(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with album's release, Jimin's appearance on U.S. TV show; ADDS photo, quotes from YouTube clip)
By Shim Sun-ah
SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- Jimin of K-pop superstar BTS dropped his first official album as a solo artist Friday.
"Face" consists of six tracks -- both Korean and English-language versions of the main single "Like Crazy," "Face-off," "Interlude: Dive," "Alone" and "Set Me Free Pt. 2," according to the band's agency, BigHit Music.
Jimin said in a YouTube video posted to mark the album's release that he wanted to convey the honest feelings he experienced during the pandemic through the album.
"I gained the will and power to prepare for a new beginning by facing hollowness, loneliness and a feeling of being lost," he said.
The fourth track, "Alone," in particular, exudes such a vibe.
"This song carries a lot of lonely and empty feelings I felt while working during the pandemic. It contains a lot of fears and worries that I felt during my lethargic days, and actually it was hard to get into the emotions when I recorded it," the dancer-vocalist said.
He also said he was hoping to show what many fans have expected from him as well as his unexpected new sides through the album although "everything was a new challenge."
A number of talented musicians, such as Pdogg, Supreme Boi, GHSTLOOP, EVAN, BLVSH and Chris James, as well as team leader RM, participated in the album's production.
The lead track, "Like Crazy," is a synth-pop song combining intense synth and drum sounds with his mournful timbre.
Jimin said the song was inspired by a film of the same name.
"It's a song featuring the emotion of the moment when I turn a blind eye to reality to forget hurtful memories. I paid a lot of attention to convey the sad feelings of the lyrics when I sang it," he added.
A week ahead of the album's scheduled release, he prereleased "Set Me Free Pt. 2," a hip-hop number about his resolution to move forward freely, without being bound to such feelings as pain, sadness and hollowness.
The track claimed the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Top Songs charts in 110 countries, including Britain, Canada, Italy and Finland, the following day, according to the agency.
The 27-year-old is the fourth member of the group to make a solo debut after the septet announced its break to pursue solo projects last year. J-Hope, Jin and RM have so far dropped solo projects.
Debuting in 2013 as a member of the septet, Jimin has shown his unique colors through "Lie" and "Serendipity," two of his solo songs included on BTS' albums, as well as "With You," off the original soundtrack for the popular tvN drama "Our Blues," and his first self-written song, "Promise."
Most recently, he collaborated with BIGBANG vocalist Taeyang on "Vibe."
On Thursday (U.S. time), Jimin appeared on the popular NBC show "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" to talk about "Face."
Asked when he realized how talented he was, the singer answered in English that he found interest in dance when he was in middle school and since then it was always his dream to perform on stage.
He is scheduled to hold the first live performance of the album's main track on the same show Friday.