BTS have begun teasing their newest album, scheduled for release on the 21st by releasing many of the albums tracks beforehand. Early in the year we had Suga’s solo Shadow, then we had Black Swan (which I heavily overrated in my review), and now we have Outro: Ego, a track fronted by rapper J-hope. Although I absolutely adored last years Boy With Luv, and its accompanying album Map of Soul: Persona, these few pre-releases from “7” are beginning to worry me, and whilst Ego is a notable upgrade from the last few, it still doesn’t raise my anticipation for the groups newest record.
The best aspect about Ego is how upbeat it is. This automatically wins it points in my book, as I’m a full believer in jubilant over the top pop music. The retro hip-hop mashup at the start of the song is a nice treat, and the African inspired tribal beat is even better. It’s a perfect match for J-hope, whose over the top personality is well reflected in the tracks insistent bounce. The central hook, whilst a tad under developed is fun, providing the track with an anthemic pulse reminiscent of many FIFA World Cup anthems of old.
However, where the track really falters is its messy and frantic production. Although the drop is nostalgic, the high pitched synths do grate after a while. This is fixed near the tracks climax, where additional elements, such as background vocals are introduced to drown much of it out. Even though the vocal processing works better here than in Black Swan, it still isn’t done very well and limits much of the tracks enjoyment. The track also feels way too short, coming to an abrupt end when it seemed as though It was only starting to get going, resulting in a pretty unsatisfying listening experience. J-hope imbues the track with enough personality to make a pleasant song, but if this is the kind of material that most of their new album is going to consist of, then I better set my expectations pretty low.
Final Rating: 7.25 / 10