It’s safe to say that BTS has our hearts. The more vulnerable and real they are, the more we love them! With their seventh anniversary on the horizon, the release of their latest album is a great reflection on the journey they’ve had for the last seven years — and where we as fans have gone with them. Come see what The Fangirls thought of Map of the Soul: 7.
(All of these photo credits go to BigHit — so grateful they made so many stills available on Facebook!)
Karie the Maknae
There is something about Map of the Soul: 7 that just speaks to me. Several of the songs seem to cover dichotomies: trying to find personal identity and being under the scrutiny of millions of eyes at the same time, dealing with depression while riding the wave of success, reflecting on the past versus the present. There’s anxiety, there’s darkness, there’s dreams, there’s nostalgia, and best of all, there’s unity. The final lines of “We are Bulletproof: the Eternal” tug at my heart — “We are not seven, with you.” I’ve always felt that kpop groups truly appreciate the symbiotic relationship between themselves and their fans, and BTS embodies it, embraces it, and celebrates it.
My top favorite songs from Map of the Soul: 7 are “Interlude: Shadow”, “Black Swan”, “ON”, “Inner Child”, “Friends”, “Moon”, and “We are Bulletproof: the Eternal.” Listening to this album and diving deep into the comeback shows and the behind the scenes videos is driving home the fact that these boys have grown up beautifully. Watching the strong artists they have become makes me want to be a better person myself. To me, that is the magic of BTS.
Map of the Soul: 7 feels like an introduction to a new period where they want us to know that they will always be a team, but we can mix and match members and still be enthralled. As we prepare for the inevitable stints in the Korean military, this album seems to remind us that the members are not just a family, but a family of their own making. As I listen to “We are Bulletproof: the Eternal” there is vulnerability, but also strength as we look at how far they have come. BTS is BTS because THEY want to be together.
I had a hard time picking a favorite song. On my first listen, I told Drama Geek that “Moon” was my favorite. She, of course, teased me about being a Jin fan. The more I listen though, “ON” is the one I find myself humming and singing at random moments. “Friends” hits me straight in the feels. I love this little insight into their friendship, and it reminds me of our little DWASOK family and our little inside jokes.
Map of the Soul: 7 is really great all around. I don’t go in depth like the other fangirls on this kind of thing but I do love the songs/MVs for “ON”, “Friends” and “Black Swan”. I love popping it on in the morning as I get ready for the day. It gives me that extra bit of oomph I need to get going.
As the newest Army amongst my fellow fangirls, I don’t feel confident enough to speak with much authority on all things BTS. I just know that I absolutely LOVE the variety of songs and sentiments in this latest album. I can feel such a depth of heart and soul from each member in each and every piece of music. (I also feel it necessary to gush on their amazing choreography for “Black Swan” and “ON”. As someone who has recently learned the chorus sections for both songs at my kpop dance classes, I can tell you they are NOT easy – I have mad respect for BTS and their amazing performance talent!)
Picking favorites is a challenging task with BTS!!! Even though rap is not a genre I usually listen to, the rawness of Suga’s lyrics in “Interlude: Shadow” hit me hard every time I listen. My other top favorites are “Black Swan”, “Filter”, “ON” (this one took a bit, but really grew on me the more I listened), “00:00 (Zero O’Clock)” (I love when the vocal line sings together), “Inner Child”(OMO – V’s voice is SO good), “Friends”, “We Are Bulletproof: the Eternal” (this song makes me cry – so emotional), and “Outro : Ego” (JHoooooooope!). But the one I find myself getting most excited about and unconsciously dancing to is “Moon” – it’s my happy place song!
There are very few BTS songs I don’t like in their huge discography. They just make the type of variety I like. A few weeks ago, when I was listening to the Love Yourself series, I was positive they wouldn’t be able to beat that one in sentiment because that’s the album I saw live. That’s the one that really touched my heart and has stayed there. But Map of the Soul: 7 beat it without me seeing a live performance. When you look at the lyrics, and watch them in all the various performances and videos they’ve put out so far, it’s this raw art that they’ve placed in front of us, connecting it with visual art in many cities, and connecting it to us. They’re pretty much saying, this is us: past, present, and in the future. As with all BTS albums, if you haven’t looked at the lyrics, you are missing most of the experience.
My favorite song is all of them. Truthfully! Each of the new songs is a piece of each of the members. Suga lays out all his fears in “Shadow”, while “Filter” lets us enjoy Jimin’s flirty side. “My Time” is SO MUCH FUN to workout too, but when you read the lyrics, you just want the poor maknae to be able to date. “Outro: Ego” was one I felt didn’t match the two new ones that were released before it, but when you listen to it in order on the album, it’s a perfect end to the roller coaster of emotions. I can’t leave “Friends” out. I remember watching one of their various shows and V had written a song, and someone told him that having the song be about Jimin was weird, so I think he tabled it. Even if “Friends” isn’t that song, it makes my heart happy that they’re able to express their deep friendship. Wow, I’ve been long winded. Lastly, I will say that all of the other songs I haven’t listed are also my favorite. I crack up at the end of “Respect” every time. “Ugh” is super fun to listen to in the car, and workout to. And both of the MVs for “ON” were AMAZING.
From my very first concert when I packed up the minivan and bunked with someone I had only met through the Internets, to sharing the excitement of this newest release with my teenage daughter, I feel like my appreciation for BTS has evolved as they have changed and grown as artists. With this album, I am finding that a new song catches my attention each time. “Outro: Ego” is a favorite of my daughter’s so I started to appreciate it even more when I saw how happy it makes her. I imagine summer cruising when I play “Friends” and I am in love with the MV for “ON.” Honestly, though, I am a sucker for “UGH!” and the rapid-fire rap. I had the privilege of seeing them perform two of their Cyphers in concert, so imagining this live is just making me giddy! I crank this up loud (in the minivan) and let the beat drown out all of my worries.
I think the amazing thing about BTS is how they are defying typical genre categories and challenging even their own ideas about their signature sound. Because they are exploring new ideas as artists, I think the music of BTS has something to offer just about anyone. This latest album is an excellent example of their ability to appeal to a wide variety of listeners.
What are your thoughts about this album, BTS fans? What song struck you right in the feels? Drop down in the comments and let us know!
Until the next comeback, we remain —
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi