The Name Chapter: FREEFALL

The Name Chapter: FREEFALL

When TOMORROW X TOGETHER, aka TXT, debuted in 2019, the five members were usually contextualised as BTS’s hoobaes, aka juniors. At the time, Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Huening Kai were the only other group at BTS’s agency Big Hit, and there was much expectation for what they would bring to the K-pop scene. While it’s unfair to compare any group to BTS’s culture-shifting legacy, TXT are finding impact in their own ways, becoming the first K-pop group to headline Lollapalooza and landing a deal as Dior’s newest brand ambassadors. Where BTS have always led with their love for and appreciation of hip-hop, TXT skew alt-rock; The Name Chapter: FREEFALL, the third studio album from TXT, sees the group further refine their signature sound. TXT chose “Chasing That Feeling” as the album’s lead single. The New Wave bop explores a dedication to winning back a lost love in separate Korean- and English-language versions: “Didn’t know what I had, did I?/Left it all in the past/Hoping for twice in a lifetime/Is that too much to ask?” The synth-driven structure is slightly reminiscent of debut single “Crown”, though “Chasing That Feeling” is fittingly more mature in both sound and theme—and far more committed to the ’80s— and pairs well with the hypnotic dance-trance track “Deep Down”. It’s noteworthy that The Name Chapter: FREEFALL’s pre-release singles are English-language collaborations with global artists: the fun, fluffy Jonas Brothers collab “Do It Like That” and the funky “Back for More” with Brazilian singer-songwriter Anitta. If those singles are looking to bring more ears to TXT, pop ballad “Blue Spring” is on the other end of the outreach-aspiration spectrum. The song was written by TXT specifically for fandom MOA (“When we're high, when we're low/You're always by my side”) and was first performed by the group during their Act: Sweet Mirage world tour. It’s a sweet addition to this collection of songs that also nods at the near-constant touring of the group in this era. TXT indulge their love of rock most explicitly in “Growing Pain”, which blends soaring vocals with a few death-metal growls. But it’s “Skipping Stones” that is perhaps the most characteristically TXT track, bringing a distinctive discordant eeriness to the album. Together, the nine tracks on The Name Chapter: FREEFALL point towards an even brighter future, fully outside of BTS’s shadow.

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