Maop of the soul : 7 might just be their best album yet. Everything from the interlude to the music videos to the production and lyricism was completely mind-blowing. It is soon to be one year since the release of the glorious album that broke so many records and doubled the BTS fanbase, and so we thought it might be best to bring back the track that introduced the album and shocked the fans : Interlude: Shadow
interlude: shadow is so beautiful pic.twitter.com/aYWz0fBxtp
— ⁷ (exams) (@JIMINLUVB0T) February 8, 2021
Our first glimpse of Map of the Soul: 7 (MOTS:7) came in the form of a trailer that was released for the introduction track — Interlude: Shadow. Suga was chosen for this track and it was the perfect decision because the dark concept fits him so beautifully. He just has this specific ability to express the depths of his pain and sadness.
we talk about yoongi’s flow and lyricism a lot but we need a convo about his delivery and cadence. the way he changes his voice, slips into different attitudes with the lyrics and convey an emotion, feeling, PRESENCE is out of this world and deserves its own praise
— dia 🗡⁷ (@sugatalus) February 5, 2021
Interlude Shadow is about the lonely and dark side of fame. This is an idea the seven-piece have returned to frequently in interviews over the last two years – the notion that the more successful you get and the more you achieve the goals you once dreamt of in your bedroom, then the more heightened your anxieties become. It makes sense then, that ‘Interlude: Shadow’ – the first taste of map of the soul:7 – follows a similar narrative.
There were two main things that drew Armys to BTS with this track: the production and the depth of their lyrics. Interlude: Shadow is an introspective track, or better described by the Recording Acadamy as “an atmospheric pop ballad that converts into an industrial rap monster”. This track was also a blast from the past, as the beat was made from a sampling of their O!RUL8,2? intro (this explains why the album title was scattered across the music video).
In this track, Suga refers to the Shadow — one of the archetypes introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. The shadow represents the unwanted and undesirable parts of ourselves. This track also reminds us of their growth: from merely having these as goals, to eventually achieving them.
He repeatedly questions the price of fame, spitting raw, melancholic verses that compare stardom to a shadow or a burden that hangs above his head: “I’m afraid, flying high is terrifying/No one told me/How lonely it is up here.” He ponders how shallow and fleeting fame is, how a single mistake can mean a painful fall from a pedestal.
now i know sometimes running away is the next best thing to do, pause. people say the inside of that light is splendid, but it tries to become my shadow that grows bigger; it becomes a monster that swallows me.
› interlude: shadow
— yoongi lyric bot (@myglyricbot) February 8, 2021
The emotions embedded in “Interlude: Shadow” are somewhat reminiscent of “The Last,” a powerful track about depression from Suga’s 2016 soul-baring solo mixtape Agust D. Like most of the rapper’s songwriting, this track is a glance of his vulnerability, so as the intro to a new era, it might be a hint that BTS as a whole will be opening up to their fans more than they ever have before.
The music video is dark and harrowing, beginning with a zoom in on Suga standing at the end of a corridor as seven masked figures stand along the hallway facing seven doorways.
Map of the soul:7 gave us some of the best BTS creations ever such as Black Swan and ON. This album was a gold mine and everyone knew that the instant Interlude Shadow was released.
— Min Suga HQ⁷ (@MINSUGAHQ) February 10, 2021