It has been over a year since BTS’ solo endeavors commenced with j-hope’s memorable debut album, Jack In The Box. In celebration of its first anniversary, j-hope released Jack In The Box (HOPE Edition), a repackaged physical version.
Due to his current mandatory military service, j-hope constructed aspects of this release before he enlisted. The album announcement, released on July 16 through Weverse, revealed important elements of the project, including the cover art and tracklist.
Jack In The Box (HOPE Edition) contained every song from the original version and five additional tracks. The additions included audio of STOP, Future, and Equal Sign from his historic solo performance as a Lollapalooza headliner last summer, and instrumental versions of MORE and Arson, the two singles from Jack In The Box.
Along with the added tracks came fresh concept photos. Although the theme of the HOPE Edition aligned with the original album, different photos created a new experience for fans. j-hope even took fans behind the scenes of his jacket shoot for the album, giving viewers extra content and allowing them to see how this photoshoot came to life.
j-hope wore black and white attire with hints of mint green and pink in the background, adding vibrance to the photos. Additionally, j-hope emphasized boxes within these photos, similar to the original project’s concept. This stylization allowed the focus to be on j-hope’s modeling abilities, the simplistic color schemes, and the theme of breaking free from an enclosed box.
Since j-hope could not physically promote the album, creative measures were taken to share this project. Not only did fans get new photos and behind-the-scenes content, but they got a short animated video showcasing cartoon versions of the two characters j-hope represented in the concept photos, one wearing a black suit and the other a white one. j-hope also included buildable paper toy versions of these characters in each physical album.
Also, since j-hope could not unbox his album on camera like the members typically do after releases, some of his members did so instead. Those who had not enlisted at the time of the album’s release, RM, SUGA, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, recorded individual videos unboxing the album, showing fans the merchandise each box contains. The packaging includes a CD, a photobook, a lyric book, a paper toy, stickers, a poster, and photo cards.
Although he could not share this album as grandly as he did last year, j-hope felt it imperative to release the new version now. He wanted to commemorate the anniversary of a project he holds dear to his heart and give something special to ARMY while he is away.
j-hope briefly touched on his mindset behind this project during his jacket shoot but gave a deeper explanation on episode 14 of SUGA’s variety show, “Suchwita”. When Jack In The Box was initially released, j-hope had no plans of creating a physical version. However, after heeding SUGA’s advice and getting pleas from fans, he changed his mind. Additionally, j-hope became influenced by other members who released solo albums after him with physical versions. He understood the overwhelming demand from fans and later felt regretful that he had not released a physical version, prompting him to create the HOPE Edition.
The emotions and hard work that j-hope experienced did not go unnoticed as fans showed their appreciation for his attentiveness to their concerns and requests by purchasing his album massively. ARMY’s dedication resulted in the album re-entering the Billboard 200 chart on August 28 at a peak of No. 6, becoming j-hope’s first Billboard Top Ten album as a soloist and the second-highest selling album of its first week.
Written by: Amaya
Edited by: Lisa K
Designed by: Achan
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