The ground-breaking K-Pop band BTS is set to release its new record Map of the Soul: Persona on April 12— a day before the band’s SNL Performance and a month before their World Tour: Love Yourself: Speak Yourself. Persona will mark the end of the Love Yourself trilogy, which included two albums on the Billboard 200.
Like other installments in the Love Yourself trilogy, Persona includes four different versions of the album and concept art. Yet what makes this album highly anticipated is its theme: speaking your truth and being yourself. Perhaps BTS’s previous albums shed clues as to what we can anticipate about the upcoming record.
Love Yourself: Background
Since the dawn of their career in 2013, BTS has created an alternate dimension known as the Bangtang Universe. In the universe, each member plays a role in a fictional universe that skillfully weaves complex storylines into their albums, exploring a variety of themes and personas. Part of the fun for fans is speculating what’s fiction and what’s reality. BTS incorporates both made up and real stories into their art, including songs, concept photos, music videos, and more.
Love Yourself uses both elements to explore self-love and acceptance. It reveals the band members’ personal struggles with mental health, which arose from the shock of sudden, newfound success —and almost led the band to split. Fortunately, they didn’t because of fan dedication and loyalty.
What Should We Expect from Persona?
So how exactly does this new album’s theme fit into the last album and current story of the Bangtan Universe? Fans have linked psychiatrist Carl Jung’s Map of the Soul to the new album’s title, suggesting that their latest release will carry an even deeper message than the last record.
Twitter user @ilsansqueen maps the themes between BTS’s albums and short films using Carl Jung’s Map of the Soul theory.
Notably, band member Kim Nam Jun spoke at a UN press conference last year: “We have learned to love ourselves, so now I urge you to ‘speak yourself.’” The band has consistently expressed its gratitude toward fans and has encouraged them to use Love Yourself in their journeys of self-love.
Let’s try it and see if it works.