, thy are using getting drunk as an analogy to the feeling they get on stage performing for their fans who in turn, feed off that enjoy and get drunk off the vibes of the concert. And yeah, it also is just them singing about getting bare-faced drunk. Hey, drinking is a huge part of Korean culture. I’ve seen plenty of people passed out in the streets in Korea or stumbling their way home. Speaking of, here is the lyrics for this song:
When the night comes mumble mumble mumble
When the night comes tumble tumble tumble
When the night comes mumble mumble mumble
When the night comes tumble tumble tumble
Rating: We find the remedy–drinking.
Important note: So from here on out, I made initial notes on my phone before writing this up which I included as my first impressions. However, for this review, since I listened to the songs again and again afterwards, I added my present impressions of the song. Enjoy.
Initial impressions: It’s fine up until the vocal parts come in then his voice just kinda grates on me cause that darn autotune is atrocious. And not sure about that last part. To this day not sure how to feel about it.
Present impressions: Yeah, hearing this song again. I know this dude is trying but I feel as if I honestly enjoy Suga more when he is just straight up rapping. He seems to be an okay singer since I have caught videos of him singing just a tiny bit and he is or was apparently getting lessons. But I’d honestly rather listen to him trying his best to imperfectly sing than it being processed by autotune, but hey, that’s just me. As for the last part, where he jumps into sounding rougher and more gruff as he dives back into just rapping is still something I’m ambivalent about. But after listening to it again, it sounds better on my like 5th listen. But the little noises he makes in the background is both amusing and superfluous to me.
However, lyric-wise, it’s pretty heavy stuff, mate. You listen to him pretty much go back and forth with his shadow about reaching the top, being that idol that he always wanted to be with the big house, big car, and big rings but at what cost? It’s that type of divide that he is facing now and it’s giving him a lot of mental strife.
Now, I’ll be honest, back in the day, I would have connected with this song instantly, mainly because of having to deal with that shadow, that little voice in the back of your head goading you and belittling you 24/7 is a feeling I know all too well. But now, after some issues I’ve had in my personal life, I can’t connect as well.
Now I know
that sometimes running away is the second best
People say, in that bright light, it’s splendor
But my shadow rather grows even bigger,
swallows me, and becomes a monster
때론 도망이 차선이란 걸
사람들은 뭐 말하지 저 빛 속은 찬란하네
근데 내 그림자는 되려 더 커져
나를 삼켜 괴물이 돼
So what’s the rating I’d give this song?
Rating: Running away isn’t always the best option but sometimes a tactical retreat is necessary in situations like this.
I straight up don’t like this song. The beginning is fine, the melody is very hauntingly beautiful and I don’t mind the whole “Do your thang” part but as soon as Suga’s part comes in (which is like the very start of the vocals), it goes downhill for me. I can’t lie. I do feel as if this a rather lazy piece in the sense that it feels as if they had to quickly slap this together because they had to promote something before they dropped their big album. Not sure if it’s the emotionless almost apathetic “yeah, yeah, yeah”s or the starting with the rappers (I really don’t like Suga’s part in this song, but granted, his rapping lately has been a hit or miss for me), but I didn’t vibe with this song.
Granted, I do know that everyone is mostly loving this song over the honest lyrics of BTS seemingly falling out of love for music or their music according to Spotify. I can respect that and once upon a time that would have really touched me, still does in a way. But perhaps that is why they sound so underwhelming in specific parts of the song? It would make sense, but I still think this song could’ve been executed or produced a bit better for the message it was intended to send since I feel like I’ve heard similar storylines but executed and produced better.
No lyrics for this one cause I can’t be bothered.
Rated: X, for a letter rarely used or seen and this song should embody that.
Initial impressions: Forgot the name of the darn song for a good minute despite Jimin loudly yelling it in the song several times. I would say outta the vocal line this is my top song. It’s not too shabby probably cause it’s more upbeat and less autotuny than the others. And I caught myself mouthing the words to the song while roaming the aisles of my local Target so that’s a plus.
Present impressions: As of now, my feelings remain the same as I listen to it again. Perhaps so far, this is the only song I wouldn’t mind going out of my way actually typing it out in the Spotify search bar to listen to again. Yes, I can be that lazy.
The only thing I would really thumbs down is the times he shouts, “I’m your filter” or “Pick your filter.” I wish he had done it another way then this song would’ve received a higher rating. But it’s made up for by the Aladdin reference, a movie that a lot of Koreans, or at least K-pop idols seemed to like.
(OK) 어때 조금 느낌이 와? 아직 모자라?
(OK) What do you think, are you getting the idea? Is it not enough yet?
(Yes) Girl you have your chance
I can be your Genie
How bout Aladdin?
뭐든 돼 줄게
I will become anything for you
날 골라 쓰면 돼 yeah
You can pick and use one of me, yeah
Rating: Lemme be that rainbow filter to your genie~
Initial/Present impressions: Jungkook’s solo song to me is a pretty run of the mill RnB song. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though not sure how I feel about him saying finna but it’s amusing nevertheless. But speaking of, this boy really pushing that English agenda. On the album, his song probably has the most English and I think even RM was impressed with how Jungkook executed this song.
But is it bad that when it hit the chorus where he sings:
Oh I can’t call ya I can’t hol’ ya
Oh I can’t
And yes you know yes you know
Oh I can’t call ya I can’t touch ya
Oh I can’t
Let me know
Can I someday finna find my time
Finna find my time
Someday finna find my time
I couldn’t help but think of his tattoo artist
girlfriend friend hiding out somewhere in Seoul. The one who unfortunately got caught up with him in that dating scandal of his back in September. This boy also low-key complaining about that scandal in this song cause some crazy ARMYs ruined any chance of him and the others feeling comfortable with coming out as dating to their fans. Can’t blame the boys when some of their fans literally sell private information on them on Twitter and other social sites and intrude on their privacy 24/7. Though, in the end he does sing he will call and touch you, his girlfriend, so I guess he’s recovered enough to be more careful stashing his girlfriend around and doing more to drop subtle hints that say “yes, ladies, he’s taken” without breaking his contract.
What? You thought this song was about him growing up too fast in a world, in an industry that forced him to be sexualized and took away his life from the age of 13ish-present, and now he has to deal with those consequences and become content that this is his life now? Nah. No. That’s wrong. Read the lyrics over and you’ll see I’m right.
Still all jokes aside, if I’m being unbiasedly serious here, I do honestly feel some sympathy for his situation as one of those idols that is basically raised in the industry, the core of this song, honestly. I do have mixed emotions about that which I’ll go in depth in a later post (maybe). As for my personal opinion on the song itself, I somehow like it? Like, randomly, it sorta faded in and out of my mind one day this week despite not listening to the song for the past 3+ weeks. Brains are weird like that.
Anyways, I take back what I said earlier, and I now have “My Time” as the top song of the vocalists on this album. Sorry Jimin, but if only you hadn’t shouted about being someone’s filter, you place would’ve been sealed.
Rating: This one is dedicated to all the idols who have to stash their girlfriends/boyfriends in underground bunkers from their fans and companies alike. Finna lose my sanity for them honestly.
EDIT (27/08/20): So I learned that the dude that co-produced this particular song also had a hand in a few Jake Paul songs including the infamous “It’s Everyday, Bro.” Take that as you will.
Initial impressions: chill song but verging on being a bit boring for my tastes. I expected it to swell in the instrumentals to give it the sorta edge that a song of this name alludes to but never came. Suga’s rap maybe? But didn’t really care much for it either.
Present impressions: Going back to it, I carry the same feelings but perhaps a bit less harsher though I still wanted this song to swell up more but whatever. At this point, I don’t expect too much from BTS who tend to play it more safer these days with their music. Usually when a BTS song starts, it’s pretty linear and consistent in terms of the sound and whatnot from start to finish with perhaps the raps spicing things up, but there are, of course, exceptions. Continuing on, Suga’s rap I suppose gave it a bit more edge as he goes (sorta), but for whatever reason, his rap just kind of grated on me again. J-hope and RM were alright. The vocal line was pretty chill too. Not much more to say.
고요한 너의 슬픔이
Your silent sorrow
조용한 나의 바다에
In the quiet sea of mine,
파도가 일곤 해
waves rise from time to time
Louder than bombs I break
Rating: Up the ante, boys!
Initial impressions: Not too bad from when I originally heard it. Appreciated the different elements (gospel choir, UCLA marching band) implemented in the song. Idky Sia was there though. Kinda dragged the song a bit and as the singer of Chandelier I expected better. JK’s solo part was interesting since I honestly expected Jimin to be the sole high note vocalist of the band. At least waaaaay better than Black Swan.
Present impressions: Well well, listening to it again a few weeks later and my impressions are quite the same. Though I have warmed up to the song a bit if only there wasn’t that autotune sound but it’s tolerable in this song. As I type this, I just got to Suga’s part again. Look, I know it sounds like I’m picking on this guy but it is arguably more easier to specifically point out the rapper’s parts cause they are more distinctive though Jungkook has a prominent solo part in this song which I don’t mind. It’s fine. But going back to Suga, I just remember thinking even when I first heard the song that the, “I don’t give a ugh” part was weak. C’mon, my dude. I know you need that radio play and music show appearances, but I know you don’t shy away from saying “shit” or “fuck”…at least on his mixtape. What a trip.
Anyways, song I don’t mind.
Hey na na na
미치지 않으려면 미쳐야 해
To remain sane, one must go insane
Hey na na na
나를 다 던져 이 두 쪽 세상에
I throw all of myself into this two-sided world
Hey na na na
Can’t hold me down cuz you know I’m a fighter
제 발로 들어온 아름다운 감옥
The beautiful prison I walked into on my own
Find me and I’m gonna live with ya
Rating: It gets a 50/50 on whether I’d skip it or not if it just happened to pop up on shuffle.
Initial impressions: Not bad so far. Actually liked Suga’s delivery for once since he didn’t sound so obnoxious. Will definitely appeal to the fans who enjoy their harder trackers. Didn’t really like it on the first listen but it’s actually alright. Originally thought the ahem part was a bit superfluous but found it pretty funny on second listen in a good way. Nearly wanted to also ahem too. Freaking machine gun callback. These boys.
Present impressions: I want a cypher. Listening to it again makes me miss the days when we got cyphers that were straight up rapping that was clear-cut and just a strike down KO. I wonder if we will ever get a cypher part 5 though some people will point out that Ddaeng was it. I’m not sure why but hearing it again, I didn’t take to it as I initially did. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either.
According to the Spotify storyline, the lyrics is something I could get behind especially since inflammatory and nasty internet comments left by butthurt netizens are an especially hot topic right now, not just in the K-pop world but in general. Ah, if only these boys were this outspoken towards the bad peeps in their fandom. Hm, I wonder why that is?
I picked the following lyrics because they alone are sentiments that I definitely want to expand on in a blog post one day.
아 대체 욕 좀 먹는 게 왜 [ge wae]
What’s wrong with you getting some hate
잘 벌잖아 또 징징대 왜 [dae wae]
You make bank, why are you whining again
그 정돈 감수해야지 에헴 [eh hem]
You should be willing to put up with that bit, ahem
Rating: Would be better with more dissing of bad ARMYs.
Yo, I totally forgot about this song when I was doing my best to initially type out some quick first impressions on my phone so I guess that says a lot about how I feel about this song. Anyways, I can’t really remember how I first felt about this song, so I guess you have to be content with getting my impressions of it now.
Zero O’clock is a vocal line song so it just stars Jungkook, V, Jin, and Jimin. Once again, it’s a more laid back song that you’d probably listen to on a sad or stressful day when it’s raining outside and you need some cheering up from your beloved BTS vocal line. Definitely a 180 from UGH!. Though I don’t have strong feelings for this song on just listening to it, I do like it better than the rapper line’s song. This song is a really non-offensive song that really seems to just be a feel-good call out to ARMYs who are experiencing bad times if you just look at the lyrics though one doesn’t even necessarily have to as you can just feel it through their vocalists’s voices, tone, and the English provided (haha, sorry)
But really, the lyrics did resonate with me, because I really have been in a fight with my mental health for…a while now, but it has particularly gotten worse from late last year to now. From the opening, the lines already connected with me:
그런 날 있잖아
There are those days
이유 없이 슬픈 날
Days when you’re sad for no reason,
when your body feels heavy,
나 빼곤 모두 다
and everyone, except me,
바쁘고 치열해 보이는 날
looks busy, fiercely living their life
발걸음이 떨어지질 않아
I can’t get my feet to move
벌써 늦은 것 같은데 말야
though it feels like I’m already late
온 세상이 얄밉네
The whole world disturbs me
Rating: Feeling you get on a rainy day stuck at home cause a deadly virus is circulating around the world and even though you asked for another plague like Dwight from “The Office,” this isn’t exactly what you meant and you slowly contemplate your role in the death of humanity.
Initial impressions: A sweet Taehyung song but more on the average generic side. Sorry V but that’s just my taste. Not a bad song though. Mouthed words.
Present impressions: My opinion hasn’t changed. I like Taehyung, or V, or however you choose to call him. He’s like the only BTS member that hasn’t really gotten on my nerves over the past few months considering some…controversial events and again, my own personal issues, (again, story for another day). BUT that doesn’t mean I will shy away from calling this song pretty average still. Like, the song is fine and V’s vocals are good but doesn’t really have anything that will connected or moved me especially.
Lyric-wise…it’s similar to 00:00 in that I got that after facing a lot of hard times himself, he has grown to be able to handle all the pain and hardships that he has gotten through and now he wants to help whoever he is talking to (ARMY, probably) get through their own hardships. It’s a nice sentiment, of course. Something that makes up for the averageness of the song.
이제 우리 많이 웃었음 해
Now, I hope that we laugh a lot
괜찮을 거야 오늘의 내가
It’s going to be okay because the me of today
Rating: Hugs and cuddles xoxo
Initial impressions: The top one of the vocal line if including unit songs. Despite the clear pandering to Vmin (Taemin? Heh) shippers, it’s still a cute song I’d say if not a bit on the sappy side.
Present impressions: This song is cute. Though they still be calling V alien? I though he said he didn’t like being called that? But Jimin said it so warmly, I may just give it a pass.
But yeah, if you haven’t figured, this is just a duo song between Jimin and V. I stand by calling this a Vmin shipper song which could be a good or bad thing. Freaking BigHit know what they are doing making this song. Though I do feel there are more Vkook (V + Jungkook) shippers out there than Vmin, but what do I know? I’m literally in no ARMY circles and only base this on real life observations and Twitter. But if you look at the lyrics, I can already hear the squeals of delight of Vmin shippers as their ship is pretty much confirmed by the boys themselves. Oh dear.
언젠가 이 함성 멎을 때 stay hey
Someday, when these cheers die down, stay hey
내 옆에 함께 있어줘
Stay with me by my side
영원히 계속 이곳에 stay hey
Forever, keep staying here, hey
네 작은 새끼손가락처럼
Like your tiny pinky
What? You don’t care about that? You just wanna know what I think of the song?
Rating: A nice cup of hot coca on a snow day from school.
Okay, all the Jin-biased stans are going to come at me, but I have no initial impressions noted down for this song, either.
I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I said earlier that V was one of the members that have consistently been in my good books, but I forgot Jin as well has been mostly inoffensive. This song wasn’t even bad and I would say better than Zero O’Clock even. Mainly because Moon is unexpectedly pretty upbeat which I wasn’t entirely expecting from Jin, but it is appreciated greatly. Anyways, this song would be above V’s solo and at the moment is tied with Jimin’s song, but on a good day it’d probably be second after Jimin’s (it’s that damned “I’M YOUR FILTER!” line that still haunts me).
However, the lyrics for this song is actually a bit more poignant than I thought the were, originally. The lyrics below illustrate this if you know the story behind them. I won’t ruin it since it is not mine to share, instead the translator of these lyrics, doolsetbangtan, is really the one who should tell so, please click on their name to be taken to the twitter post.
난 이름조차 없었어
I didn’t even have a name,
내가 널 만나기 전까진
before I met you
넌 내게 사랑을 줬고
You gave me your love
이제는 내 이유가 됐어
and became my reason now
Rating: The day someone names me is the day the moon shines on me, too.
Initial impressions: Better than I originally remembered. RM is actually alright in this song and the callback is nice (respected it a bit more after first listen) but Suga was kinda meh to me. Not sure how to feel in his first part. Though I appreciate the satoori exchange at the end. Thought he forgot it honestly.
Present impressions: You know, there were some people saying this song was these two, RM and Suga, calling out people leaving bad internet comments and whatnot. Which is great and all but only if they could do that with the bad seeds of their fandom which BTS seem to never do. So no respect there from me.
Going to the song itself, RM is pretty good in this song. I like his parts and have no qualms with them in all honesty. But man, I was too soft on Suga on my first listen. I really only liked him at the end when he was speaking satoori with RM because that was a bit cute and it has been a godforsaken long time since satoori has come out of Suga’s mouth. I think last time he used satoori, he was equating a girl’s face to fresh salad. I’m not even joking with that one. Again, for me it was just, what, the autotune, or whatever program they’re using to make their voices sound like a robotic drawl, if that makes any sense. The middle of the song with Suga rapping like that sounded a touch bit too obnoxious for me.
No lyrics, check satoori translation below.
Rating: Staying for the satoori, leaving for that drawl.
Initial impressions: Appreciate the call back and the self-reflection they’re doing but can’t get my mind off of this one comment about this title. Way they sing bulletproooof is honestly just funny to me. They try though but it’s like they have a sorta slangy country tinge to it. But that’s probably just me. How I feel about it? Was slow at the start but picked up. Honestly neutral about this song. I don’t dislike it but won’t be jamming and nodding my head along to it. I get it’ll definitely be an emotional song especially for their ARMYs when sung at concerts and stuff. I mean, this is a fan song above all else and we all know due to how sappy these type of songs get, it can get a bit cringy and too pandering for me, at least.
Present impressions: Honestly, I probably won’t add to the above since my initial impressions match what I still feel now. But I will say, I know this is supposed to be a song you take somewhat seriously since again self-reflection, acknowledging fans and their part in BTS’s journey but my god, I can’t help but laugh internally how the vocalists sing bulletproof. Title sounds…I just don’t like the title honestly. It sounds…how to put this, it sounds…like they’re taking themselves too seriously. And I could never get over what one guy I follow said in his twitter about the title of this song, so there’s that.
I always wonder
아직 꿈속인 건 아닐까
whether it’s possible that I’m still in the dream
The long winter,
끝에 온 게 진짜 봄일까
whether the thing that came at the end of it is the real spring
모두 비웃던 한땐 부끄럽던 이름
Our name, that everyone laughed at, that we were once embarrassed by
이건 쇠로 된 증명
This is a proof made of iron
Rating: From a scale of 1-bulletprooooof, it’s a 4. Too little bulletprooooofs. If BTS had more members this wouldn’t have been an issue.
This song doesn’t have initial thoughts because this song was a bit of an odd one in that it released just soon before this album dropped and for some reason I didn’t bother to record initial thoughts to it despite doing that for Shadow?
Look people, I have been in a very bad state since practically the start of this year, so I apologize for my lapse in…you know, what lemme go to the song review.
But did J-hope really include part of America’s stupid Fitness Gram Pacer test audio? That unholy of unholiest gym tests that every K-12 American student had to endure running back and forth in a straight line until their freaking lungs gave out?
Well, kinda. Turns out he sampled it BTS’s 7 year old debut trailer. That video was put out on 26th of May just a couple weeks before BTS would debut. I was scrolling through the comments for more information and of course, EVERYONE was practically taking about how this trailer was sampled in J-hope’s Ego. Golly, really shows how YouTube’s comment section ain’t the most helpful thing. But I was amused to see some as far back as 2013 talk about the mysterious 7th member, V, who had yet to be introduced. Good times.
Apologies, I went on a tangent again, but I already warned you guys that since I know nothing about music production, I can’t be like: the backing track on this had some issues with the tempo here causing it to clash with the vocals…if only they had tweaked this and that about the tempo then the melody would’ve have been better carried by the vocals.
Like no, I don’t even know if any of that just made any sense.
Anyways, Ego is great. It’s very upbeat, very J-hope-like. And brought me back to life a bit after the onslaught of songs that haven’t particularly moved me. So yeah, I could be biased since after listening to what–18 songs? My mind is a sludge pool despite taking a night’s break after “My Time.” At the very least, it makes me forgive him of the crime that was “Chicken Noodle Soup.”
The lyrics are, again, as per BTS-style, are quite heartfelt and chronicles J-hope’s fight and journey establishing his identity amongst the tribulations of the past 7 years. For a seemingly happy sounding song, the lyrics actually hold a deeper and darker meaning than one would initially think. Just something to keep in mind when you listen to this song and the other members’ songs as well as they all have been through a lot with their own unique experiences. A sentiment to carry forward if you are a fan of BTS. I won’t worry the casual listeners with this same sentiment though, unless that is your wish.
문득 스쳐가는 j-hope이 아닌 정호석의 삶
The life of Jung Hoseok who is not J-Hope flashes across my mind
희망이란 없고 후회만 가득했겠지 till I die
It must have been full of regret with no hope till I die,
내 춤은 뜬구름을 잡을 뿐
with my dance only chasing ghosts,
= with my dance only catching drifting clouds, translated literally.
나의 꿈을 탓하고
with me blaming my dream
살아 숨쉬는 거에 의문을
and casting doubt on why I live and breathe
Oh my God God God God
Rating: The hope radiating from this song is enough to destroy the devil’s work aka CNS.
ON (feat. Sia)
Why’d I add this when I already covered it? In my initial impressions above, I guess I combined both versions of ON since I mentioned Sia and didn’t bother to move that sentence down here. But all I have to say is that BTS was fine without her on this song, but whatever. BTS seem to collab with any and every prominent or semi-prominent western artist these days. Sia seemed random to me, but again, what do I know? I know shit about marketing as well but perhaps slapping a western artists name to a song just reinforces BTS’s place within the western (read: US) market and also gives their fans another western artists to cross off of the “Famous artists our faves have worked with, whatta about your faves, huh??” list. So I wonder…when is the Billie Eilish x BTS crossover happening?
Rating: Needs less Sia
Right, well, that’s all for this album review. Boy was it…something. My overall grade for this album after tallying up the marks and calculating the average means of standard deviation would be a good rounded: Choco pie.
Just like the choco pie, it’s packaged in a nice, conventional yet eye-catching box that draws consumers in, with the choco pie itself being a nice mesh of melting chocolatey goodness and that nice and soft touch of marshmallow that makes you crave a nice cup of coco. But after a few choco pies, they begin to all taste the same and fall short of your expectations but your love of chocolate won’t give these babies up, so you continue to eat them because damn it! You’re loyal to your choco pies. You’ve been together for too long, through too much to drop them now!
Even if, they don’t look quite the same. Even if the company changed the recipe for the worse. And even if you receive the judgement of your loved ones or friends. You’re stuck with those choco pies because you invested too much in them to drop them now. Though that nagging feeling that they could always be better will always be a shadow following you indefinitely. But what can you do? You’re just a powerless fan who at most can only whinge and complain on Twitter. But no one listens because they like the choco pies even better now and nothing can change the minds of the majority.
BTS are those choco pies with this album.