Written by Ziara Clarisse Cruz
With over 4 million pre-orders before its release, Map of the Soul: 7 has already proven itself to be the most pre-ordered South Korean album of all time. Aside from its incredible sale and view numbers, BTS’ fourth full-length album has already heightened expectations from around the world when the group dropped three promising tracks before the album’s release date.
The hip-hop track “Interlude: Shadow” featuring rap line member Suga was the first track to drop. It samples “Intro: O!RUL8,2?”, a track from their first EP in 2013. “Interlude: Shadow” talks about their ambitions before and after their fame and how lonely it was to be up in the limelight with bigger shadows in their feet. However, the song concludes by saying that they and their shadows are one, and they can only survive by accepting this idea.
BTS dropped “Black Swan” as one of the album’s singles through an art film performed by MN Dance Company. With “Interlude: Shadow” seemingly creating a summary of the album’s back story, “Black Swan” dwells on their fears as artists.
“A dancer dies twice—once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful.” “Black Swan’s” lyrics revolved around the infamous quote from Martha Graham, a popular American modern dancer and choreographer. They reflected this quote to their love for music and the fear of not generating happiness from it toward the future, which they consider their first death.
“Outro: Ego” is the last track to drop before the official release of Map of the Soul: 7. Following two dark tracks, it is quite a surprise to hear such an upbeat track from J-Hope.
But do not be fooled! Despite the happy tune and endearing scenes, you must know that “Ego’s” lyrics aren’t as far as it seems from the previous tracks. However, it is undeniable that this outro suits J-Hope and pretty much the entire album perfectly.
The 20-track album consists of songs from their previous album, “Map of the Soul: Persona.” Collaborations from artists such as Troye Sivan and Sia, as well as several unit songs, were revealed in a new press release. The album’s title track, “ON,” was released on TikTok, crashing the popular app in the process.
On their seventh year together, BTS released their most personal album through “Map of the Soul: 7.” In hopes to encapsulate their true selves and show it to their beloved ARMYs and anyone who needs comfort, they dived deep into their thoughts from the past, present, and into the future.
The full album drops on February 21 at 5pm, PH time.