WORLD, BOY, YOU
Yejin Lee: The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE tells the story that TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s albums have been building up to. The boys previously suffered the inevitable growing pains that come along with encounters with friends, adventure and conflict in The Dream Chapter series, and found themselves in unfamiliar situations—even a pandemic—in minisode1: Blue Hour.
Though some time has since passed, the world they face remains the same; what’s different is the way the boys embrace it. Once trying to hold onto their magical moments together despite feeling the winds of change approaching (“Blue Hour”), TOMORROW X TOGETHER now wishes for a miserable “end to it all,” believing “the happiness I dreamed of was a naïve cliché” (“Ice Cream”); the time when they could enjoy simply pressing on without a care in the world (“PUMA”) has come to an end, and they now have to deal with the sober agony that accompanies the choices that leave them at a crossroads (“What if I had been that PUMA”). The emptiness inside them stemming from untamable chaos leads them to hold a cynical attitude toward the world, and all the confusion and anxiety that has built up inside them is expressed through more explicit emotion and desire.
With that as a backdrop, the lead single, “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” follows the boys and their frozen hearts as their emotions change by way of a breakthrough in the form of “YOU.” Beneath the heavy, cynical rap of dark days past, the dramatic melody expresses a mind disrupted by an “angel who appeared to me one day.” The moment the beat speeds up, the sound begins to rumble loudly and culminates in a kind of explosion as the choreography dramatically capitalizes on the emotional confession bordering on crying out for “YOU” while TOMORROW X TOGETHER leans backwards with their whole bodies in slow motion. Though the boys seem to have no love left, the words “I know I love you” echo throughout the song with a sincerity that breaks through their pessimism.
Just as the members’ overexaggerated facial expressions and costumes, as well as the icy fantasy backgrounds, in the WORLD version of the concept photos expose how none of it is real, they recognize at this point in the song that they each give themselves the strength to destroy the “BOY” that was made by this harsh “WORLD” in their time of growth.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER once expressed their feelings with distinctive analogies to different objects and revealed their innermost thoughts through unique metaphors and vague language, but they now convey their feelings clearly. By doing so, “YOU” have become who they want to spend their time with going forward. After passing through the Dream Chapter, where the bond between friends was everything in the world, TOMORROW X TOGETHER have started a new kind of love in a brand-new place.