Given there was 3 million pre-orders globally, a comeback stage on SNL, and just sheer, manic hype, there’s more than a chance you’ve heard about BTS’ latest release, Map of the Soul: Persona.

Teetering on the knife-edge between artists and idols, the septet made up of RM, Jin, Suga, Jimin, Jungkook, J-Hope and V, has attempted, again, to push the bar for K-pop going global by adding a couple of high-profile names to the mix. Dominating conversations online, BTS’ latest release is, of course, highly anticipated both domestically and internationally.

With that clearly in mind, Persona opens with leader RM’s intro solo piece. It’s an old-school hip-hop inspired question of identity. 'Who am I?’ is a question that can never be answered and shows reflection on BTS’ journey so far: with more fame, comes more criticism. It’s a satisfying nod to their 2014 Skool Luv Affair era that many ARMYs (as their core fans are called) will resonate with.

Then comes what should be the big hitter. 'Boy with Luv' is pure summer-pop encapsulated in 3 minutes and 49 seconds. Featuring Halsey, the ‘oh my my my’ hook is incredibly addictive even if, overall, the song feels like a less creative version of what BTS have already released in the past. An homage to 2014’s 'Boy in Luv', the teenage boy’s immature first love has evolved into a man's, confident in going after something more meaningful. Credit to the boys for getting a fairly big name to collaborate and generate some buzz (not that they need it), but Halsey simply adds nothing to the track. It’s a lazy partnership that calls her "featured" credit into question.

'Make It Right' is another track featuring a big name. Co-written with Ed Sheeran, instead of a vocal appearance, it’s an incredibly meh piece of Western pop, an attempt to blend BTS into a more familiar sound. Even without his voice, you can feel Sheeran’s clumsy touch from a mile away. Thankfully, the falsetto heavy single plays into Sheeran’s R&B side instead of his acoustic ballads. We really don’t need another few weeks of an annoyingly cloying chart-topper.

Forced Western appearances aside, the real stand out single is 'Dionysus'. Full of attitude and confidence, it’s a great combination of Bangtan flavour with a rock-tinged instrumental. In truth, it’s an incredibly strange song if you break it down, complete with metal inspired high note screamers, angry rap verses and autotuned vocal lines, but somehow it all works. Named for the Greek god of wine, the boys are closing out the album with a celebration, and they put their own take on who they are bluntly. Are they idols? Artists? Who cares when they’re having such a good time celebrating just whatever it is they are.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a BTS album without a dedication to their loyal ARMY. 'HOME' is Persona’s version of Love Yourself: Tear’s 'Magic Shop'. The fans are described as a place of refuge and with ARMYs everywhere, lead vocalist Jimin puts it perfectly with ‘...the entire world is my home’.

Map of the Soul: Persona is a bold, if tempered, call to Western media. In short, don’t be afraid of foreign voices. Don’t be afraid to embrace something entirely new. More importantly, don’t try and label their movement. The phenomena of BTS and their beloved ARMY puts them in a new space for both appreciation and criticism. It’s a new world for us all with leanings to both sides. There’s no point talking about the record's performance. We all knew this was going to sell before it was even officially released. The album is an open door to those who want a piece of the action: BTS are just asking for a fair chance.