Jungkook’s much anticipated solo album has finally dropped and it does not disappoint! Golden, a play on words for our golden maknae’s decade-old nickname given to him by RM, was released on November 3, 2023 and it is everything ARMY knew it would be.
Golden consists of 11 tracks, including the previously released singles Seven feat. Latto (explicit and clean versions) and 3D feat. Jack Harlow along with eight new songs. While the entire album is based on the word “love,” it is split into two parts – being in a relationship and after a breakup. During the latest episode of “Suchwita”, Jungkook told SUGA, “The key theme was the most universal emotion of all – love.” He explained that all songs are related to love, with the first six being uptempo to express when you are in love, and the last four, starting with Hate You, taking on a much more sentimental tone.
The First Half
The album opens with 3D feat. Jack Harlow, a song that was initially released in September 2023 and went to number one in several countries. The pop R&B track allows Jungkook’s smooth melodies to shine over the catchy percussion sounds. The album then moves on to Closer to You feat. Major Lazer with lyrics showcasing the feelings of falling deeper with someone new, trying again, and restarting again as new relationships often do. This track is heavy with the electronic dance music that made the Jamaican-American trio popular. Seven feat. Latto (Explicit Ver.) follows, bringing along its dance vibes. Jungkook’s love interest has the “weight of the world” on their shoulders and he is all too happy to help ease their mind, seven days a week.
Golden’s title track is next, and can we just say, ARMY, it is a BANGER! Standing Next to You is reminiscent of late ‘70s and early ‘80s tracks with seriously funky bass and drums throughout. Fans of Michael McDonald may notice some familiar rifts, while fans of Michael Jackson will recognize the dance moves and might even hear MJ’s influence in Jungkook’s falsetto. Another well-known artist is featured on Yes or No: Ed Sheeran. Sheeran, a very talented artist, co-wrote the song and plays guitar while Jungkook asks whether his love interest is “feeling the rush” like he is.
As this relationship continues, Jungkook begs his partner to not change in the shortest song on the album. Please Don’t Change feat. DJ Snake adds yet another collaboration to Jungkook’s repertoire as he is joined by the French DJ and producer (along with Banx & Ranx). When the song ends, though, we realize something has changed as we quickly move from romance to heartbreak with Hate You.
The Second Half
Co-written by Shawn Mendes, Henry Walter (aka Crikut), Peter Wycroft, and Scott Harris, Hate You is a tearjerker for those of us who have been through a painful breakup that was not anybody’s fault. Even as he confesses, “I’m still in love, for what it’s worth,” it seems Jungkook knows it is over and hating the other person is the “only way it doesn’t hurt.”
With Somebody, our golden maknae moves from the previous stages of the grief cycle into acceptance, even telling his former lover, “don’t turn around and act like you don’t feel the same; we both know…it’s time to let go.” But as we all know, the grief cycle is not much of a cycle – it does not circle around, but rather is more like spaghetti, weaving in and out of the stages like some demented racetrack. Soon, Jungkook becomes Too Sad to Dance as he falls back into a depressed state knowing his lover “ain't coming back.”
He turns to drowning his sorrows and numbing the pain in Shot Glass of Tears, wondering, “am I ever gonna feel again? Tell me, am I ever gonna heal again?” Jungkook knows he is a different person after experiencing the highs and lows of this relationship, that he is “not the same as before,” due to all the changes that have occurred. But we hope that someday he will find love again, which will take all these painful memories away and make him an even stronger version of himself (maybe this is where Seven ft. Latto [Clean Version] comes into play to finish up the album?).
Golden is exactly what ARMY knew it would be, exactly what we wanted it to be. It is an expression of Jungkook himself, a young man blazing his own trail and figuring out his own growth. Worry not, Jungkook, ARMY will still be right behind you as you grow, so let’s go higher!
Written by: Marcie
Edited by: Ren
Designed by: Achan
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