it’s finally here. the long-awaited (at least for me) review of BTS’s latest album!
Okay, okay, so I’m really lazy and this should have been written and posted within a week of release. But at least it’s in the same year*? Anyways, I want to say two things: firstly, I am in no way a music expert. This is just comprised of my personal thoughts and opinions! Second, I am going to be as objective as possible. Because if I’m being subjective, it would be EVERY SONG 1000000/10 FLAWLESS PERFECTION IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPARE. But that also wouldn’t be fair to you guys. So, I’ll have my Mother Teresa section and my Gordon Ramsey section. That way everyone wins!
*i’m just grasping for straws guys lol i’m a failure and we all know it
GUYS THIS POST IS REALLY LONG SO UM THAT’S ANOTHER REASON TO HAVE POPCORN. I hope you enjoy though, because it took me forever to write 🙂
Track 1: Intro Persona
Mother Teresa: First of all, the fact that Namjoon had to fill this 3 minute long instrumental with nothing but rap is insane. He wrote all the lyrics, and they reflect so many personas (haha i’m not funny) of himself. He switches up flows with ease, and the chorus is catchy as HECK. And blond Namjoon. Let’s just take a moment, friends. And you’ve got these kinds of lyrics:
SHAKESPEARE IS ROLLING IN THE GRAVE BUT ONLY BECAUSE HE KNOWS HE’S BEEN DETHRONED.
Gordon Ramsey: Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of rap. And the marriage between the rapping and the rock guitar in the background? Not my favorite combination. Maybe I’m just really bad at appreciating loud fast words and loud fast instruments.
Track 2: Boy With Luv
Mother Teresa: I think this song really highlights everyone. Jimin’s airy vocals are especially prominent in this song, and add this really happy flavor to an already summery bop! The choreo and the MV are fantastic. The song itself is just bright and catchy enough to appeal to everyone, and while at first I thought Halsey’s few lines were weird, I’ve grown to like them. And while the lyrics are relativey simple, as you’d expect from a pop single, the overall meaning in an album reflecting Carl Jung’s psychological theory of the Map of the Soul is amazing.
From the moment I met you, ya, my life was all you, ya
Gordon Ramsey: While I’ve grown to like Halsey’s lines, they’re lowkey kind of useless. No…let me rephrase. They are HIGHKEY kind of useless.
Track 3: Make It Right
Mother Teresa: Another really catchy pop song. You can tell Ed Sheeran had a hand in this for sure. I think that, again, everyone had a really good chance to shine. Jin really slays the falsetto (as does Jungkook but he’s half my bias and i will scream about him later) and Suga does an amazing job on the bridge. Overall, it’s a bop and a half.
Now can I hold that hand?– i think it’s about army (their fans), which is…heartbreaking
Gordon Ramsey: Um…it’s basically my same “critique” as with Boy with Luv. Both are appealing to an American audience, so they both sound basic, catchy, and overall, well, Americanized. That is to say, dumbed down musically.
Track 4: Jamais Vu
Mother Teresa: This is a J-hope, Jungkook, and Jin subunit song. Both vocalists destroy those high notes, and Hobi does amazing at that soft rapping style. It’s sad, and emotional, and the whole concept of Jamais Vu is so original.
Gordon Ramsey: Don’t get me wrong, I adore this song! But there’s something about it that doesn’t quite hit me right. I don’t know why! I think I just prefer more ballad-y ballads, while this has an interesting match-up of how the vocals are arranged with the instruments. Generally, the transition from the verses to the chorus always makes me do a double-take. So yeah.
Track 5: Dionysus
Mother Teresa: First of all, PERCY JACKSON FANS UNITE. Second, that choreo is no joke. These boys are insane. J-hope really stands out to me in this song, with him having had played such a huge part in is creation. Also Suga’s bridge? Iconic. And Jin’s scream. Actually, Jin’s range in general. I really like how the vocals are intertwined with the rap and rock elements. And the brilliant juxtaposition of Dionysus being the god of theater (playing a PERSONA) while also being the god of alcohol, and comparing this drunken addiction to being addicted to art.
Gordon Ramsey: Like I said before, rock + rap is not really my cup of butterbeer. So the sound itself, with the autotune (that they don’t need) isn’t my favorite.
Track 6: Interlude: Shadow
Mother Teresa: This is a really good transition from the brightness of Persona into the darker, more introspective middle of the album. The comeback trailer is excellently edited. Plus, Yoongi’s rap and that guitar??? That’s what we call epic. Lyrically, it’s so painful hearing him talk about even though he’s made it so far, so high, he’s still scared of falling.
The moment I face myself brought lowest
It so happens that I’m flying the highest
Gordon Ramsey: ASDFGHJKL my biased self is technically not a fan of rap. So the switch in the middle when the autotune kicks in is especially off-putting to me. I appreciate that it reflects the fact that it’s his shadow speaking, but musically, it’s not my kind of poison*.
*what does that phrase even me??? WHY DO I HAVE TO PICK ANY KIND OF POISON I-
Track 7: Black Swan
Mother Teresa: FIRST OF ALL THIS MUSIC VIDEO IS ACTUAL ART. Jimin’s dancing and everyone else??? Are you kidding me??? Second of all, I like this song a lot! It’s catchy, and mixes the voices well. But the concept of losing your love for your passion? That is a scary idea. But beautifully expressed in this song. ALSO ALSO if you watch the dance film, the classical version of this song is an actual masterpiece.
My wandering feet held in a rut yeah, yeah, yeah
Every noise and sound’s been cut yeah, yeah, yeah
Killin’ me now, killin’ me nowso for bts specifically, they’re terrified of losing their love for music
Gordon Ramsey: Again, I understand and appreciate the technical choices in the production. However, I don’t generally love autotune. Because I prefer hearing the boys without it as much as possible, this just isn’t a favorite.
Track 8: Filter
Mother Teresa: WHERE DO I EVEN START. The Latin influences are strong with this one. Jimin’s airy, smooth vocals are literally the basis of my life. Everything about this is so Slytherin, so Jimin, that I can’t help but stan. I adore the guitar, especially! When he talks about changing himself depending on who said person wants, well, that hit hard.
The one to change your world, I’m your filter
Overlay me in your heart
Gordon Ramsey: After hearing Jimin’s previous solos Lie and Serendipity, I have to admit that this one took a little bit to get used to. I realized that the sound totally fits his voice, but it’s not naturally a sound I’d reach for if that makes sense?
Track 9: My Time
Mother Teresa: Guys. The first time I heard this*, my jaw dropped. Jungkook’s voice is my absolute favorite in the whole wide world, and he didn’t disappoint in his solo song with rich, emotional vocals. But from songs like Begin and Euphoria, I was NOT expecting these RnB vibes. But they were there and I couldn’t and still can’t. Jungkook freaking slayed. He came, he saw, he took my heart, my soul and my tears. Quite a lot of tears, actually, because this song really tugs at the heartstrings.
*i think what past me means to say is :”after i stopped screaming long enough to actually listen to the song”
Oh, I think I was in yesterday
‘Cause everybody walk too fast
I’m a little kid grown up not knowing it (Like a child who got lost)
It’s literally about how since he was 15(?) and a trainee up until now, he’s unsure of exactly who he is, and what he’s missed on. He didn’t grow up like his friends, and have a normal life. But like the emotional chronological journey of these lyrics? Incredible.
Gordon Ramsey: does it look like i’m in the mood to gordon ramsey this song right now. if you answered yes, then clearly i haven’t done my job properly.
Track 10: Louder than Bombs
Mother Teresa: First of all, I believe that Troye Sivan co-wrote the lyrics? Bits and pieces of his influence definitely come through! As for the song itself, it’s really mellow, and haunting. It doesn’t drop the way you’d expect it to, and that’s a good thing. And the way it fades off at the end is mesmerizing. Lyrically, this is another darker, heartbreaking one. The transition from painful to almost hopeful is…brilliant.
Louder than bombs, I say (Ah)
I’ll tell it in front of the world (Ah)
Louder than bombs, I say (Oh, oh, oh)
Gordon Ramsey: I think the lack of a drop was something to get used to, for sure. This is a different-sounding melody for sure, and while I personally love it, it’s not going to be for everyone.
Track 10: ON
Mother Teresa: This is the title track from the album, and there is MUCH to flail about. First of all, that music video? A CULTURAL RESET. Is it Maze Runner? Is it Lord of the Rings? IS IT THE LION KING?! no one knows. But it’s gorgeous anyways, and the dance break is inhumanely epic. Anyways, I watched the little behind-the-scenes they had for this, and I loved seeing the UCLA marching band, brass, and gospel choir doing their thing. The entire song is super upbeat, and catchy. Jungkook’s bridge is the definition of angelic. Absolute perfection. Like this song was already amazing, but that bridge carries it straight to heaven.
Can’t hold me down ‘cuz you know I’m a fighter
Carried myself into this beautiful prison
Find me and I’m gonna live with ya
Gordon Ramsey: I’m going to be honest with y’all: I don’t like the Sia version. At all. The few lines she has are so USELESS. Also, her lower register doesn’t quite fit. I feel bad about it but I mean those are my feelings. It’s just not a great collab.
Track 12: UGH!
Mother Teresa: This is, quite literally, a banger. It’s got vibes of modern hip-hop, and those guns in the background pop off. tHe cOnCErT iS gOiNg tO bE wiLd*. I especially love how this song expresses the rapper’s rage against those who use their rage against others anonymously online, or express hate.
*i write these late at night please excuse me
I can rage, but if there were to be damage done
To others’ lives, I don’t like
That’s stop, ayy
Gordon Ramsey: I don’t know how to say this nicely…but this isn’t Tear. Tear will forever be my favorite rapline song. I really have nothing else Ramsey-esque to whine about except that rap is again NOT MY THING. BECAUSE I AM STRANGE HUMAN*.
*again, please excuse the sleepdrunk failure of englishing
Track 13: Zero O’Clock
Mother Teresa: The sincerity really does shine through in this track. The harmonies and guitar are so chill and bright, it really makes you want to smile. I think everyone had good line distribution! Jimin carried the second pre-chorus. Jin and V blend so perfectly with the vibes of the song I can’t. And well, Jungkook…his opening and bridge verses are magical. THIS IS SUCH A SMILEY SONG I LOVE. Especially as it follows UGH!
The lyrics discuss how, at midnight (or zero o’clock) the day basically resets. Just take a breather, smile, and try again. It’s such a good reminder.
Gordon Ramsey: It’s not a stand-out on the album. It’s just not, vocally and musically. For that reason, it’s not my favorite vocal line song, although I do adore it. It’s simple is all.
Track 14: Inner Child
Mother Teresa: Honestly, everyone surprised me with their solo songs in this album. Deviating from the darker, more mournful sounds of previous solos Stigma and Singularity, Inner Child is a letter to V’s younger self. The guitar at the beginning is lovely, and Tae’s switches from his deeper register to his gorgeous higher notes is wonderfully done.
Gordon Ramsey: This song is absolutely beautiful, don’t get me wrong. At this point in the album though, I think the sound gets a little…easily passed over? I don’t know how else to explain it lol.
Track 15: Friends
Mother Teresa: THIS IS LITERALLY JIMIN AND TAEHYUNG PROCLAIMING THEIR UNDYING LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP TO EACH OTHER. How can you not love it??? The guitar, the harmonies, and the gospel choir in the back especially near the end is everything. I am left speechless every time I listen to this song. Also, this is Jimin’s first time co-writing and co-producing a song that got picked for the album, so obviously I’m super proud.
One day when this cheer dies down, stay (Ayy), hey (Ayy)
Gordon Ramsey: This is a love letter to friendships everywhere. What right do I have to criticize? None at all. I have no rights.
Track 16: Moon
Mother Teresa: Jin’s previous two solos Awake and Epiphany were both ballads. However, Moon is more like a soft pop song. His voice is so unique, and warm, and basically feels like home. I love how bouncy this is! Also, Jin is actually the sweetest person ever. The lyrics are literally about him being the moon to the earth, which is ARMY. Tell me you’re not crying.
Gordon Ramsey: This is another one that doesn’t instantly stand out. Sound-wise, it’s not my brand of pop in general.
Track 17: Respect
Mother Teresa: This song is hilarious. Especially the ending. I love how it opens with an old country song, then combines RM’s old-school style with Suga’s newer hip-hop. They’re discussing the definition of respect and how it gets thrown around a lot. It’s honestly just so much fun to listen to!
(Respect) Everybody says it so easily
(Respect) Though you don’t know what it is
(Respect) Please take a look again
Gordon Ramsey: I am neither country nor rap. So while I like this song, it literally is like SMACK-IN-THE-FACE everything you DO NOT LIKE. So yeah.
Track 18: We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal
Mother Teresa: This song is…beyond anything I could have ever expected. It’s the conclusion(?) to the Bulletproof sort-of-series, and the sound is much different than the previous ones. It’s more EDM than hip-hop, and the vocals and rapping are gorgeous together. But what really makes this song stick is the emotional richness to their tones, and the lyrics themselves.
(Yeah, we got to heaven)IT IS A SONG TO ARMY
Like, they’re literally saying how they’ve struggled so so much, and how they were only seven members. But now, through seven years, they have their fans and together they’re bulletproof. Some may call it too sentimental but it is in fact one of the most heartfelt songs I’ve ever heard.
Gordon Ramsey: Sound-wise, it’s not my favorite. But it is one of those songs that just…works. Because it’s so magnificent, I don’t know. It does.
Track 19: Outro: Ego
Mother Teresa: Hobi is actual sunshine. From the way it starts off with RM’s hardcore intro from 2 Kool 4 Skool (their debut album) into a bright anthem, it’s the perfect way to end the album. I mean, you can’t help but smile throughout the entire song!! And the ending is perfect.
(Ready, set, and begin)
Gordon Ramsey: I love Hobi with my whole heart. However, his style of rapping isn’t my favorite. But that’s just me!
My Top 3 Tracks:
- My Time
- On (this could possibly switch out depending on the day lol)
So that’s it! This was so long and took me forever to write, but I hope you enjoyed! Tell me: have you listened to this? What’s your favorite track?