[Weverse Magazine] What to expect from TXT’s new album

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    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.


  • Running on empty

    Myungseok Kang: From the music videos of their debut album, The Dream Chapter: STAR, to those of their new album, The Chaos Chapter: FREEZE, TOMORROW X TOGETHER have been deer in a burning forest. These adolescents had left their homes to wander through the woods once discovering the horns growing out of their heads in “Nap of a star” and tried to run away from school to find their own world in “Run Away.”

    But, as can be seen in the concept trailer for The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY and its lead single (“Can’t You See Me?”), their anxiety and loneliness continue on even after they gather together in their private space. And that place becomes progressively smaller—from forest, to school, to an adult-free home, and finally to a small room or storage space in the “We Lost the Summer” music video from minisode1: Blue Hour.

    In the concept trailer for FREEZE, the members are huddled around an arcade cabinet that they’re unable to play as the world around them freezes.

    Moreover, in the music video for “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You),” YEONJUN runs away from home, putting his game down and leaving his fighting parents behind. The boys were once able to come together in a fantasy world, and it didn’t matter whether it would freeze over or not, but now that world is gone. The only thing left for him is the reality where his parents are fighting right behind him and all he can do is play games. Unlike their fantasy world, this reality is inescapable. Even in a car, no matter how far YEONJUN and the other members drive away, there is no place for them to be. What they thought was a swimming pool they were sticking around in turned out to be nothing more than a temporary small inflatable pool.

    If the music videos from their previous albums document TOMORROW X TOGETHER as they go to seek refuge somewhere, “LOVESONG” shows them breaking free.

    In reality, there’s no forest to run away to, no school in which to draw a magic summoning circle, and no hideaway for hiding food. The “Blue Hour” when they could play in the boundless universe between virtual reality and reality itself is never coming back. Unlike in The Dream Chapter, TOMORROW X TOGETHER is brought back to reality in The Chaos Chapter, where they deal with all the difficulties that beset young life, such as teenage angst, questions around friendship, and school life during the pandemic. When a minor who has to secretly steal their parents’ car just to escape can’t rely on their parents, where are they to lay their head to rest? They rely on who they’re with—those who fled together with them—but the road that lies ahead of the runaway seems as desolate as their volatile future.

    Except for these escapees, the world remains the same; their escape leads to neither a thrilling adventure nor any kind of dramatic event. Anonymous, in an ordinary world, an ordinary school routine, and with inevitably ordinary family ties, the young man can only scream on the inside; his voice bursts forth in an abrasive shriek like those in 1990s grunge rock. At the same time, hip hop beats and rap, which have essentially become a part of life for the young around the world, become a means to express how they perceive reality, which they liken to playing “chess when you can never win a single game.” Theirs is the generation that can enjoy, from any city, every one of the many genres born before them, all in one playlist. Paradoxically, however, it’s difficult for their generation to create something unique, and even then, this is a generation that the world has difficulty paying attention to. Now, in a time when combining genres comes so naturally that the word “hybrid” itself feels outdated, the sentiment of this generation, one which seems to suffocate in peace, is one that conveys the chaos, and the love, of youth.

    With K-pop entering the world of young adult pop music, TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s message of “together, tomorrow” carries a completely different meaning than it did at the time of their debut.

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