Editors’ Notes K-pop superstars BTS stayed productive during the 2020 COVID-induced quarantine—from lending their voice (and donating a million dollars) to the Black Lives Matter movement to releasing Agust D/SUGA’s D-2 mixtape and organizing an online concert to tide their ARMY fanbase over until in-person shows can happen again. The group also took time to sharpen their nihongo skills for MAP OF THE SOUL : 7 ~ THE JOURNEY ~, their fourth Japanese-language studio album. The collection assembles previously released songs (mostly from MAP OF THE SOUL : PERSONA and MAP OF THE SOUL : 7) but with the boys singing and rapping in Japanese. They also include new intros/outros, their original 2019 Japanese single “Lights,” and two new tracks for ARMY to obsess over—the reassuring “Stay Gold” and the high-note showcase “Your eyes tell.” BTS is huge in Japan, Asia’s biggest music market, selling millions of albums and selling out stadiums, so it makes sense the Bangtan Boys honor the support with this collection and a hearty Arigatō gozaimashita!

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