Tomorrow X Together, A Group that Speaks to Our Generation: An Album Analysis
Tomorrow X Together (TXT) is a South Korean K-pop boy group that is worth a listen. They are known to be the "it" boys of the fourth generation of K-pop. Having traveled worldwide and performed on some of America's known stages like Lollapalooza and at Disney for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve show. They have kicked off the new year with a new EP titled The Name Chapter: Temptation with five songs telling us a new story. This album has broken many records all while sharing their struggles with growing up paired with beautiful melodies.
This album has been the one to make history. They joined BTS (a widely known K-pop group) as the only two Korean acts in history to have an album spend multiple weeks in the Billboard 200 top 3. They also joined BTS as the only K-pop act in history to sell at least 1.8 million copies on the first day of sales. In one week after release, they sold over 2 million copies in presales alone. In South Korea, they became the first group in Melon Top 100 history to chart all songs from a mini album in the Top 10 simultaneously. They have achieved so much in such a short amount of time. For a group to have this much success in their fourth year is amazing, all eyes have been on them.
Aside from breaking records and turning heads from all over, their storytelling has also gained recognition amongst those that are avid listeners. The five that make up Tomorrow X Together were born between the years 1999 and 2002, which means all of them are in their 20s. Being in your early 20s in a developed country means that you are stuck in a phase where you are not a child but also don't feel like an adult. In your 20's you are considered a baby or a "young" adult. In other words, a person who has yet to gain experience as a grown adult. This new EP comes during a time that many of their fans are transitioning from childhood into adulthood and accepting this transition. So to help them and others in their 20s through this time in life, they put together this EP that tells a story.
Taking inspiration from the story "Peter Pan" the group daydreams about taking a bite of the temptation to not grow up. In short, they all each have their own experiences in this nightmare just stumbling along and eventually accepting they have to leave and say farewell. To understand their story best, you must listen to the EP in order. The first song is "Devil By The Window." Playing with the children's story "Peter Pan", they sing about how they met a devil for which they traded their life due to how tempting its offer was. They take the bait and are then thrown into confusion as they imagine trying to stay in their childhood. The lie becomes too much and they want to leave but there is no escape. The bliss of no worries is too captivating, so they stay even though they know it's wrong. They ride the high to this beautiful idea too good to turn down, and they drift into this dream of not growing up. It's a rush.
The next song is their title song "Sugar Rush Ride" which continues the story. Here, they are transported to a place that is heavenly and scary all at once. But being here is like being high on a drug, it's not real. The devil by the window has successfully taken them and seems to force them to take a drug so they can stay. They are addicted to the feeling, they can't resist, and most importantly, don't want to resist. Who would turn down the opportunity to stay young and worry-free? They continue to entertain the idea of not growing up, feeling slightly conflicted but more so free. In the next song, they justify staying where they are at.
In "Happy Fools ft. Coi Leray" they talk about how there is so much to do but they don't have any plans of doing any of it. They bring up how people are telling them they are not living right but say they do not care and are just here for the ride. They will worry about important things another day, but for now, they will gladly be happy fools. As they are daydreaming of a forever youth, they still can not shake the feeling that it is wrong for them to stay young. Suggesting that they shouldn't want to stay small but grow up. Yeonjun, the lead rapper, raps his justification for wanting to stay young, "I'm like a butterfly. A honeybee that only works even that sky where the sun’s setting won't know whether it’s pretty." This is to say that the path others want him to be on is one where he knows he won't be able to enjoy life, so he will do his own thing. The group goes on to call themselves lazy and repeat the phrase "happy, happy, happy fools" to really hone in on just how much bliss they are in. Well, with every high there comes a low, and as everyone knows, the higher the high, the harder the fall.
TXT falls hard in their next track "Tinnitus" as the five boys become depressed after the high and talk about struggling with their occupation. How being a rockstar is hard with always getting beaten down, with tinnitus filling this void. They lost sight of their dreams and admit to feeling they weren't meant to be so big. They want to take the "star" out of "Rockstar" and just be a rock. A person who has no big expectations with nothing to question. I am no rockstar but I don't have to be to relate; I too have questioned what I'm doing with my life. TXT goes on to repeat "I want it" many times to say they just want to be free. In this song, it could also be the realization that it's not being a kid that they want, but the freedom to be who they want. Now, they must let go of this childish thinking of being forever young and move on.
In their last track "Farewell, Neverland" they let the high go and leave it behind them. This song in particular had a lot of fans thinking about their own feelings with growing up. It perfectly sums up accepting that they must go and face the world. TXT points out that in this fantasy, they don't grow and they never see the stars, they can't experience life to the fullest. They talk about how they will miss the thought of never growing up and being who they want to be with no stress. Throughout the song, they sing how they are running "full speed toward the ground" and that it's "time to fall" to reality. It's a bittersweet goodbye to Neverland, a place that can never be called home and they bid farewell as they fall from the heaven of lies.
None of us can hold onto the past, we must all eventually accept growing up. I was going through the same thing and they were and they were able to lay out all my feelings and thoughts in a beautiful, digestible story. Tomorrow X Together is not just known to be the "it" boys of fourth-generation K-pop, they are also known as the Representatives of Generation Z. Throughout their whole discography they have expressed the struggles of different life milestones and everyday pains. They talk about the hard parts of life and in doing so comfort those who are going through the same hardships. It was fitting and especially comforting to see them also talk about this odd and confusing transition in life. This EP fully goes through all the dark and confusing emotions we experience when faced with having to accept our adulthood. It has touched my heart and even made me cry, I look forward to continuing to grow up with TXT. Tomorrow X Together is a South Korean K-pop boy group whose music and feelings know no language or culture barriers, truly a group worth listening to.
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