Speechless. Speechless is how I would describe my experience listening to BTS member Jimin’s new solo single “Set Me Free Pt. 2,” a pre-release to get fans ready for his first solo album Face, due out March 24th. It’s fair to say that many people with even just a small amount of exposure to BTS would describe Jimin as the sweet angel type. With his ‘mochi’ smile, elegant dance skills, and soft but strong vocals, Jimin has already proven himself to be an excellent performer. With the announcement that Jimin would be releasing his first solo album, speculation ran and still continue to run wild with what kind of music we can expect from the singer. With “Set Me Free, Pt 2.,” Jimin sets the stage for an epic and grandiose experience.
Immediately kicking things off with orchestral strings and opera-like chorals, the song quickly adds in some marching band winds with a pounding beat. The track sounds like something out of a movie trailer; bombastic and intense, giving me goosebumps each time I hear it. Matching the intensity, Jimin utilizes autotune a lot in this song, which I’ll be honest, I’m usually not the biggest fan of. I do believe that it can be used stylistically to enhance the feel of a track, and its use on Jimin’s vocals definitely does. It makes his voice pierce through the loudness of the track and makes sure it doesn’t overwhelm him.
His delivery switches between quick-fire spits of fire and his softer enchanting tone with ease. Lyrically, the song is very straightforward, which like autotune, can be a hit or a miss for me, it can make a song not as engaging or too repetitive, but in this case, it matches the intention of the song in being loud and clear, making sure that there is no mistaking what Jimin’s intention is.
“Look at me now / I won’t stop, even if they mock me / Going insane to stay sane / Raise your hands for the past me,” Jimin defiantly declares in the pre-chorus. This song, as the title obviously tells us, is Jimin allowing himself to completely let go, and do whatever the hell he wants. Through demands to get out of his way and declarations that this is just the beginning of his ‘prime time,” Jimin sings each line with confidence and impassioned expression.
With “Set Me Free, Pt.2,” Jimin has subverted many listeners’ expectations of what the singer was going to showcase in his first solo album. In the music video for this song, Jimin’s chest at points is covered in German text, which eagle-eyed viewers discovered is a poem by Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke. An interesting reference to make, especially when we translate it; “I live my life in ever-widening circles / that stretch themselves out over all the things / I won’t, perhaps, complete the last one, but I intend of trying / I circle around God, around the ancient tower / and I circle for thousands of years / and I don’t know yet / Am I a falcon, a storm/ or a mighty song.” Reading both Rilke’s and Jimin’s words leave me with the thought that this single is just a small taste of what we will witness from an artist ready to step back from his duties as a BTS member and for a moment, completely liberate himself as a “mighty song.”
Featured Image: BigHit Music