Right on schedule, BTS released another preview for their upcoming album, Map of the Soul: 7 yesterday. This is the second of two planned “comeback trailers”, the band’s usual teaser during the rollout of a new album cycle and obviously their definition of “comeback” is a little different than how we read it in the west. In the west, when you’re on a comeback, presumably you’ve been away for an extended period of time. Back in August, BTS’s label, Big Hit, announced that they’d be taking an “extended” break, their first since 2013. It lasted all of a month. And it happened after their last album release in April 2019.
So as you can see, by western standards, it’s hardly a comeback. But then again, when we’re talking about BTS, they don’t necessarily operate by western standards and realities. The reality for Jin, the band’s oldest member, is that he’ll be 28 years old this year and reportedly will have to enlist in the military and serve for 21 months by June according to South Korean law. As he told CBS This Morning last year:
"As a Korean, it's natural. And someday, when duty calls, we'll be ready to respond and do our best."
It’s not yet known what the band has planned during Jin’s absence but, obviously, Map of the Soul: 7 holds that much more significance given what they’re staring down.
This new comeback trailer is called “Outro: Ego” featuring j-hope. While “Black Swan” was dark and moody, “Ego” is upbeat, though no less introspective as you can tell by the trailer, as it opens with images from the band’s first video all those years ago and he sings about what he’s been through and who he’s been over time.
As we’ve seen, BTS appears to be wrestling with their fame and their future on this album, what it means to be part of the biggest band in the world and how they’re surviving it. I don’t know how I’m surviving it. The fashion alone is killing me. I want their clothes, I want their hair, I want their makeup, I even want their manicures.
Check out j-hope’s whole look in this video. The fit of the sweater is perfect. The jeans are perfect. The nails are perfect. His pores are perfect.
Yours in gossip,