Buried Treasure: BTS – Mikrokosmos

Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

Song for song, BTS’ Map Of The Soul: Persona is a strong piece of work — maybe their strongest in years. When considering which track to feature as a buried treasure, I kept going back and forth between Mikrokosmos and Dionysus. Honestly, both are deserving, but Mikrokosmos won out in the end because it feels genuinely new for the group. We’ve heard them tackle hard-hitting hip-hop like Dionysus before, though never with the awesome heavy metal finish that closes that track. But, Mikrokosmos’ dabbling in indie rock and lush, layered instrumentation offers something we rarely hear in K-pop. Plus, it’s a gorgeous spotlight for the group’s vocals, which are given similar prominence throughout the album as a whole.

Mikrokosmos opens with a striking synth arpeggio, hesitant but evocative. For the first minute, it’s unclear what the song will become, but as soon as it blossoms into its anthemic chorus, Mikrokosmos’ ambition becomes clear. Things rarely let up from there, as the instrumental gathers steam and the percussion grows more commanding. I love the backing vocals on this, which surge with a sense of majesty missing from BTS’ usual style. The final chorus is absolutely marvelous, led by a perfectly placed power note that gives the song’s climax the oomph it deserves. All of this is filtered through a glossy pop melody, deepened by the lavish production’s attention to detail. I would love to see BTS push even further into this sound. It fits them surprisingly well.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75


18 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: BTS – Mikrokosmos

  1. Kinda surprised you picked Mikrokosmos. But I don’t disagree with what you said in this review. Every song on the new album is really strong. Realistically, this is one of the best BTS albums in recent past. Really excited and eager to see where this group goes on from here. Would love it if they go on a similar path like they did in the HYYH series. But, I can’t make that come true. We’ll just have to wait to see what BTS does, and review the song that is given to us.

    I also expected that you would mention Dionysus. That was the particular track that really caught my attention. Just the energy and vibe can guarantee a person to feel with it. Dionysus seems like the song you can input for an action movie, or an anime opening XD

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mikrokosmus just hits me deep… It is my personal favourite and Dionysus is an banger😍😍😍…. All songs are great… This is definitely strongest, very cozy and summery album…travel vibes🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m /so/ happy you picked Mikrokosmos lol it’s my favorite song from the album and one of my personal favorites from their career. i hope they explore this kind of sound more!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And 2016 Nell is a bad thing? Haha I would use that as praise, especially in a BTS context.

      This whole album has actually rekindled my interest in BTS. I love that they’re exploring a poppier side to their sound.


  4. Haha I do prefer LY: Tear to this album (although I’m not sure anything can beat WINGS…), but this was a really good album overall and Mikrokosmos was one of my fave b-sides… I especially like how the instrumental almost seems to circle? I don’t know if that makes sense, but that’s the vibe I got and I love it.


  5. Its a very pleasant song. Its right along the sound of mainstream pop radio in the US. If it were more in English, we would perhaps hear it over the aisles at Target or the supermarket. That said, not really my style or my favorite.


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  13. I love the lyrics to this song. They fit perfectly (in a very romantic way, though) in Plato’s idea of humans being small worlds and universes.
    Beautiful meaning.


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