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Album review: TXT today, ‘Tomorrow’ and forever

TXT minisode 3: Tomorrow Photos courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC | Art by MAXINE LEE
  • In ‘minisode 3: Tomorrow,’ Gen Z icons TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT) look back on the five years they’ve spent as a group and embrace the future

SEOUL—Never has a group embodied their name more than the boys of TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT). 

Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Hueningkai have always been known as innate storytellers, weaving their emotions and experiences into their music. In their new offering “minisode 3: Tomorrow,” the quintet embraces the inevitable uncertainties of the future, by choosing to look back on the past five years they’ve spent together.

“This time around, I truly felt that we’ve grown and become a lot more experienced. I’m very happy with what we created with this album,” youngest Hueningkai said during their media showcase in Seoul on April 1.

TXT dropped their sixth mini album “minisode 3: Tomorrow” the same day, April 1, a month after celebrating their fifth year as a group. 

단체 TXT minisode 3 TOMORROW MEDIA SHOWCASE (3)
TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT) drops “minisode 3: Tomorrow” on April 1. Photos courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC

Dissecting TXT’s ‘minisode 3: Tomorrow’

“Since ‘Tomorrow’ is in the name of the album, I think this album really embodies the identity of our band,” member Taehyun said.

In true TXT fashion, the quintet starts off the EP “minisode 3: Tomorrow” with a promise in “I’ll See You There Tomorrow.” The boys reel you in with a glitchy and groovy exploration of destiny in this dreamy house track, aptly produced by UK dance music luminaries Shift K3Y and MNEK. 

With lyrics by members Yeonjun, Hueningkai and Taehyun, the track becomes a welcome declaration of hope and optimism amid a flurry of pulsing, swaying electronic synths that conquer your senses, with the boys repeatedly reminding you that “there’ll be no more sorrow, I”ll see you there tomorrow.” 

Morse code

Cutting in a seven-second audio of morse code into your EP is a move only the boys of TXT could get away with. A nod to their genesis and debut single “Crown” (2019), “- — — — ·-· ·-· — ·–” spells out Tomorrow and successfully transitions you to the star of this EP, the dramatic “Deja Vu.” 

Distilled in “Deja Vu” is TXT’s journey, both fantastical and familiar at the same time. It ties together the last five years for the band, rife with lyrical Easter eggs spanning the entirety of their career. From thematic elements of the ephemeral “start line” in “Magic Island” (2019) to the promise to meet again made in “Nap of a Star” (2019), “Deja Vu” is TXT’s musical identity through and through, a continuing narrative that ties in to their reality and musical growth as artists. 

Song essence

“Deja Vu” itself then is self-fulfilling, a nod to their past work, a tribute to everything they’ve been through.The track is a vivid, alchemical production of trap, rage and emo rock, with a thumping bass that you can feel all the way to your fingertips. 

The melody is almost tactile, theatrical, emphasizing the pleading, emotional essence of the song: “You and I under the starlit promise / In front of our crowns covered in dust / Once again, like the dream carved in my soul / Be my eternity, say my name.” 

Almost immediately “Deja Vu” has become one of TXT’s career highs, as it showcases the boys’ preternatural vocal talent and sublime storytelling ability. The track is also easily K-pop at its best, an excellent genre-spanning song that still manages to capture TXT’s musical DNA. 

“Before we started recording, we thought long and hard about how to express that emotional development of the song, we focused on portraying that wistful kind of feeling,” member Yeonjun said about “Deja Vu.” 

Deja Vu 퍼포먼스 TXT minisode 3 TOMORROW MEDIA SHOWCASE (4)
Soobin, Hueningkai, Beomgyu, Yeonjun and Taehyun will kick off their new world tour “ACT: PROMISE” in Seoul this May.

‘Miracle’

In the synth-heavy “Miracle,” the boys marvel at their present reality. The electronic rock track plays out like a love letter, an intimate message that TXT wrote for themselves and their MOAs (fandom name). 

It’s a song designed to culminate live performances, infectiously bouncy and uplifting, a grateful ode to each other. The quintet incorporates the band’s ethos in the track—looking forward to their tomorrow together: “The words ‘let’s be together today and tomorrow as well’/ Let’s scream them while looking at each other.” 

Leader Soobin and eldest member Yeonjun then take on the Afrobeats-infused “The Killa (I Belong To You).” The duo’s alluring vocal affectations melt into you, with an almost hypnotizing percussion drawing you in: “My heart and soul are all yours / You’re like a fever that makes me sick / I hope you’ll finally get rid of me.” 

It’s a sensuous, sophisticated side of the band that make the understated affirmations of “I belong to you” all the more captivating. 

Comfort

In contrast, the ponderous “Quarter Life” is vulnerable and sincere, complemented by the raspy vocals of Beomgyu, Taehyun and Hueningkai, who tug on your heartstrings as they delve into the ups and downs of youth. 

It’s a song made for everyone who’s been through that rough patch, a cathartic stadium rock track, also written by members Taehyun and Soobin.

The track’s only goal is to comfort, to hold your hand and let you know you’re not going through the motions of life alone: “I don’t know where we need to go, but we’ll walk forward, it might be a bit dark now, but we’ll pull through, quarter life crisis.” 

“[‘Quarter Life’] talks about your mid-twenties, how you kind of go through your existential crisis … and the questions, the doubt that you have internally, and I think all of those questions and debates that go on internally and in your heart, I went through them, too. And to be able to just open that up … this is a song about how we should just share it and we can overcome it together … And even while working on the lyrics of this song, I think that gave me a lot of strength,” Taehyun told the press. 

TXT rage Deja Vu
TXT performs “Deja Vu” from “minisode 3: Tomorrow” during the media conference.

Remix

The album is bookended by the alternative rock version of their title track, fittingly called “Deja Vu (Anemoia Remix).” It’s the denouement, a climactic way to end the EP, as the remix focuses on an acoustic guitar and atmospheric punk rock arrangement that in a way, also makes you nostalgic for the unknown. 

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The quintet delivers some of their best vocal performances in the seven-track run of this EP, leaning into their penchant for rock stylings. 

Homage

TXT bring forward the sensibilities of a five-year idol group in “minisode 3: Tomorrow,” where they show off a more mature sound, yet still rife with that same youthful energy that made them the group they are today. 

This EP is designed to keep you immersed, making it impossible to think of anything else while listening to the album. It’s introspective not just for the boys of TXT, but also for you, dear listener, as TXT invites you to a space of contemplation and nostalgia. 

“This kind of music and visuals are something only TXT can create. I have confidence in that,” leader Soobin told the press. 

As much as “Tomorrow” looks forward to the future, it is also a meticulously crafted homage to TXT themselves. Starting with the dreams they had when they first debuted in 2019 (“The Dream Chapter”), to the chaos of being part of a generation lost during a pandemic in 2021 (“The Chaos Chapter”), to the gruelling reality of building your name as an artist in 2023 (“The Name Chapter”). 

“Tomorrow” is a reckoning of all three eras of the band, an acceptance of their growing pains and a hopeful surrender to the uncertainty of the future. 

When asked about their “Tomorrow,” the members then take inspiration from the last five years.

“I looked back on the past five years and felt like it went by so rapidly. I felt like I want to be with my members and all of the MOA, for a long, long time,” Beomgyu said.

“Going forward with all of our members just creating great music, bringing great music to you and sharing it with you, with the name TOMORROW BY TOGETHER. That’s what I hope for.”

Watch “Deja Vu” here:

TXT minisode 3: Tomorrow Photos courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC | Art by MAXINE LEE
Art by MAXINE LEE

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