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BTS already blew people away with the music from their upcoming album Map of the Soul: 7. The first three songs were each iconic and showed different pieces of the story BTS will tell with the album. So it comes as no surprise that the first concept photos released for BTS’s Map of the Soul: 7 raised the bar even more.

BTS concept photos
BTS | Noam Galai/Getty Images)

There are four different versions of ‘Map of the Soul: 7’

Map of the Soul: 7 comes out on Feb. 21, 2020. There are four different phases to the rollout of Map of the Soul: 7. The first phase consisted of the “Interlude: Shadow” comeback trailer, introduction of “Connect, BTS,” and the release of “Black Swan.”

The second phase featured the release of the “Outro: Ego” comeback trailer and the opening of three different “Connect, BTS” stops. On Feb. 10 at midnight KST, Big Hit Entertainment released the first set of concept photos for Map of the Soul: 7. This officially kicked off the third phase of the album’s release.

There are four different versions of Map of the Soul: 7. Each physical copy will include a photo book, lyric book, CD, poster, photo card, coloring paper, mini book, postcard, and sticker. The photos released on Feb. 10 are from the first version of the album.

The concept photos for the other versions of BTS’s album will be released on Feb. 11, Feb. 12, and Feb. 13. The third phase for the album’s rollout will culminate with the tracklist being announced on Feb. 17.

The BTS members are ethereal in the ‘Map of the Soul: 7’ concept photos

Big Hit Entertainment released eight different concept photos from the first version of Map of the Soul: 7. Each member of BTS has an individual concept photo and then there is a group shot of all seven members.

All of the concept photos show the members of BTS wearing white and circled around a giant hole in the floor. In the group shot, Suga, Jin, Jungkook, and Jimin sit on the edge with their feet hanging over the abyss. White feathers float through the air in each photo.

All of the members except for RM have dark hair, and in the group photo Jin is the only member not looking at the camera. Jin, V, RM, and Jungkook sit near the abyss in their individual shots while the other three members stand beside it.

So far, the rollout for Map of the Soul: 7 has put an emphasis on art. The members of BTS are patrons to art exhibits around the world with “Connect, BTS,” and the release of “Black Swan” was accompanied with an art film from MN Dance Company.

The concept photos for BTS’s album are no exception. The photos almost look like paintings, and the simplicity of the photos hint at a larger meaning. The members of BTS look ethereal decked out in white, but that is contrasted with the darkness surrounding them.

How the concept photos relate to BTS’s album

So far, fans know that Map of the Soul: 7 is an introspective look at BTS’s careers while incorporating the psychology of Carl Jung. With their album Map of the Soul: Persona, BTS explored Jung’s Persona concept which involves one hiding their true self or conforming to a public image.

Map of the Soul: 7 will explore the Shadow and Ego concepts. At first glance, BTS’s newest concept photos seem to point to the Shadow concept. The photos also relate to messages in “Interlude: Shadow” and “Black Swan.” On Feb. 3, Zach Sang released an interview with BTS. During the interview, Suga alluded to what the message of this new era is.

“One message that penetrates the album as a whole is that you must face your inner shadows but resist becoming submerged into its depths,” Suga said.

The first concept photos for Map of the Soul: 7 show BTS tempting themselves with darkness by dangling their feet over the abyss. Jung’s Shadow concept enforces the idea that one must learn to coexist with the destructive side their Shadow brings.

In some of the concept photos, the white feathers fall from the BTS members into the abyss. This could point to BTS’s transformation from white swans to black swans as part of giving into their self-destructive shadow. While the members of BTS are still resisting become submerged into the depths of the abyss, the next set of concept photos will probably reveal the next part of their journey.