Song Review: BTS – Outro: Ego (J-Hope solo)

BTS often previews new albums with the release of intro or outro tracks. This current era kicked off last month with Suga’s Shadow, which felt too short to write a full review on. It painted a dark, angstier style that honestly gave me pause. I was a huge fan of the group’s 2019 Persona release, mostly because it opted for a lighter, more pop-informed sound. Thankfully, that energy is found again with J-Hope’s outro track Ego.

J-Hope often delivers more upbeat fare, so this is no big surprise. Ego opens with a hodgepodge of retro hip-hop elements before settling into an Afrobeat groove that feels both laid-back and galvanizing. It’s the perfect match for J-Hope’s charms, and allows him to play with the rhythm in an organic way. There’s still a bit too much vocal processing for my taste, but the effects dial down as the song grows.

Rather than a full-fledged chorus, Ego is anchored by a bright synth line reminiscent of some of the tracks from ONF’s 2017 debut album. It also reminds me of C-pop group Oner’s excellent Attack, which was one of last year’s most underrated (and under-known) tracks. J-Hope throws a bit of melody of the top, though it’s closer to a chant than a full-fledged refrain. This approach works well for Ego, which is more about energy than complex song structure. If anything, the track feels a bit too short. Its most exciting element pops up right at the end, when powerful female vocals join the fray to give the song a 90’s club feel. I would have loved to hear this expanded upon further. It adds an unexpected texture that compliments J-Hope’s tone and makes for a fun mashing of genres. Hopefully the upcoming album will bear more surprises like this.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

7 thoughts on “Song Review: BTS – Outro: Ego (J-Hope solo)

  1. Nick, are you sure you don’t like current western pop? Because things like this and Levanter are typical EDM/pop releases during the summer. And I don’t really care for those releases so I don’t really care for this. I find it really boring and it isn’t at all catchy so that it can stick with me.
    Shadow was good, especially the last 30 seconds, Black Swan, although bare bones and essentially a more melodic trap track, was catchy. This? Eh… 5/10.

    I hope this isn’t what RM meant when he said the album was harder… This wasn’t hard or catchy at all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I dont usually actually watch the video the first time, or read the review until after, so that I can hear the song itself. Without the visual, I swear it sounds like zico or block b. Playful zico, like “boys and girls” and “artist”.
    I have only listened so far on my phone speaker, and it sounds busy and a tad frantic. I’ll comment again later after better cans.


    • Oh my god it gets worse with real best earbuds. It’s all tinny right in the middle of the range, there are 4 or 5 synth lines plus the autotune whine, and then a synth tin horn sample on top, and eyyyyiiiiiii I find the mix painful to listen to. Is there no bass line?
      I recalibrated with a few songs I know with real bass and real high (and something called “Fate” by a kpopera group called Paradise autoplayed which was fantastic), and my kids did not crap out my best earbuds so it is the Song Itself.
      I did dont think I will listen again. That was painful.


  3. My favourite type of k-pop is the club-ready one and this one fits perfectly well!

    I like the synth used in the chorus, it’s like hearing the ost of a movie with happy ending where the characters are having a party and are all dancing together

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am in love with this song.
    I don’t know anything technical or the musical terms..but this song just makes me groove to it.
    And Jhope does full justice with it


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