As if BTS weren’t busy enough completing the European leg of their world tour, last week group leader RM surprised fans with the announcement of ‘Mono’, a new solo mixtape — or playlist, as he’s referring to it. Within 24 hours of its release on 23rd October (KST), it topped 88 iTunes album charts around the world, including the UK.
‘Mono’ is the second mixtape release by the idol rapper, following self-titled predecessor ‘RM’ (2015). Much has changed in the three years between releases, reflected not only in the fame-weary lyrics of the seven new tracks, but also in the playlist’s record-breaking success. ‘Mono’ has already smashed the record for a Korean album by topping the iTunes album chart in 88 countries — beating the previous record held by BTS’ own repackaged album ‘Love Yourself: Answer’, which topped the iTunes album chart in 85 countries.
‘Mono’ clocks in at just 24 minutes, but every second leaves a resounding emotional impact, so that as the final track, ‘forever rain’ fades out with RM’s own echoing call, ‘내려줘’ (Please come down), its clear that one of the material’s strengths is in its brevity and straightforwardness. The playlist’s haunting collection of slow jams, which oscillate between feeling warm and comforting, like a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon, and tender and heartsore, like a teary goodbye to a loved one, are the perfect addition to an autumn music rotation.