BTS – 'MAP OF THE SOUL: PERSONA'
1. Intro: Persona
2. Boy with Luv (feat. Halsey)
4. Make It Right
6. Jamais Vu
Unless you're living under a rock (no disrespect to those who might be), you know that BTS has released their newest EP, 'Map of the Soul: Persona.' And it is breaking all kinds of records. It's the fastest-selling album in Hanteo chart history. It (and its single "Boy with Luv") topped iTunes album charts in 86+ countries after release, including the US. BTS even dominated streaming services, becoming the first artist in Asia to exceed 5 billion streams on Spotify, and crashed the Melon streaming site in South Korea. Heck, Jungkook literally crashed Twitter. So these boys are doing extremely well, and are too hot for the internet to handle.
The mini-album kicks off with the intro track (duh) "Intro: Persona." It's much more than an intro track, with a near 3-minute running time and the message "to thine own self be true." It's RM's party on this one, though, and the song is a serious jam. "Boy with Luv" features western pop tart Halsey, and I got some serious deep house vibes listening to this one. Though it's getting a little blowback (and it's not very BTS-ish) it's a pretty laid-back tune, and I enjoy it. I love Halsey's voice on this tune. I don't know that the song's that amazing, but it's a lot of fun.
Going along with laid-back, mellow offerings is "Mikrokosmos." It sweeps in quietly and the counterpoint between the main verses and the chorus is great. This is one of those tunes that belongs at the end -- very uplifting and soul-settling. "Make It Right" is an R&B tune done with Ed Sheeran. The falsetto comes early on this one, and it's fairly easy on the ears overall. I'm not sure why all the mellow songs, other than it must be something about spring. If possible, "HOME" is even more R&B-inspired than the previous track. Heavy on the snaps, falsetto, and even the tune itself is very lazy-day. The rapid-fire raps are really the highlight of the song for me.
In contrast to deja vu" which means "already seen," we have "Jamais Vu" which is "never seen" in French. The song itself is a ballad, and probably the softest tune on this album (which is full of kind of soft songs). It's not bad, though, for a low-tempo tune. "Dionysus" kicks the jams up to 11, and a tune like this is really more my speed -- heaps of the hip-hop, and light on everything else. It's loud, noisy, and beat-heavy. And has tons of attitude.
So, a lot of this is basically R&B. If that's your thing, then go ahead and grab this. That's nothing I haven't heard before, but they do it well. Some of the tracks are worth the price of admission alone, particularly the first two and "Mikrokosmos" (which is why I gave the EP the rating I did). Halsey killed it here. And so did BTS. They well deserve every accolade they get.
BTS show off their moves to Halsey in their newest MV "Boy With Luv." The fans were waiting for this one -- they set a new record with the shortest time to reach 10 million views on YouTube. This thing already has over 90 million views. They broke their previous record.
And that's kind of it. They dance from location to location. Sometimes the CGI is rather subtle, other times it's pretty blatant. Most of the time, a change in background set sparks a change in wardrobe as well, and so in one scene we end up with a blue background, and (most of) the boys end up with bright blue jeans.
Which brings me to the color in this MV. It's quite, well, colorful. Blue hair, pink outfits, and just bright, bright colors all the way around. The net effect, together with the upbeat tune, and the smiles just seems quite happy. Which is fine. I'd rather see people smiling than crying -- just a normal reaction.
The whole video is set up as an homage to the movie 'Singing in the Rain,' (the most blatant is the scene with RM), and hence the color scheme. If you don't want to see the original movie, then wait for the reboot. There's bound to be one.
There is one part of this MV that's particularly noteworthy. RM gets his turn in the limelight, and he's wearing a white suit as fans rush the stage. And as the camera pans back, you can see he's holding an umbrella. The umbrella is a gift from a fan, and it's kind of interesting they gave it a little extra exposure.
So is it any good? Well, at its heart it's just a performance video with different background sets. Halsey pops up here and there, though not so much given her contribution to the song. I can't say I was bored watching it though, so I have to give it props for that, at least.
MV SCORE: 9.0
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0