BTS: Jin and “The Astronaut”

Screenshot of Kim Seokjin (Jin) in his music video for his new single “The Astronaut”. Copyright goes to BIGHIT Music and Jin.

Hey! Hallie here!

Jin just released his highly anticipated solo track and collaboration with Coldplay, “The Astronaut”! He’s been talking about this solo project for a while now, and his recent reveal that he’d be working with someone he was close to and greatly admired led ARMYs to correctly guess that he was working on it with Coldplay. While he’s released solo tracks before, this one hits particularly hard for ARMYs. This is the last song that Jin will release before he enlists in the military, marking an almost two year absence. He also chose to make this song about his eternal love for ARMY, which 100% made me cry when I watched the music video. I have tons to talk about here, including the beautiful song, amazing MV, Jin performing the song live with Coldplay, and just my overall gratefulness for Jin. So, with the acceptance that this will likely be an emotional post, let’s get into it!

The Song:

This song is the perfect mix of Coldplay’s calming and cosmic sound mixed with the soulful, vocal focus that Jin goes for in his solo work. The song starts out with a calming guitar and background synth that feels very comforting and very Coldplay, but it doesn’t feel like the song is completely taken over by Coldplay. Once Jin’s vocals kick in we get a lot of Jin’s style. The synth quiets and we just get Jin’s gorgeous vocals paired with guitar, which easily fits in with Jin’s love of ballads. This song sounds more lighthearted than some of his other ballads with the bouncier guitar and verses, but the chorus, which brings back the synth in full addictive force, has so much power and emotion that it can easily bring you to tears as much as any of his other solo songs. Throughout parts of the song you can hear Chris Martin’s powerful vocals in the background, never overtaking Jin’s but adding a depth and even urgency to the chorus and verses that is much appreciated. As for the lyrics, they convey an unending love for someone that’s similar to paradise for Jin. Something so strong that his devotion for them overcomes everything else and provides him hope when he feels lost. And Jin already confirmed that the someone he’s directing this love to, is all of ARMYs. Jin said this song invokes an astronaut who crashes down on Earth and decides to stay to be with his loved ones. Jin is, of course, the astronaut. Hurtling through space, sometimes feeling alone and lost. And ARMY is the family he found that he wishes to stay with. It’s so touching, and so well conveyed in both the large amount of Korean and English that this song includes. This is a masterpiece. I’m in complete awe of both Jin and Coldplay for the pure magic in this song.

The MV:

This is such a cute MV, but before I get fully into it I want to talk about the sets. Because some of these sets are very obviously in LA, and as a Universal Studios Hollywood passholder, I can tell when the Universal lots are being used. So imagine my shock when I recognized both Wisteria Lane and New York Street, large permanent sets on the Universal lot, in this MV. I’m actually so angry at myself now. He was at a place I frequent and I never even got a hint of his presence. But I digress. This MV tells a pretty cohesive story. It starts out with Jin in a field looking at a spaceship. From there we see Jin in what looks like a childhood bedroom. He even has drawings of himself as an astronaut with his name on them. All of this reveals to us that Jin is the astronaut from his concept. He crashed down on Earth in his spaceship. But he doesn’t seem happy overall to be back in his childhood bedroom. Also, note his crossword puzzle where he’s filled in “ARMY”, a tribute to the fans, and “Moon”, a particularly influential solo song he released. On his TV a reporter (Hello, Chris Martin!) reports on a beam of light outside that we later see coming from the spaceship, essentially calling Jin back to it. But he ignores it, instead going out to help a little girl learn to ride her bike.

As the MV goes on we see Jin walking down a city street looking very alone. At one point he catches his reflection in the helmet of an astronaut, which solidifies his somber attitude. But when he spends time with the little girl, taking pictures with her, drawing with her, and looking very proud when she learns to ride her bike, his somberness seems to melt away. Finally, Jin lets the spaceship fly away. In a few shots we see him hitching a ride away from the site, finally smiling, and a picture he’s drawn of Earth with the word “home” next to it. At the very end of the MV he fills the word “family” into his crossword, gives the camera the most radiant smile I’ve ever seen, and leaves to play with the little girl on her bike again. It’s the story of the astronaut who decides to stay on Earth, but here we see Jin struggle with loneliness and depression over the aimlessness that he’s felt. But then we see him spend time with this little girl, who appears to be the stand-in for ARMY, and his pride in her and joy in spending time with her becomes a new purpose for him. It’s such a touching MV that I love more and more with each watch.

Jin and Performing with Coldplay:

Jin needs an entire section to himself. Obviously. To get the superficial out of the way, Jin looked incredible in this MV. From the cozy sweater to the well-fitted suit, I’d say he had some of his best MV looks here. And his long hair looks adorable on him. But yes, Jin is leaving. Obviously he won’t be gone for that long of a period, and he won’t be doing anything dangerous within the military. All members of BTS are far more likely to be given promotional or background work because of their large status in South Korea. But we still won’t see as much of him as we usually do during that time. I’m both incredibly proud and incredibly sad about it. Jin wanted to enlist. When his enlistment date was pushed back a little bit ago, he reaffirmed to the public that he didn’t want to be exempt. He even said that he was frustrated with people on the internet for bashing him about not wanting to go because he had every intention of going. Politely, screw those people. I’m so proud of BTS, and Jin, for finally putting their foot down in this dance the government has been doing around BTS’s enlistment by deciding to go themselves. But I’ll miss him. Today Jin got to perform his song with Coldplay as well, which marked his last live performance before he goes off. It was a mind-blowing performance with incredible live vocals. Chris Martin is a lovely soul and the way he interacted with Jin was so welcoming. The hug they shared onstage was beautiful, and though I loved how Jin shared the mic with Chris, I loved even more that Chris encouraged Jin to take the whole stage for himself. He’s said this song was more of a gift to Jin than a collaboration, and you could feel that affection for Jin. Just as much as you could feel Jin’s adoration for Coldplay, a group he’s loved for a very long time. I really can’t wait until they fully release the performance on YouTube!

Jin taking his last project before his enlistment to show his love for ARMY is making me bawl. Full on ugly cry. He’s always been really open about his depression and how influential ARMY has been on him during his dark points. He has so much love for ARMY, and as an ARMY who’s been comforted through my own depression by Jin, I can confidently say we reciprocate that love fully. There’s a connection between ARMY and BTS that feels unyielding. Jin has used so much of his career, not just here but in songs like “Moon” too, to thank us for that bond. And I can’t express how much I want to thank him for it as well. Between creating the series ‘Eat Jin’ for people who struggle with eating disorders, to making some of the funniest jokes I’ve ever heard, he’s a presence I won’t forget. We love you Jin! We’ll be waiting for you!

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!


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