After the giddy hip-hop/pop of TXT’s 2019 debut STAR (“Cat & Dog,” anyone?) and the cerebral synth-pop of MAGIC, the next chapter ETERNITY keeps the momentum moving forward while lyrically searching inward. Themes of loneliness, identity, and self-reflection are explored over an artistic pastiche of styles, ranging from rock to city pop to nocturnal R&B. Dark clouds form on “Can’t You See Me?”—an accidental shelter-in-place anthem that touches on isolation and conflict. It’s one of TXT’s most moving tracks yet, adventurous in sound and strident in tone. Also deeply felt is “Maze in the Mirror,” an acoustic stunner about their early fears and learning that a reflection can’t hide the truth. Hip-hop is reserved for “PUMA,” which features trap hi-hats, bass, gauzy effects, and Yeonjun’s impassioned bars. It closes with a plea for unity: “West side, east side, it don’t matter anymore.”
Flights of fancy abound on ETERNITY. “Drama” feels like a STAR throwback, an old friend bounding up the walkway full of hyperkinetic TXT energy. It’s a workout with keyboards, handclaps, a dance break, and shimmy-shake drums. “Eternally” begins as a lush ballad, then shifts into action movie chase-scene mode, then switches back, and then back again. “Fairy of Shampoo” is the group’s cover of ’90s Korean city pop group Light & Salt. It’s faithful to the smooth original, boosted by wavy synths, a rap break, and a pleasant Chuck Mangione “Feels So Good”-like trumpet. ETERNITY shows TXT sharpening their artistic edges and feeding off unpredictability, traits that will serve them well in subsequent chapters.
Can't You See Me?
Fairy of Shampoo
Maze in the Mirror
6 SONGS, 22 MINUTES
MAY 18, 2020
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