Golden (Jungkook album)

Golden is the debut studio album by South Korean singer Jungkook of BTS, released on November 3, 2023, through Big Hit Music. Primarily a pop record, it was met with generally favorable reviews from critics. It features guest appearances by Jack Harlow, Major Lazer, Latto and DJ Snake,[1] it was preceded by the singles "Seven" and "3D"; and a third, "Standing Next to You", which was released concurrently with the album.

Golden
Digital cover
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 3, 2023 (2023-11-03)
GenrePop
Length31:48
LabelBig Hit
Producer
Singles from Golden
  1. "Seven"
    Released: July 14, 2023
  2. "3D"
    Released: September 29, 2023
  3. "Standing Next to You"
    Released: November 3, 2023

Background and promotion edit

In July 2023, Jungkook spoke to Variety about his first solo album, saying at the time that he was working on it but that it was too early to "mention anything specific".[2] That same month, he released the single "Seven" featuring American rapper Latto, which debuted atop the US Billboard Hot 100 and reached the top 10 in numerous other countries.[3] Jungkook released another single, "3D" featuring American rapper Jack Harlow, on September 29.[4]

Big Hit Music announced the 11-track album on October 3, including the previously released songs "Seven" and "3D".[5] Golden takes its theme from the "golden moments" of Jungkook as a solo artist.[6] A press release further dubbed him the "Golden Maknae", referring to his status as the youngest member of BTS with a "unique timbre that will captivate listeners worldwide".[7] In promotion of the album, Jungkook is set to deliver "special stage performances and making various appearances alongside the release".[8] The tracklist was revealed on October 15.[9]

Live performances edit

Jungkook made a surprise concert at Times Square in New York City on November 9 and performed five tracks from the album: "Standing Next to You", "Yes or No", "3D", "Please Don't Change", and "Seven".[10][11][12]

Critical reception edit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic75/100[13]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [14]
Evening Standard     [15]
The Guardian     [16]
I     [17]
IZM     [18]
NME     [19]
The Observer     [20]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized score out of 100 to ratings from publications, the album received a weighted mean score of 75 based on five reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]

Rhian Daly of NME appreciated that Jung Kook "embodies each song's emotions and style with ease; a musical chameleon becoming each new sound". As best tracks she chose "what feel like classic pop king anthems", therefore "3D", "Yes or No", "Hate You" and "Too Sad to Dance", while she criticized "Somebody" for the use of the robotic processor. Overall she found that Golden manages to "capture Jungkook's multifaceted artistry, charismatic vocals and irresistible pop appeal in 10 easily palatable songs primed for commercial success", but also that "it doesn't feel like an album he and he alone could have released", concluding that however "the 2020s have found their pop king and 'Golden' more than secures him the throne".[19]

AP News's Maria Sherman called it "one of the strongest pop debuts of the year" and an "album of pop bliss",[21] while for David Smyth of Evening Standard, the album "ticked a lot of boxes for pop lovers" and "what elevates it is his fluid, expressive voice, which consistently raises chart-friendly material to a higher plane".[15] Consequence's Mary Siroky found that "the bright spots in the album are truly dazzling, while some of the b-sides aren't very memorable in comparison, and for that reason, the album feels quite top-heavy — the first five tracks are clear bangers, but the energy dips through the back half of the record", concluding that "even in the less enduring moments in Golden, Jung Kook remains interesting, wielding his voice with athletic precision".[22]

For Ed Power of I, "Seven" and "3D" at the beginning of the album give the impression that "Jungkook's solo career will be big on recycled ideas and NSFW lyrics", but "happily, that impression proves misleading. Golden traces the arc of a romance from infatuation to heartache. As the mood darkens, the tunes improve".[17] According to The Observer's Michael Cragg, "Golden is full of bright spots, but only fully shines on occasion", "taking off when Jung Kook can focus on his honeyed falsetto" on "Standing Next to You" and "3D", while the use of sounds already experimented by singers such as Craig David and Justin Timberlake "highlight Jung Kook's struggle to find his own sound and identity".[20]

The Guardian's Alexis Petridis wrote that "it's well-made, hooky – but nevertheless, Golden is an album bound to leave more agnostic listeners pondering what the fuss is about. [...] it just sounds like decent mainstream pop: there isn't anything happening sonically that sounds particularly unique or fresh", and called "Standing Next to You" "the only real misfire" that "starts fabulously – a big, splashy, live-sounding intro that could have stepped off Daft Punk's Random Access Memories – then devolves into pallid mid-tempo disco-house".[16] IZM's Han Sung-hyun panned Golden, claiming it lacks individuality and "feels like listening to an algorithmically generated playlist".[18]

Paste ranked the album number nine in their list of The 20 Best K-pop Albums of 2023[23] while webzine Zenerate ranked in number 12 in their list of the 15 best K-pop albums of the year.[24]

Accolades edit

Golden won Album Bonsang at the 38th Golden Disc Awards[25] and Artist of the Year – Album at the 13th Circle Chart Music Awards.[26]

Commercial performance edit

Golden entered music charts in 25 countries and topped the South Korean, Belgian, French, Lithuanian, and Japanese album charts. It reached the top-10 in 14 countries including Australia, France, and Germany, and debuted at number three in the United Kingdom, becoming the highest-charting album by a Korean solo artist.[27] In the United States, it debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with 210,200 equivalent album units. This figure comprised 164,800 pure sales (128,500 CDs and 36,300 digital downloads), making it the top-selling album of the week; 29,800 SEA units (equaling 41.59 million on-demand official streams of its 10 songs); and 15,600 track equivalent (TEA) units.[28] As of November 2023, it has sold over 2.4 million copies worldwide.[29] Golden sold 244,000 copies in the United States during 2023 and ranked as the 10th bestselling CD album of the year according to Billboard.[30]

According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)'s Global Music Report for 2023, Golden was the fourteenth most-consumed album across all formats, and the seventh best-selling album worldwide, having sold 2.7 million units in less than two months.[a][31][32]

Track listing edit

Golden track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."3D" (featuring Jack Harlow)
3:21
2."Closer to You" (featuring Major Lazer)
2:51
3."Seven" (featuring Latto) (explicit version)
3:04
4."Standing Next to You"
  • Watt
  • Cirkut
3:26
5."Yes or No"
  • Watt
  • Cirkut
2:28
6."Please Don't Change" (featuring DJ Snake)
2:27
7."Hate You"
2:34
8."Somebody"
  • Bellion
  • Ritter
  • Johan "Roza" Rosa
2:49
9."Too Sad to Dance"StewartStewart2:56
10."Shot Glass of Tears"Stewart2:47
11."Seven" (featuring Latto) (clean version)
  • Watt
  • Walter
  • Bellion
  • Stephens
  • Thomas
  • Watt
  • Cirkut
3:04
Total length:31:48

Charts edit

Certifications and sales edit

Certifications and sales for Golden
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[77] Gold 40,000
Japan (RIAJ)[78] Platinum 250,000^
South Korea (KMCA)[79] 2× Million 2,000,000^
South Korea (KMCA)[80]
Weverse Albums version
2× Platinum 500,000^
Summaries
Worldwide (IFPI) 2,700,000[32]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.
Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history edit

Release dates and formats for Golden
Region Date Format(s) Version Label Ref.
Various November 3, 2023 Standard Big Hit [5]
United States November 4, 2023 Digital download Voice memo [81]

Notes edit

  1. ^ The IFPI Global Albums chart ranks, in order, the albums that generated the most money globally across streaming, download, and physical record sales (combined) in a calendar year. The Global Album Sales Chart measures global unit sales across all physical formats, as well as full album downloads.

References edit

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