TXT Is the Future
This group will be one of the brightest in K-pop.
This group will be one of the brightest in K-pop
When you’re the junior group to Big Hit’s super group BTS, it’s a tall task to stand out and carve your own path. I’m more than happy to see that Big Hit’s second boy group, TXT, continue to impress me and show just how fantastic they are on their own.
With their first EP, The Dream Chapter: Star, back in March, TXT proved themselves immediately as a new group to be reckoned with. They had catchy songs, interesting music videos ("Nap of a Star" is probably my favorite music video in 2019), and dynamic choreography. I’d been waiting to see their next move, and with The Dream Chapter: Magic, they come out of the gate again like an explosion.
I’ve been listening to this album all day. Even looking at the cover is exciting. I'm a huge fan of their music being released in chapters. It reminds me of a whimsical storybook I want to keep reading. The cover of this deserves praise as well. This is my favorite album cover all year. The pop of green with the bright white splash in the middle is awesome. It's bold and bright, just like the group that made it. It’s ironic that one of the songs is titled "Roller Coaster", because that’s just what listening to this album feels like. "New Rules" is the exciting last seconds before the big drop, "Run Away" is the drop itself; the songs that follow are upbeat before settling a bit into a comfortable rhythm before "Angel or Devil" leaves you with that last punch of adrenaline. This album was arranged perfectly.
To talk about the choreography this time around, TXT gives a does of their usual energy. "Run Away" is amazing, and I’ve watched it a ridiculous amount of times already. Watching their stages today, I keep finding myself re-watching when I have free time. Whether it’s the adorable conga line in "Angel or Devil", or the fancy footwork in "New Rules", TXT is mesmerizing. They have small acrobatic moves in all their songs where they’ll jump over each other and interact that are unique and inventive. Not only that, but they’re so in sync with every step. They move together so well and make it look like they’ve been dancing together forever. There are moments when I watch their hand movements and it feels like they’re just one person, copied five times. Honestly, their choreography from both of their albums has impressed me more than any other K-pop artist this year.
We also got a cute music video for “Run Away” and it’s just as lovable as the rookie group themselves. TXT is already showing how close they are in their videos. They’re always together, exploring enchanting forests, breaking into a school to jump around in the pool, you name it. The boys of TXT are a tight knit group with lots of energy and friendly vibes. It’s a fun watch, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out.
An amazing thing about this album is that even in a few months, you can see the growth they’ve had in their music. The way magic and Harry Potter is incorporated into their pop style is clever. It doesn’t feel like a rip-off of Harry Potter, but instead has those magical chimes in the background of their songs. For example, “Run Away” has an alternate title, "Nine and Three Quarters", as a nod to the portal Harry runs through to get to the wizarding world. It’s a nice nod to the iconic series and plays into the theme of the song. They almost make magic a genre in their music. Similarly, their lyrics are already maturing. In particular, "Can’t We Just Leave the Monster Alive?" has a note of seriousness that weaves video games and adventure with escapism. It uses video games as a vehicle to discuss wanting excitement and leaving behind the boring every day life with no sense of wonder. I like this one a lot, because it speaks to fears of growing up, wanting to enjoy things in life, and advising you take your time and not rush into things. Why fight the final boss when you can have some fun finding the Easter eggs in life, am I right?
Truly, all the songs on here are great for different reasons. "20cm" has some really lovely vocal performances in it. Taehyun is definitely my favorite, and he has been since I heard him sing in "Our Summer" back in March. However, there's isn't one of them I could pick out as being my least favorite. I love all of them; there isn’t a weak link in the group. You can already tell TXT will only improve on their already strong vocals. A personal favorite of mine that deserves a shout-out is "Magic Island." This one is so laid back and melodious. I kept this one on repeat for a little while, and I’ll most likely be listening to it daily. This album has eight songs, building on their previous EP of five songs. I like that they seem to be taking smaller steps and not overextending the amount of songs they do. It makes it feel like we already know all their music; we already saw them perform half of these songs already at their comeback stage. It gives the audience a chance to explore the whole album and not just focus on the title songs.
It’s only been about 24 hours since this album dropped, and I’m already excited to think about the trajectory of TXT’s career. They’re quickly becoming their own group with a solid identity set to shake up the K-pop scene. Keep your eyes out for them, because sooner or later you won’t be able to miss them.