How BTS’ ‘Dionysus’ Demonstrates the Group’s Musical Ambition

Even at a length of seven songs and 26 minutes, the new BTS album, Map of the Soul: Persona, was always going to be too big to fail. The K-pop group is an international phenomenon with a growing fan base in the United States. Map of the Soul: Persona, the follow-up to last year’s Billboard 200-topping Love Yourself: Answer, received a high-profile rollout, with a landmark performance on Saturday Night Live on Apr. 13, preceded by a stadium tour announcement, multiple social media teasers that stirred up the group’s fanatical online community, and an official music video for “Boy With Luv,” their new collaboration with Halsey.   Speaking of which, the American pop star’s entrance into BTS’s world -- along with Ed Sheeran co-writing new song “Make It Right” -- continues a trend of making the group more available to English-speaking audiences, one that began with past team-ups alongside Nicki MinajSteve Aoki and Desiigner. With the momentum that BTS possessed going into the release of Map of the Soul: Persona, which has spent the past few days setting YouTube records and striding toward the top of the Billboard 200, the album could have been creatively lackluster and still been a landmark achievement for a K-pop collection in America.