BTS broke another record yet again, and this time it’s through the power of South Korea’s ‘It Boy’ Jimin. He just dropped his first album, Face, and sold more than a million physical copies on the first day of release, making Jimin the first Korean soloist to do so.
Much like the recent solo albums that were released by his fellow BTS brothers, Face is an album that showcases Jimin’s artistry and story. Dipping into the various mix of emotions he’s experienced during the past few years ranging from anger, happiness, and loneliness, Face harbours the rawness of Jimin’s feelings turned into works of art.
There was a lot of uncertainty on what the album would be since it was announced, but when the teasers dropped, so did everyone’s jaws. Jimin had gently revealed different sides of him, and his album promotions crept up slowly until he shocked his fans with the pre-release of the ‘Set Me Free Pt. 2’ music video.
With so many feats and victories on the first day of the album’s release, here are some of our favourite moments from Face.
Set Me Free Pt. 2, the pre-release single
“My song talks about freedom and moving forward,” Jimin says in his interview with Consequence. A whole soundscape of brass orchestra and choir, with trap elements, intense vocals, and the stylistic incorporation of autotune in one of its verses, ‘Set Me Free Pt. 2’ was a pre-release track that shocked its audience. But more than the song itself was the dramatic interpretative choreography that many have described as poetry in motion. “We tried to focus on the performance to express the really intense vibe of the song,” he adds.
Really, you just have to witness the music video yourself to understand what made the song’s production and performance a work of art.
Like Crazy, the lead single
Inspired by the Drake Doremus film of the same name, ‘Like Crazy’ is a bittersweet synth-pop that deals with a range of emotions that showcases Jimin’s diverse musical stylings. Co-written by his fellow BTS brother and leader RM, the song also has two versions; one in the Korean vernacular, and another in English.
“The main track feels happy, but there’s also loneliness about it,” he says in his interview with the Rolling Stone. There is a hazily intoxicating mood that the song fleshes out, giving the audience this fleeting feeling of happiness but at the same time loneliness, further emphasising the creativity of its production. The interpretative choreography of the live performance itself (as first seen on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon) pays homage to Jimin’s passion in dancing, and you can see how dance played a big element in the creation of Face.
Face-off, the opening track
While ‘Set Me Free pt. 2’ and ‘Like Crazy’ were mind-blowing releases, the opening track ‘Face-off’ has also been gaining a lot of traction with the fans. Particularly, because of the lyrics and emotions that Jimin is portraying.
Eerily starting off with a snippet of Flohwalzer’s ‘Flea Waltz’, a simple piano arrangement that Jimin’s been seen playing from time to time whenever he touches a piano, the song immediately warps into a darker tone. There is anger, honesty, and directness in the song, and there was no room to beat around the bush. “Tonight, I don’t wanna be sober, pour it up, it’s all f*cking over,” Jimin sings.
Alone and Jimin’s lower register
As an idol well-known in the music scene for his silky, unique voice and his high notes, there are a few songs where Jimin fully utilises his voice on the lower register. Of course, Jimin takes the opportunity to show us his vocal range with the melancholic RnB ballad ‘Alone’. The song tackled his feelings and experiences during the height of the pandemic, and much like the song title, on his loneliness. There is an overflowing tension in ‘Alone’ that almost personifies the feeling of isolation.
Letter, the hidden track
For the millions of fans, one of the biggest surprises during the album release was the hidden track ‘Letter’, a song that’s only available on the physical copy of Face. There was no prelude or promotion for this track at all, but once eagle-eyed fans noticed a blank page on the album featuring the song’s lyrics embedded onto it, the news quickly spread, and the song became a fan-favourite after some fans had uploaded snippets.
‘Letter’ features a soothing guitar arrangement and the background of waves crashing on the shore, but an element that takes the cake are the background vocals of his co-member Jungkook of BTS. The song has a very distinct tone that separates it from the rest of the album with lyrics that could only be described as comforting and sincere.
Having been with BTS for over a decade, Jimin has ventured into unchartered territory that was met with a certain type of fear that he had to overcome. A lot of research, writing, traveling, and introspection had come into play, all while he led the efforts into the album’s production. Face explores his conflicting feelings about himself as an artist and as an individual, and with Jimin’s dedication to his craft, his solo debut surpassed our expectations.