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The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Jung Kook of BTS shines in “Golden”

Jung+Kook+of+BTS+tops+music+charts+and+breaks+records+with+his+debut+album%2C+%E2%80%9CGolden.
Bighit Music
Jung Kook of BTS tops music charts and breaks records with his debut album, “Golden.”

Nicknamed the “Golden Maknae” for his “golden” talents as a dancer and singer, and for being the “maknae,” meaning the youngest, Jung Kook lives up to his name. He glows beyond his role as the center and youngest member of BTS in his first solo album “Golden.” Released on Nov. 3, the 11-track album features Jung Kook’s versatility as an artist through several music genres, as he collaborated with artists including DJ Snake, Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran.

While Jung Kook recently debuted as a soloist, he is no rookie to the music industry. As a member of the record-breaking and most successful boy band, BTS, Jung Kook and his bandmates continue their reign as a global sensation, even after their hiatus announcement. Until 2025 when BTS will promote as a group again after all the members fulfill their mandatory military service, the seven members are focusing on their solo projects. Though he was the last member to reveal his project, Jung Kook didn’t disappoint.

Prior to the release of his album, Jung Kook released two tracks that would be on the album as singles: “Seven” featuring Latto and “3D” with Jack Harlow, both of which topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts. “Seven” stayed at No. 1 on the Global 200 for six consecutive weeks. The song also broke other massive records, including being the fastest song of all time to reach one billion streams on Spotify.

While this monumental success wasn’t expected, it definitely wasn’t surprising. In 2018, BTS’s album titled “Love Yourself: Answer” featured a solo song from each member of the group. Jung Kook’s song, “Euphoria,” became the most streamed song on Spotify by a Korean male soloist and the only B-side track by a Korean artist to reach 300 million streams on the largest music-streaming platform.

With such success, fans eagerly anticipated to see if his album would be as golden as its name. The main track, “Standing Next to You,” showcases Jung Kook’s talents as not only a singer, but also a performer. The funky jazz beats and dramatic build up to the chorus create a refreshing, upbeat and classy song that proves why Jung Kook is the next superstar. This track is nothing short of impressive, as it incorporates a different genre of pop music Jung Kook hasn’t covered before with his powerful, yet angelic, voice. Even as he dances along to the beat with an intricate and mesmerizing choreography, his voice remains steady and thundering, demonstrating why he shines the most on stage.

While “Standing Next to You” has an energetic aura, the fan-favorite “Yes or No” calms the listeners’ souls with a simple guitar and electronic beat in the background, accompanied by Jung Kook’s distinct vocals and harmonies. The song is a relaxing yet playful R&B song that keeps fans singing along as they nod their heads to the beat. Similarly, his collaboration with DJ Snake on “Please Don’t Change” features a basic yet faster paced electronic beat. This rhythm contrasts with Jung Kook’s vocals; as the beat drops during the chorus, his alluring voice softens as he pleads, “Could you, could you please? / Please don’t change.”

Even as he dances along to the beat with an intricate and mesmerizing choreography, his voice remains steady and thundering, demonstrating why he shines the most on stage.

Through each track, Jung Kook sings about the universal emotion of love and its complexities. While he stated in an interview with Apple Music that none of these songs are his personal stories, these passionate feelings can be felt through his voice.

The love he sings about slowly transitions from carefree and excited in “Seven” to despairing and sorrowful in “Hate You.” Written and produced by Shawn Mendes, Jung Kook masterfully delivers the loving hatred one feels from their love’s betrayal — despite being hurt, their heart still beats for their lover. The repetitive piano notes comfort listeners as he narrates his sentiments with his melancholic and soothing voice, even if they aren’t experiencing the same situation.

These heavy emotions carry through his tenth track, “Shot Glass of Tears.” As Jung Kook ponders, “Tell me, am I ever gonna heal again?”, he provides solace to not only those who’ve lost their love, but also to those stuck in a time of hopelessness.

From loving someone “seven days a week” to taking “a shot glass full of tears,” Jung Kook fulfills his role as the “Golden Maknae.” Proving his all-around artistry and already breaking numerous records with just his first solo album, “Golden” marks the beginning of his journey to shine even brighter as a global pop star.

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About the Contributor
Emily Wong, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Emily joined the Tribune to express her voice on important issues and stayed for the journalism community who made the experience even more enjoyable. She was previously in the Journey program in middle school. In her free time, you might catch Emily secretly watching her K-dramas, scrapbooking, or watching travel vlogs. This year, her goal is to produce more high-quality articles she can be proud of. If she could be any other person on the Tribune, she would be Abby for her kind heart and admirable work ethic.

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