Since their 2019 debut, TOMOR ROW X TOGETHER (TXT) has used their music to act as a voice for Generation Z, singing about the struggles they experience as they grow into adulthood. Earlier this year, they released their EP “The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION,” which was about the temptation to remain young with your head in the clouds — in defiance of the unsympathetic real life that looms below. Now, almost nine months later, TXT, composed of members Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Huening Kai have returned with a full-length album titled “The Name Chapter: FREEFALL.” This time, rather than keeping their heads in the clouds, they freefall headfirst back down to Earth, confronting the harsh reality of adulthood and all of the trials and tribulations that come with growing into it. As they experiment with genres, ranging from R&B to indie rock, TXT tells a compelling story of accepting reality, challenging fate, defining identity and finding hope in an uncertain world.
“The Name Chapter: FREEFALL” begins with “Growing Pain,” an opening track that is daring in message and sound. In the rock song, TXT sings about freefalling and crashing into the ground, likening the experience to the feeling of entering adulthood. They compare the emotional struggle of growing up to physical growing pains. When they sing, “You just gotta face it,” they accept that growing up is inevitable, so why fear it?
“Chasing That Feeling” is another track on the album and is a new wave song. The song successfully strikes the balance between melancholy and determination. The lyrics, “My fate, come and kiss me / I just keep on chasing that feeling,” act as one of the main messages of the album. Though it will be hard, TXT challenges their fates to chase the thrill of life as though it is the only thing they have ever known to do.
Several songs on the album laugh at the unpredictability of life and put a positive spin on it. The songs “Back for More (TXT Ver.)” and “Happily Ever After” offer this refreshing take on finding excitement in monotonous everyday life.
Another prominent theme on the album is discovering identity. The R&B song “Dreamer” is a callback to the hopes and dreams the band has mentioned in their previous albums. In “Deep Down,” a song that combines the genres of Jersey club and electronic dance music (EDM), the members deliver further insight into what it means to define yourself throughout youth and adulthood.
“Skipping Stones,” an indie rock track, is the only song on the album completely in Korean. Through its message and imagery, the song compares the trials and tribulations one faces to skipping stones on a calm river. Despite hard times and regrets, TXT conveys that the burdens will pass, just like how the ripples of a river gently disperse soon after stones skip on the water. The vocals on this track are gripping as the members of the band work to express the emotions and sincerity behind the message.
Written by all of the members but produced by Beomgyu, “Blue Spring” is an alternative rock song dedicated to their fanbase. The members express their gratitude towards their fans, many who have been with them since they debuted, by calling them the spring that came to warm them after a long, cold winter.“Do It Like That” is a collaboration between TXT and the Jonas Brothers.
Both groups harmoniously combine their distinct musical styles into a peppy, enthusiastic song. With lyrics such as “Got plans we ain’t made yet, yeah / It’s whatever” and “Yeah, oh my God / Don’t know how you do it like that,” the final song manages to encompass the main themes of “The Name Chapter: FREEFALL,” ending on a positive and uplifting note.
TXT has delivered an album that successfully depicts the harsh realities that emerge with growing up. Perhaps the greatest strength of “The Name Chapter: FREEFALL” is the group’s courage to not limit themselves to a singular genre; they demonstrate their maturity as artists by experimenting with a wide range of musical styles. Because of the album’s versatility, there is something in it for everyone. From the opening track, which compares growing up to physical growing pains, to their final track that ends the album on an upbeat note, TXT successfully weaves an album that is both a worthwhile and enjoyable listen.