Following the tradition of previous BTS members, Jung Kook finally made his solo debut with his album “GOLDEN.” Before the release of the 11-track album, Jung Kook released several singles such as “Seven,” “3D” and “Standing Next To You.” Fans and casual listeners alike were waiting with anticipation for the release of the full album on Nov. 3.
Since its release, several of his tracks have made it to Billboard’s Hot 100 list, with “Standing Next To You” taking the lead at number five. Following the success of his BTS members with their solo album releases, Jung Kook is determined to pave his way to success with “GOLDEN.”
Starting strong with “3D (feat. Jack Harlow),” the upbeat summer bop serves as a reminder to fans that Jung Kook is more than just another pretty face. The song is one of the more mature tracks on his album, and as a result, it has been one of the more well-received tracks by ARMY, the name of BTS’ fanbase.
Tracks three and 11 are “Seven (feat. Latto),” both the explicit and clean versions respectively. Since its release in July, it has been deemed the song of the summer. With its quirky “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday” verse, the song is an upbeat track that exudes an overwhelming amount of charm and boy-crush vibes as Jung Kook vows to his lover that he will be devoted to them no matter what.
“Standing Next To You” is the showstopper of the album, racking up more than 41 million views on YouTube, and with the surprise concert Jung Kook held at Times Square on Nov. 9, fans can’t get enough of the 80s disco style song. Jung Kook’s vocals are accompanied by a variety of brass instrumentals and a cool bass to create a funky masterpiece that has been quickly taking over the charts.
Jung Kook’s collaborations with other artists, such as Harlow and Latto have proved a major success, and the success is further seen with his collaboration with artists and producers that have completely different ranges and ideas for music. Along with the 80s disco pop vibe that “Standing Next To You” delivered, there is also some more variety in other tracks of the album, such as the EDM-influenced tracks “Please Don’t Change (feat. DJ Snake)” and “Closer To You (feat. Major Lazer).” Though they are not as energetic songs as typical EDM songs usually are, they are still filled with alluring melodies accompanied by lyrics such as “devil always tempting / but who gon’ end the sentence?”
“Yes or No” is a catchy song about the doubts many have about falling in love, and how confusing it can be when there is no communication between people, leading to more confusion. Jung Kook’s earnest pleas to a possible lover are seen in the lyric, “are we falling in love? Say yes or no,” making it clear to the listener that even famous people aren’t exempt to the trials and tribulations of love.
“Somebody” is a quintessential radio track, with calm background music and lyrics that don’t deliver as well as the other songs of the album do, though it’s still a song that many will enjoy.
The ballads of the album are tracks seven, nine and 10, “Hate You,” “Too Sad to Dance” and “Shot Glass of Tears,” respectively. The much calmer, but still thought-provoking tracks, remind the listener that despite his status as a K-pop idol and global superstar, Jung Kook still feels the same feelings and faces the same troubles as the rest of us do. This is further cemented in “Shot Glass Full of Tears” with the line “Tell me, am I ever going to feel again?” as Jung Kook sings about the uncertainty that comes after a breakup when one doubts if one will ever feel anything again after such a rough time. Compared to the rest of the album, “Too Sad to Dance” and “Shot Glass of Tears” are the most honest tracks, and therefore, they are the ones that will stick with listeners the most.
Track seven, “Hate You,” is the album’s breakup song, with lyrics detailing the hate and hurt a person may feel for an ex such as “So I’m gonna hate you, gonna hate you / Paint you like the villain you never were.” The lyrics of the song make the track stand out, as it is one of the more calmer songs. The instrumentals and melodies take a step back to let Jung Kook’s calm vocals take center stage.
All in all, for a debut album, Jung Kook definitely hit the ball out of the park with “GOLDEN,” achieving the success many wish for a debut album.