thu 07/07/2022

Album: BTS – Map of the Soul: 7 | reviews, news & interviews

Album: BTS – Map of the Soul: 7

Album: BTS – Map of the Soul: 7

K-Poppers don’t lift the soul so much as drain it

Map of the Soul:7 - songs for shopping

To anyone out of their teens or without a grasp of the Korean language, BTS are probably an unknown quantity. Yet, they are probably the most successful boyband, if not the most successful band, in the world.

In fact, just as Abba had a massive effect on the Swedish economy in the 1970s, BTS are a game-changing economic asset and boost to South Korea. Whether they will be better remembered by music lovers or economists in years to come, however, will be interesting to see.

BTS are a seven-strong group of androgynous, Korean lads that look like clothes horses. However, a ten-year career has seen them make a king’s ransom from their music and merchandise sales, shifting mind-blowing units of their auto-tune fuelled, R&B brand of K-Pop, and this has made them 2020’s Men of the Moment in the Far East.

Map of the Soul: 7, BTS’s fourth Korean-language studio album (there’s also been three Japanese-language releases) doesn’t change the formula much. Indeed, the song-writing does seem to be incredibly formulaic, in a manner that is quite shockingly cynical in its obvious aims to extract as much money as possible from consumers, rather than to create anything of artistic merit. Indeed, if there’s one thing that characterises Map of the Soul:7, it’s its complete lack of soul. Ballads like “00:00 (Zero O’Clock)” lift from any number of similar songs to produce a bland platform that is totally lacking in any substance of its own. “Interlude: Shadow”, is a vacuous R&B/hip hop mash-up that merely declares “I wanna be rich / I wanna be the king”, while “Make It Right” is bland, over-produced and unthreatening music that knows its audience and just goes for the wallet.

Some music can be completely transcendent, taking the listener out of their immediate surroundings. Map of the Soul: 7 seems to stop time, making the listener feel that they’ve been stuck with it for hours and hours, rather than just the 75-minute running time.

Whether BTS will be better remembered by music lovers or economists will be interesting to see

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I admit to being upset about this review but challenge the author and others here to read through this completely to see proof that this article is ill researched; cynical at best, biased at worst. This review is almost completely incorrect and I do not mean in the judgement of personal taste but in facts that can be proven. This review refers to the all important money and economy boost for Korea and question if BTS will be remembered for the economic aspect over their music. In the end, one must realize, BTS would not be making money if it wasn’t for their music. There is so much more to the Cinderella story of BTS’s success even though the deck was stacked against them like no other Kpop group, American or British group. I would have appreciated the story about a small almost bankrupt company that now rules the music charts internationally. Again, I will let anyone interested do a search for those details also. As to how they are remembered, that will totally depend on the heart and interest of who is looking at their history. If you are interested in money, that is where you will focus. That could also be the case of someone not taking the time to understand or know the importance of their music and how they have reached so many people. One of the huge reasons they are loved across the world is because of the message within the music. I read that there have been studies done about BTS’s success so others can copy the “formula”. None have accomplished that and any fan will tell you it is because no one can copy heart and the shared experiences of struggle the artist and fan base share. The album titled Map of theI Soul Seven does not lack soul as stated by this review. The aim is not to extract as much money as possible with no artistic merit given. Although of course they have to make money. It takes a huge staff to supply the fans with the most amazing live concerts, videos, deep storylines, sheer amount of content, etc. The album is not lacking in substance and I dare say is transcendent for millions. My proof? The substance of this album is literally based on a book about the psychology theories of Carl Jung that involve facing and accepting the varied sides of your true self. Each song has a connection to Carl Jung’s theory for self actualization such as Persona, Shadow and Ego. The book is titled “Map of the Soul.” I dare say, I have never know music to hold such substance. BTS have always been open and sharing about their own life struggles even though that is not usually done in their culture. They have addressed depression, bullying, greed, and loving yourself. They also have addressed the tremendous stress on young people in their society due to the expectations placed on the young people in Korea. Over the years, BTS have taken their fans on a journey with overarching storylines with music based on literature and art. They have encouraged fans to learn how to love themselves and have shared their own personal challenges. BTS gave a speech at the United Nations as part of their campaign with Unicef against abuse and harm to children. They were asked to give another speech for the UN but it was done virtually due to the pandemic. BTS and their fans have been very involved in giving to worthwhile causes and helping others. The fans do so being inspired by BTS and in gratitud for what the music has given to them. We also have a huge community of fans who support each other. There are fan groups of teachers who tutor others in need, Lawyers who give advice, financial advisors, etc. BTS and their music has inspired a huge community of giving back to others. Lack of soul cannot create such positivity in the world. The author of this article mentions some lines in The Interlude “Shadow,” quoting “I wanna be rich, I wanna be the king” as to evidence the album lacks depth. If anyone listens past those first lines which represents what Min Yoongi/Suga’s shadow side desired in the beginning of his career. Then the lyrics turn to Suga’s fear of success and how the success is lonely and more about the dark side of success. Enough is mentioned in English to understand this. Even more becomes clear if you look up the translation of the Korean lyrics. Yes, that takes some effort but the fans know it is worth that bit of effort. Other songs in this album have important messages. The Zero O’clock mentioned by the author has the message that after a bad day you can begin again when the day starts over. Persona is about the mask we all wear and how we try to represent ourselves to the world. Sometimes we don’t even know our true selves anymore. Kim Namjoon/RM is sharing his struggle questioning “Who the hell am I?” and then his realization that he shares in the rap. Black Swan is another song on the album. It addresses the fear an artist has of no longer being emotionally moved to make their art anymore. Each song has a message. Each song has merit. The first sentence from this article states “To anyone out of their teens or without a grasp of the Korean language, BTS are probably an unknown quantity. if you don’t speak Korean or are not a teenager, you probably do not know BTS.” As a matter of fact they have a huge adult fan base from all over the world and in the United States. Only about 20% of their fans are teenagers with the majority of fans from ages 30 to 50 years old. I am a fan, happen to be 60 years old and a school teacher in the United States. There are fan groups of medical staff, teachers, lawyers, etc. There are graphs available online that represent the breakdown of the fandom. I will not supply you with all the statistics and data as you can find it with a simple google search. BTS continue to break records almost daily. They have broken records by The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, Adell, etc. They have been successful because of their talents in music, dancing, versatility, personalities, and more. BTS has become the most loved music group across the world because they and their music have depth, merit, and yes, soul. Thank you for reading through and hopefully considering there is more than what appears at surface level to BTS and their fandom called ARMY. An American Adult ARMY

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