The fact that Jin is the main character of the solo period after BTS announced their enlistment is quite interesting.
Since BTS announced that they would temporarily suspend their group activities as a part of their “resting period,” the first runner of their solo activities, declared as their second act, was J-Hope. He had done great achievements while doing overseas stages such as the LOLAPALOOZA festival with his full-length album “Jack In The Box,” which contains a total of 10 tracks.
There must have been quite a few people who predicted RM or Suga, the people in charge of BTS’s music identity, as the next runner, but the news that the next main character is Jin was quite interesting to many. It’s even a collaboration with Coldplay, whom Jin said he was a fan of. Jin has consistently presented different solo songs with his own emotions, but his first physical album this time comes as a surprise gift. “The Astronaut,” released on Oct 28th, is like a romantic confession on a winter’s day. This song is special because it embraces certain aspects of Jin.
Jin is about to join the army. “The Astronaut,” which Jin has been quietly preparing for amid the military service exemption issues, is a pop rock genre song he co-written with Coldplay’s vocalist and frontman Chris Martin. Acoustic guitar and synthesizer sound, combined with the unique soft and fracking vocals of Coldplay, make listeners feel like they are swimming in the universe. Jin has done various genres such as hip-hop, dance, pop, and rock ballad during BTS’s 10-year career, but he has shown his specific strength in songs that require delicate and rocking tones like solo songs such as “Awake”, “Epiphany”, and “Moon”, where his potentials are fully displayed. Furthermore, while his cool high notes are an advantage, this song drastically lowered the vocal range during the introduction. The sincerity emanating from the low notes amplified the emotional transmission.
However, what matters is that his songs have strongly shaken listeners’ hearts. “This Night,” which contains the longing after losing one’s loving pet, “Moon,” which compares his unconditional relationship with fans to the relationship between the moon and the earth, “Epiphany,” which sang about his identity and self-esteem, and even “Abyss” which talks about his burnout period, and “Super Tuna,” which shows his hobby of fishing. It’s a very powerful weapon, his ‘sincerity’. “The Astronaut” was also made thinking about those who would stay behind after the long hiatus. Chris Martin called during his performance, saying, “About six months ago, one of the members said to me, ‘I have to leave my group for two years to join the army in December.’ It’s the law there. He said he wanted a song to tell everyone that he loved them,” he shared. What a beautiful farewell letter. As the lyrics say, “A man from another planet decided to crash land on Earth while wandering in space,” he, who dreamed of becoming an actor, literally shows his sincerity as the “space,” joining an idol group, which was like an unknown land to him, and giving light to the “Galaxy” when he was swimming among the asteroids.
The first singing stage was also special. On October 28th (local time), Jin performed together with Coldplay at the Coldplay World Tour “Music of the Spheres”, which was held at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On the stage with artists other than BTS members, Jin showed an unfamiliar yet moving attitude. Along with Chris Martin’s introduction, he appeared in loose jeans, knitwear, and a jumper and sang “The Astronaut”, all the while amusing fans with eyes and expressions as if flying through space. Leaving behind various issues surrounding his group BTS, such as enlistment and solo activities, Jin seemed to be enjoying the performance to the fullest, showing his love for music and proving the fact that he is the happiest when with fans, that the upcoming hiatus will pass by with joy and determination. Furthermore, the sight of Jin running across the stage and hugging Chris Martin, who presented a gift-like song, bears strong resemblance to one from the movie “A Star Is Born”.
The LED screen at the show venue caught the sight of many fans being moved by Jin’s appearance, but the male idol did not seem to want a tearful greeting. At the end of his solo Weverse live broadcast after the performance, Jin brought up his military enlistment with no hesitation, saying “It’s essential”.
After the Grammys, I was preparing to go to the military. I didn’t like the cold, so I got an okay from the company to go in May and June of the summer. Then, we released a video saying that we would pause our group (activities) in June and enter solo (activities). I was indirectly revealing that I was going to the army.
He also added, “I think I will write about the military within a few days as soon as I return to Korea after the concert in Argentina. I was originally scheduled to enlist in June, but I waited until the concert in October (Busan) in respect of the fans. I didn’t want to perform in tears, so the announcement (of my enlistment) was late.”
He then talked about his wish to enlist in the summer or spring, or autumn since he didn’t like the cold, and his thoughts towards fans, and his decision to finish the Busan concert.
“The members persuaded me to do the (Busan concert) because it seemed like the last concert I could do (before going). The members said, ‘We weren’t able to do a proper concert with cheers in Korea’. I really thought a lot about whether I would be polite to the fans if I went to the military when it was cold, or whether I went during the hot weather that I like without performing (at the concert),” he said.
Finally, Jin explained why he announced his enlistment only after the Busan concert, saying, “I didn’t want the fans to watch the performance sadly because I said it was the last time.”
Instead of a tearful farewell, it seems that Jin decided to release “The Astronaut”, which conveys his most sincere feelings. In particular, the album relays Jin’s dream of meeting with his musical utopia, his thoughts and enlightenment about his 10-year career, his determination to remain young forever next to his loved ones, and the greetings he has to say. Also, he seems to be saying to fans that he will remain strong and unchanging with a smile.
As the eldest member of BTS and as a solo singer, Jin’s music world, which carries more importance than a so-called “Coolness”, is loved because of its various charms. The male’s idol “romantic side” is also concentrated in “The Astronaut”, carrying the image of a person who doesn’t sing unless he sincerely means it.