A golden debut


Jeon Jungkook of BTS drops a shining solo album worthy of his popular nickname

Mahjabin Rahman

On November 3, Jeon Jungkook released his first solo album Golden, something that his fans around the world have been anticipating for a while now.

Jeon Jungkook, the youngest member of BTS is known for being good at everything he does and that’s why his nickname is “Golden Maknae” which means golden youngest. Not so surprising that his first solo album’s name is also Golden

In one of his interviews during the promotion of his second single “3D” when he said he would show a more mature version of himself to his fans, we knew we were about to see and hear something new from him and we were not disappointed. In this album we get to see collaborations with a lot of talented Western artists. We get meaningful lyrics in every song with the mesmerizing vocals of Jungkook.

Golden has eight new tracks and three previous singles. The first song of this album is “3D” featuring Jack Harlow. It is a pop song. It expresses the feeling of wanting to meet someone in the third dimension. Musically, and visually with this track, JK wants to hearken back to 2000s pop, with a clean, minimalist aesthetic and a catchy hook that gets stuck inside of our brains and we cannot help but hum it all day.

“Closer to You” featuring Major Lazer is the second track of the album. Just having Major Lazer in the collaboration credits tells fans who are familiar with both their styles to expect a techno-pop banger that is sure to be the rage in the club. “Love me at my lowest, I’ll love you when you are barely holding on” – with these lyrics Jungkook makes a promise to love his partner when they are not at their best. The way Jungkook uses his voice in a low tone, that makes this song more sensational.

The third and eleventh track of this album is “Seven” featuring Latto explicit and clean version. This was the first song that got an MV, and it was a throwback to a 90s style of romance where a lovesick boy chases his love interest around town, and it signalled to fans a stark departure from the “Kookie” they have seen in BTS so far. Musically, this song sits somewhere between RnB and pop, and may be compared to the Craig David classic “Seven days,” which gets a modern day update with a spicy rap bridge by Latto. Han So-Hee was casted in the MV and it debuted at #1 on the Billboard hot 100 songs chart.

The main single for this album is “Standing Next to You” which is a pop song. This song has an old school pop vibe with its rhythms. Both the MV and the song itself pay heavy tribute to the style and sensibility of Michael Jackson, with JK borrowing some of the late King of Pop’s iconic dance moves in the dance break. Jungkook has made no secret of his ambitions to rule pop, and this song is the least subtle nod to those grand plans. “They can’t divide us, we’ll survive the test of time” – here symbolizes the love between Jungkook and ARMY which is unconditional and he believes it can’t be divided. But there are some lyrics that indicate an intimate relation which is kept hidden from everyone. This song is mysterious and that makes this song more interesting.

“Yes or No” starts with Jungkook’s confirmation that this is not a love song. Lyrically, this song is a search for simplicity amidst a chaos of emotions, he is trying to put his feelings here and he wants to clear the thoughts that have created a traffic inside his brain. He wants to know short and straight yes or no answers for his questions and this has reflected in the easy listening experience of the classic pop sound of this track and what are those questions? Listen to the song and find out for yourself. 

The sixth track of this album is “Please Don’t Change” which features DJ Snake. A song in the true late-millennial genre of pop, it pairs a chill, island beat with a deeper message about identity and fame, the desire for someone to not change and to be true to himself under the spotlight. Listening to the song, it gives the impression that Jungkook is talking about himself. Jungkook, who is always in front of the cameras and under the spotlight. He wishes that he does not change because he loves this version even when he is not in front of the camera he loves himself.

“Hating you is the only way it doesn’t hurt, and then Jungkook’s melodious voice sings in a heartbreaking melody: “So I’m gonna hate you”. This is the seventh track which was co-written by Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, who is known for his heartfelt pop ballads and Jungkook really gets to flex his mastery over vocals in this slow burn of a song. This song tells a story of a break-up and the difficult feelings that emerge in that state. How the narrator feels like he needs to hate that person whom he loved once and now needs to think of that person as villain so it becomes easier to overcome the pain. This song proves how beautiful Jungkook’s voice is when he puts all his emotions together and sings.

“Somebody” is an R&B influenced track which has a catchy beat to it. In this song Jungkook lets go of someone he loves and hopes that person finds someone new but he thinks that the new somebody is not like him. This song shows Jungkook’s inner insecurities and self-awareness. 

With a touch of 2016 pop music Jungkook comes with his ninth track “Too Sad To Dance.” In this song, Jungkook expresses that the inner struggles and loneliness make it hard to feel happiness. 

“Shot Glass of Tears” is where Jungkook asks himself if he is ever going to feel or heal again. The overwhelming sadness is surrounding his heart. The shot glass symbolizes his heart and his heart is containing that sadness just like shot glasses contain drinks.

He always had a unique vocal and for this album he tried different variations and with each song he showed us his perfection. Each song delivered a new kind of emotion that made us feel what he was feeling. He binds us together with his voice.

As fans we have seen Jungkook as the youngest of BTS members and seen him grow with his brothers. But we were always curious to know how he would be as a solo artist. With Golden he has shown us how much he has matured as an artist. In this album he has worked with lots of people, he has expanded his criteria and finally he has spread his wings.

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