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The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Review | K-Pop star Jungkook’s ‘Golden’ album release shows a surprising side to him that listeners would have never expected

K-Pop star Jungkook released a widely anticipated all-English album on Nov. 3.
Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY S
Nov 20, 2022; Al Khor, Qatar; Jung Kook of BTS performs during an opening ceremony before a group stage match during the 2022 FIFA World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Even though all members of the South Korean boy group BTS have taken a break to fulfill mandatory military service, they refused to put their careers on the back burner, releasing individual musical albums.

One of the members, Jeon Jung Kook — who goes by the stage name Jungkook — had teased an album with the release of his summer single, “Seven,” featuring musical artist Latto on July 14. The music video consisted of him stating his intentions with South Korean actress Han So Hee through a series of terrible disasters.

Because of the song’s vibe, I was both stunned and pleasantly surprised by the catchy melodies and the electric guitar. It was evident that Jungkook spent time refining his English. The song wowed me and the community of K-Pop fans.

For context, throughout his early years as one of the main vocalists of BTS, he was almost always modest and never seemed like the type of artist to release a song like this one.

Featuring rapper Jack Harlow, Jungkook amped up the heat with another single, “3D,” on Sept. 23. The pair channeled an early 2000s vibe and declared feelings for someone from the first, second, and third dimensions.

I admired the simple music productions in the more sad and melancholic songs on the album, like the piano in “Hate You” and “Shot Glass of Tears.” The lack of instruments served to underscore Junkook’s voice in an even more pleasing way.

I found it interesting that both “Seven” and “3D” mainly had the drums and featured the electric and bass guitars, while the most recent song, “Standing Next to You,” released Nov. 2, featured a woodwind instrument alongside the bass guitar and drums that worked surprisingly well with the overall vibe.

While the song provided an experience that sounded orchestral, there were only a few more instruments added to the mix compared to other songs on the album.

The vibes, beats, and melodies in “Closer,” “Please Don’t Change” and “Yes or No” gave off that familiar and classic pop music groove. Jungkook passionately sings about the one topic that most pop singers address which ranges from initial attraction to an almost unhealthy obsession with a stranger.

I understand the path that he took with this album, probably because love is one of the more difficult emotions that anyone can navigate. No one really has a grip on it; the heart wants what it wants, and when it doesn’t have it or cannot get it in some way, the mind can spiral and fantasize.

It was enjoyable to watch an artist I’ve followed for years improve and grow to become a more refined version of himself. I look forward to his next albums, however many there may be.

When the album, “Golden,” finally came out, I immediately took a liking to the title. It is very fitting for Jungkook as an idol since he has been dubbed the “golden youngest” of his group many times because he does well in every song, dance, and activity that he puts his mind to.

You can’t ever know what love does to a person unless you experience it yourself, and I feel that is one of the main messages throughout “Golden.” In almost every song, Jungkook takes a bold approach to expressing his feelings.

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About the Contributor
Isabelle Lubguban, Arts Reporter
Isabelle Lubguban is a third-year student at the University of Iowa. She is majoring in English with a concentration of Creative Writing. This is her first year at the Daily Iowan as an Arts Reporter, and she enjoys doing photo and video editing in her free time.