International Korean boy band, BTS recently returned to the music scene with their fourth studio album, Map Of The Soul: 7. The album follows Map Of The Soul: Persona which was the first instalment of the Map Of The Soul series. The album is a heartfelt story of BTS and their search for their “real selves.” Map Of The Soul: 7 looks back on the past seven years of BTS since their debut in June 2013.
The group shared what the album explores on their official website, “The journey was not always smooth sailing, and there were special travails that they had to endure in their rise as global superstars. Now, understanding that the scars left by those hardships is a part of their real selves, BTS accepts both “the self I want to show” and the “self I want to scorn” to at last tell their own story of finding their “real and complete selves.”
The album contains 20 songs, including the lead single “ON” and features some tracks from Map Of The Soul: Persona, alongside former releases such as “Intro: Persona”, “Interlude: Shadow” and “Outro: Ego” which are all solo tracks by RM, Suga and J-Hope who make up BTS’s rap line. There are also additional solo tracks of various genres by Jungkook, V, Jin and Jimin that highlight their unique traits.
“‘Filter’ hopes to show different sides of Jimin, ‘My Time’ encapsulates Jung Kook’s emotions since he was a trainee up until now, ‘Inner Child’ sings to V’s past self who was going through a rough time and ‘Moon’ reveals Jin’s love for ARMY fill up MAP OF THE SOUL: 7.”
With BTS embarking on the second part of their journey through the Map Of The Soul series, it’s been nothing but success and historical achievements for the group once again. Right off the bat, the album sold 3.37 million copies in the first week, a record for a BTS album. Last year’s Persona sold 2.13 million copies during the same period. While promoting the album, the group appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and joined James Corden for “Carpool Karaoke” on The Late Late Show which trended at No. 1 on YouTube. Notably, Map Of The Soul: 7 landed the group their fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with the biggest week of 2020 for any release with 422K equivalent album units. They are the fastest group to generate four No. 1 albums in the US since The Beatles (1966-1968). The lead single, “ON” is the best selling song of the week in the US with 86k copies sold. It’s the group’s fastest-selling single to date in the US. There are a lot more achievements that BTS made with the exquisite, Map of the Soul: 7 but to name them all would take a while. It’s important to note that this album has no bundles and there’s been little to no radio play for the group yet they reached these achievements.
The official video for the lead single, “ON,” tracked up 1.54 million concurrent viewers, which YouTube announced as a record-breaking premiere. Although the official music video had a record-breaking premiere, YouTube allegedly deleted over 67 million views. Do note that this isn’t the first time where BTS fans, ARMY noticed this trend from YouTube. #YTBring67MBack trended at No. 1 worldwide as ARMY questioned why over 67 million views, as fans reportedly saw on a realtime tracker, have not been included in the total count. Nonetheless, YouTube allegedly deleting views doesn’t change the fact that this period has been nothing but success for BTS.
After being in the U.S. for promotions for a while, the group is back in their home country, South Korea continuing promotions for the album. Amidst their promotions for Map Of The Soul: 7 they won four awards at the 34th Japan Gold Disc awards. Now in Korea, the group has already won 3 music show awards and there’s probably more to come for BTS. It’s continuous success for the group even if the western music industry doesn’t realise it.
If you haven’t listened to Map Of The Soul: 7 yet, I urge you to do so as soon as possible and be lead on this journey of BTS’s heartfelt stories and their search in finding their “real selves.” Let me know what your favourite track(s) from the album is and why!
The album is available online and in stores.