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Park Jimin is best known as a vocalist and dancer as a member of BTS, but his new single, “Set Me Free Pt.2,” seeks to change this. As he stated in an interview with Consequence of Sound, no longer is he just a “proud member of BTS,” with his new single, Jimin embraces his strengths as a dancer and vocalist while asserting his identity as a solo artist.
“Set Me Free Pt.2” was released on March 17 as a single in advance of Jimin’s first official solo album, “FACE,” on March 24. The “Pt.2” in the title references BTS bandmate SUGA’s solo song “Set Me Free,” a track off of “D-2,” released under his solo moniker, Agust D, in 2020. In the interview, Jimin stated that he intended the songs to stand alone, but the subject matter of the two complement each other.
“My song talks about freedom and moving forward, and SUGA’s song talks about some of the stories that come before,” Jimin said.
Indeed, “Set Me Free Pt.2” presses relentlessly forward, shifting quickly between different styles while finding cohesion through a memorable chorus. The single’s music video opens, ironically, with a climax: The first bars create a sense of grandeur and tragedy with soaring, operatic vocals. Yet, this feeling of divinity is coupled with the frenzied, corporeal movements of the dancers on screen. The tension builds, a wailing siren joining the voices, sustained in a piercing high note, until — silence.
Jimin, wearing a sleek, all-black outfit, breaks through this silence, with a quiet “yeah.” Opening vocal lines cut through the chaos, along with triumphant trumpet blasts. The first verse features a lax but powerful snare beat, evoking images of the slow, easy stalk of a predator towards its prey. Jimin’s movements match this sentiment, calm at the center like the eye of a storm. Though Jimin initially describes being in a “maze,” his tone is decisive and defiant. “I never stop, fuck all your opps,” Jimin spits in the first verse against a backdrop of percussive beats.
The dramatic trumpets and rhythmic backing vocals make for a catchy, confidence-boosting melody, developing the repeated statement of “set me free” into a powerful, personal mantra. Despite the unexpected style, Jimin’s stellar vocals shine through, highlighted by the sparse instrumentation of the refrain.
This vocal prowess is especially apparent within the flow change of the snappier second verse. The tempo quickens; drums become sharper and punchier. Autotune now masks Jimin’s voice, his lines echoing through the grand space established by the track. Through this more intense flow, Jimin engages in even more explicit resistance: “Hey fool, just get out my way / shut up, fuck off / I’m on my way,” he sings.
Despite this change, Jimin’s unmodified voice returns in the refrain. The highly autotuned lines alternate with Jimin’s unmodified vocals, as if two disparate halves of the same artist are in conversation. They ultimately meld, Jimin’s unmodified voice dominating in the pre-chorus and returning to the repetitive affirmation of “set me free.” The chorus shifts between minor and major keys, as if taking the listener through the ups and downs of a journey towards freedom.
The single closes with a quiet victory. Though a new strain of vocals — perhaps the whispers of something sinister — disturbs the peace, Jimin’s voice rings clear through the background noise. In the music video, after the last refrain of “set me free,” Jimin emerges changed, clothed in pristine white, the stage littered with solemn dancers clad in black. The voices quiet, leaving both Jimin and the listener alone in the silence — triumphant, empowered, and “finally free.”
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