I briefly talked about my thoughts on the first single from J-Hope’s new solo project Jack in the Box in my last blog post. He is the first member of BTS to release new solo music after the group announced that they would be focusing on projects outside of the group. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but he has gone in a different direction than his last mixtape. His new music and concept are much darker than the usual bright and cheerful rapper most of us have come to know.
But, to anyone who has been a fan and paid attention, J-Hope has mentioned how difficult it is to always be that happy member, because that’s not always him.
Jack in the Box… My Review!
To start off, I do love the intro and first track “Pandora’s Box”, as the entry into the rest of the album. The first single and music video released was “MORE” and I know that it’s not what I expected, but I love it. I feel like it’s a side not many of us were expecting, that dark, “emo” punk rock sound. But this would only show to be a small piece to the larger puzzle that J-Hope would be revealing to us with this album.
“= (Equal Sign)”, along with “Future”, are more up-tempo, “bright” tracks. It makes me smile to hear J-Hope singing on “= (Equal Sign)”. He has always been so much more than a rapper and dancer. And with “Future”, I love the entire vibe, and how well his tone fits with it.
Now we get to some of my favorites tracks on the album, starting with “What If..”. Firstly, can we appreciate the Wu Tang sample on this one?!! Also, the fact that he got it cleared to use on this album! But this is one of my favorites, and I love the slow down of the vocals right before the hook.
Another one that sticks out to me is “Safety Zone” with a slower flow, showing a more laid-back vibe. The vocals at the end of the song are amazing as well. Then we get to “Arson”, and I almost don’t know where to start. It’s such a great track, musically, and from J-Hope lyrically. I honestly didn’t think that I would love this song and video as much as I do!
It’s been so cool to see all the support for J-Hope from his group members, as well as his peers. His album release party looked like so much fun, and so much love was shown there and on social media. This “version” of Hobi was always there, but I am so happy for him, that he gets to finally show it. Plus, he’ll be performing at Lollapalooza, which I wish I could go to, but I’ll be there in spirit for that one 😊