Chapter two is officially here! j-hope of BTS has released his debut solo album Jack In The Box, and there’s so much to process! Hobi is one of the best storytellers in the music industry, and that is proved with every single detail of this album. j-hope worked on every aspect of the album, including music, concept, album design, and music videos.
We might be in chapter two of BTS’ career right now, but that hasn’t stopped Hobi from giving us another few stories to unpack. j-hope has asked ARMY to listen to Jack In The Box in order, “as if flipping through a book.” We definitely agree. It’s the key to the storytelling! The narration of the album is incredibly fluid but nonetheless takes us on such a big journey that it might seem a little overwhelming at first.
If you want more details on the album’s story, don’t worry! Jack In The Box can be broken down and understood into five sections or chapters, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do right here!
‘Intro,’ ‘Pandora’s Box,’ And ‘MORE’
The album begins with an explanation of how j-hope got his name and became the artist and idol we all know and love. ‘Intro’ and ‘Pandora’s Box’ perfectly set the tone for the album, both musically and thematically. With a sample from a reading of the Ancient Greek myth narrating, “Hope gave people the will to keep on living amidst the pain and strife,” these tracks celebrate Hobi being the light he is whilst also alluding to the struggles he admits to further into the album.
‘MORE’ was a prerelease track, so we’ve been streaming it non-stop for two weeks already. Hobi has been listening to this for even longer, though (two years), as he revealed on his album release Vlive that he wrote this track way back in April 2020. ‘MORE’ is a declaration of j-hope’s passion and desire. He’s ready to show the audience “what more [he] can offer!”
‘STOP’ And ‘= (Equal sign)’
‘Stop’ and ‘= (equal sign)’ are full of hope and the sort of world views many ARMY associate with j-hope; respect, love, equality, and an unending belief in the good of humankind.’ = (Equal sign)’ has some of our favorite lyrics in the whole album, such as “Let’s roll / with love / with trust / with respect / step by step” and “hate will paralyse your mind / gotta see the other side / it costs ya nothin’ to be kind.”
‘Music Box: Reflection’
‘Music Box: Reflection’ serves as an interlude and tipping point in Jack In The Box. The creepy music box instrumental becomes more ominous, and we start to feel j-hope’s shadows being revealed.
‘What if…,’ ‘Safety Zone’ And ‘Future’
The inner shadows that are the album’s focal point fully come out during ‘What if…,’ ‘Safety Zone,’ and ‘Future.’ ‘What if…’ is Hobi questioning if he would still be so hopeful if he hadn’t been so successful, and is essentially him trying to detangle the identities of j-hope and Hoseok from one another, to figure out who he really is.
‘Safety Zone’ is another question. This time, it’s “Where’s my safe zone?” as Hobi searches for a home to rest and process all the success he’s had at such a young age. In ‘P.O.P (Piece Of Peace) pt1) from Hopeworld, j-hope wanted to give people courage and light, and now it’s his turn.
‘Future’ feels like Hobi is coming out the other side of these struggles, but not forgetting the lessons he learned on the way.
Along with ‘MORE,’ the other main track is ‘Arson.’ In the album closer, j-hope is trying to decide between his passions and his inner shadows, whether to put the fire out or let it rage on. Ultimately though, j-hope’s creativity and talent won’t allow him to quit, and he rises from the ashes as things burn down around him.
Look, we meant what we said: If there’s one thing j-hope is going to do, it is, tell us an epic tale!
There’s still plenty more to come from Hobi too. We’ve got that headline performance at Lollapalooza still to come at the end of this month! We’re already manifesting that every track from the album makes it onto the setlist. We’re so proud of Hobi, and we can’t wait to see what the ‘Future’ has in store!
What do you think of j-hope’s Jack In The Box? Got a favorite track yet? Any theories that we missed? We need to know all your thoughts over on Twitter @TheHoneyPop or visit us on Facebook or Instagram!
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