South Korean group BTS' power is such that they've declared it dawn around the world, and the internet is wide awake and buzzing with excitement. The biggest boy band in the world has just dropped their newest album, Map of the Soul: Persona, and with it, the music video for the lead single, "Boy With Luv," featuring pop diva Halsey.
The vibrant visual begins with Halsey sitting bored behind a ticket booth, closing up for the day. The scene then flashes to the septet, clad in various shades of hot pink, delivering their dynamic choreography — with a wink — in front of a retro movie theater named "Persona." The cinematic visual unfolds from there, setting members RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook against kaleidoscopic backdrops, singing, rapping, and dancing (Halsey herself busts a move in celebration). Halsey's airy vocals add dimension to the chorus, especially in the song's catchy "oh my my my" hook. Throughout "Boy With Luv" is a mix of sensuality and playfulness that's reflective of the kind of burgeoning love described in the lyrics: "Love is nothing stronger/than a boy with love."
As a nudge to fans, there are callbacks to their previous work peppered throughout "Boy With Luv," like V's "Blood, Sweat, and Tears"-esque look over his shoulder and the mention of "Icarus" and "wings" in the song's pre-chorus (alluding to their 2016 Wings trilogy). And in the final scenes, BTS dance on a Broadway-like stage with their entire discography illuminated on flashing marquees.
This parallels BTS' gritty 2014 anthem "Boy In Luv," a song about the angst and inner turmoil of young love. But "Boy With Luv" feels altogether different — it's more joyful, lighter, and more self-assured. The song, whose Korean title translates to "A Poem for the Small Things," is about the wonders of falling in love, and finding happiness in the little things. "I'm curious about everything, how's your day? Oh tell me, " sings Jimin. "What makes you happy?"
And in fact, one of the most compelling parts of the song is perhaps the most simple. Some maybe expected Map of the Soul: Persona's lead single, poised for radio airplay and featuring a major U.S. artist, to cater to a Western audience with a majority English lyrics. Instead, BTS is presenting a Korean-language track to the world that stays in line with who they are, trusting that the feeling they deliver through the song will speak for itself.
Map of the Soul: Persona boasts seven new tracks, from leader RM’s soul-searching rap solo "Intro : Persona" and the soft, brassy Ed Sheeran collab "Make It Right" to airy ballad "Jamais Vu" (sung by J-Hope, Jin, and Jungkook) and the swaggering hip-hop closer "Dionysus." According to the album's Spotify credits, RM is listed as having a hand in penning every track on Persona.
According to a statement from the band, the EP, which has already surpassed over 3 million pre-orders, is about sharing intimate and joyful moments with each other — especially between BTS and their fans, ARMY.
“We find strength and happiness in every moment," the statement reads. "You’ve given us so much love, and now we want to get to know our fans more. We filled our album with our genuine feelings and the messages that we want to share with you."
BTS will premiere "Boy With Luv" with a performance on Saturday Night Live on April 13, and the following month they’ll kick off their stadium world tour.