Marking their return with a performance on US TV show Saturday Night Live, K-pop’s BTS are back with their sixth EP, Map Of The Soul: Persona.
On the whole, Persona shows a softer, dreamier approach from the group compared to their Love Yourself trilogy of 2018. Halsey features on the chorus of Boy With Luv, where the funky bass and guitar lines over airy pads segue perfectly to the clinical lyrics.
Mikrokosmos and Jamais Vu feel intimate, with more hushed vocal stylings packed full of fragility and lo-fi choruses, that show a maturity to their songwriting credentials.
The album centrepiece is their Ed Sheeran collab Make It Right, which is one of their strongest songs to date. The faux-brass dictates the choruses, creating a perfect call
and response with Jungkook’s falsetto, “I can make it better/I can hold you tighter/On that long road/Oh you’re the light”, for the most memorable moment on Persona.
Intro and Dionysus open and close the EP with a lot more attitude than we’ve heard so far. Mixing harmonised hums with a 90s-era rap/rock crossover make for unexpected genre shifts, considering the consistency at the heart of Persona, but the songs definitely feel more lighthearted with the hip hop groove and glam rock guitar noodling.
Once again, BTS have proven why they are one of the best pop groups in the world.