BTS have soared to ever greater heights for this mini album Map of the Soul: Persona, reaching number 1 on the UK album charts in the first week after release. ‘Intro: Persona’ is a great beginning, a bouncy old-school rap solo by RM that’s filled with confidently delivered introspective lyrics over raw guitar riffs. ‘Boy With Luv’ is a funk-pop song, full of light vocals and fun rapping that make it a perfect title track, with a catchy chorus and extra ad libs throughout to sing along to.
‘Mikrokosmos’ is an airy nostalgic track, with uplifting chorus chants and lyrics that combine to create a feeling of connection and togetherness. It has an almost cosmic essence to it. ‘Make It Right’, co-produced by Ed Sheeran, is a synthy song with a strong beat and a fun evolving call and response between the vocalists and the horn-like synth.
‘HOME’ is a hip-hop R&B track that’s dedicated to their fans, aka ARMY. The trap beat and groovy baseline couple extremely well with the rap and vocals. ‘Jamais Vu’ is soulful, both in its reverberating piano and its heartfelt rap/vocals by J-hope, Jin and Jungkook. The song progression is surprising yet effective, and their distraught attempts to find their ‘remedy’ are palpable. ‘Dionysus’ is an extremely interesting track, very unexpected and a great rock rap song, extremely intense and punchy.
Overall the vocals and rapping adapt well to the different genres showcased in this album, highlighting the groups flexibility. The lyrics are sincere, and often include double meanings and imagery that invoke a lot of thought- check out lyric translations to fully experience this album and others by BTS, otherwise you lose much of the substance that BTS is famed for.