Everybody, take a sigh of relief! The 4th Gen It Boys TOMORROW X TOGETHER are back, and truly better than ever! TXT has released their 3rd full album, The Name Chapter: FREEFALL, and unleashed their full potential upon the world while they are at it.
The Name Chapter: FREEFALL picks up where mini album TEMPTATION left off (or rather, where it left TXT). The guys had rejected the idea of Neverland, and of temptation itself, in favor of the real world. Now, with their rose-tinted glasses taken off, the boys face a grim reality, as well as a rebirth of their dreams now that they have more control over their lives. The Name Chapter: FREEFALL sits in the intersection between dreams and reality, and TXT balances these worlds perfectly.
Ok, we feel like we can’t stress enough just how explorative this album is in terms of production. So let us name just some of the genres TXT plays with here: new wave, R&B, hard rock, disco, grunge, dance, and synth-pop.
With every release, TXT are further down the path to carving their own sound. And not only this, but their earnestness shines through in their work. Many albums that are this explorative can come across as clunky, or like the artist doesn’t know what they want to make. That is not the case here. TXT, simply, are just talented enough to try it all. Even more than that, the explorations are genuine and not gimmicky, and as a listener, you can hear that.
In the ‘Reality’ version concept pictures is the slogan “In dreams begin responsibility,” and there isn’t really a better way to describe FREEFALL‘s storyline than that. The album has three main concepts – ‘Reality,’ ‘Melancholy,’ and ‘Clarity’ – and this is completely echoed with the tracklist order of The Name Chapter: FREEFALL. As the album progresses, the lost boys fall, heal, and learn to fly again.
We cannot believe we’re lucky enough to live in a universe where a TXT album opens with a hard rock, maybe even metal-inspired, song. But here we are! Co-written by Yeonjun, Taehyun, and Huening Kai, ‘Growing Pain’ is the new crown jewel of TXT’s opening tracks. The song picks up directly where TEMPTATION‘s closer ‘Farewell Neverland’ left off. The boys have rejected temptation, and now ‘Growing Pain’ is their fall to reality.
The boy who left neverland chooses to descend to the ground instead of floating through the air
Text on the invitation for the press preview of The Name Chapter: FREEFALL
‘Chasing That Feeling’
It’s a big claim to make when you look at their discography, but we reckon ‘Chasing That Feeling’ is in the running for TXT’s best title track. New-wave-meets-K-pop wasn’t on our bingo card, but it should’ve been.
The music video for ‘Chasing That Feeling’ is basically a Marvel movie. It picks up seemingly exactly where ‘Sugar Rush Ride’ ended, with the boys fleeing Neverland’s shores. Now, they’ve crash-landed and are finding their feet in the real world. It’s not without a magical edge, though, as the members fight their way using bright CGI effects through gritty cityscapes to reunite again.
A boy escapes from an irresponsible paradise upon his will and soars to the reality for freedom, and ‘Chasing That Feeling’ is about the boy’s determination
Huening Kai on KStars Next Door
‘Back For More (TXT Ver.)’
We’ve already waxed lyrical about our love for ‘Back For More,’ and FREEFALL has only deepened that feeling. When we first heard the album preview, we’ll admit we were a little unsure of how the disco-pop track would fit in, but we’ve never been happier to be proved wrong. It’s the first moment of outright joy in the album and it tells the story of wanting to find those dreams and moments of magic again after sacrificing them to confront the truth.
R&B TXT is back! The breathy vocals are heavenly, and the lyrical references actually make the song feel like a continuation of ‘Farewell Neverland,’ even though the two tracks have such different production styles. It’s also, quite rightfully, getting paired up with tubatu’s other iconic R&B moment, ’20CM.’ Co-written by Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, and Kai, we patiently await the day we get an R&B mini album from the group. We’re manifesting, ok!
Despite having its roots in EDM, ‘Deep Down’ (co-written by Yeonjun) is one of the more subtle tracks on the album. Again, we reference ‘Sugar Rush Ride,’ as the lyric “Deep down, I need you more, more, more” parallels “Gimme, gimme, more.” It tells the tale of accepting your identity and dreams after rediscovering them in ‘Dreamer,’ proving again that the tracklist order of this album is genius.
‘Happily Ever After’
This Yeonjun and Taehyun co-writen track is the album’s most playful moment. After discovering that “Life is not a fairytale,” TXT are unwilling to give up, reminding us that there is always hope. The production and delivery are defiantly upbeat, almost childlike, and remind us of the energy in Halsey’s ‘I HATE EVERYBODY.’
Something that we truly did not think was possible has happened: ‘Our Summer’ is no longer Soobin’s favorite TXT b-side. It held onto the title for four and a half years, but now it’s been usurped by ‘Skipping Stones.’ We can totally see why the members are so attached to this one, though. Entirely in Korean, this grunge-based song depicts the ripples created by skipping stones as scars.
The water that swallowed scars will become calm someday
To be honest with you, we’re completely blown away by the beauty of this metaphor. It positions fear as not something you succumb to, drowning in it, but as something that is fleeting and will one day be unrecognizable. It’s the moment in FREEFALL when it becomes clear that the boys are no longer falling, but healing from their bruises.
‘Blue Spring’ was written by all five members and produced by Beomgyu. It’s the only outright love song on the album, and it’s a fan song! Thanks to the live version, we were already obsessed, but the recorded version has only added to our adoration. Not only does ‘Blue Spring,’ (and by extension, the growth of their fans, MOA) feel like the result of TXT’s hard work, but the song feels like a result of the emotional journey within FREEFALL, too…
TXT, or the boys within the tale, have put in the hard work, faced a harsh reality, and grown as a result. The long, melancholy winter is over, and now the flowers of spring are blooming.
‘Do It Like That’ & ‘Chasing That Feeling (English Version)’
Now that FREEFALL‘s main story arc is over, it’s time for some summery fun! We’ve previously declared ‘Do It Like That’ as one of our songs of the summer, so its inclusion on the album directly after ‘Blue Spring’ feels a little serendipitous. There’s also an English version of ‘Chasing That Feeling’ on digital platforms, and we love that it allows us another level of insight into the song, and an excuse to stream it again.
Overall, we don’t think we can articulate just how blown away we are by this album. Which is kinda ironic, considering it’s literally our job to articulate how we feel about music. But that’s TXT for you! Nothing is beyond their capabilities, and we love how everything they do feels so intentional. The members have all been very vocal about their pride and excitement around this release, and you can see why.
Perhaps what’s most exciting about The Name Chapter: FREEFALL is where it leaves us. The boys have found their feet after crashing down to reality. It feels almost like a rebirth now that they are finding their dreams all over again. Where will those dreams lead us, and what will the next chapter be?
And you can head this way for more TOMORROW X TOGETHER!