Publishedduration2 hours agoimage copyrightBig Hit Entertainmentimage captionBTS launched the album with a socially distanced press conference in Seoul

BTS released their second album of the year on Friday, which critics have said is "authentic" but doesn't take "many risks".

BE, the K-pop band's follow-up to their UK and US number one Map of the Soul: 7, sees them address life in lockdown.

Speaking at a Seoul press conference, the band described the album as "a letter of hope" to their fans (known as The Army) around the world.

It has received a mix of three and four-star reviews, from music writers.

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The Guardian said the seven-strong unit are now showing they are not "manufactured robots" – a criticism sometimes labelled at K-pop acts – but profoundly human stars.

Katie Hawthrone opined that they had "rewrote the western pop rulebook" around fan engagement, and by various band members taking on different creative roles.