TXT Freefall into Reality with New Album

By: Kayla Gayle
10/18/2023
en
Thumbnail courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC.

TOMORROW X TOGETHER, commonly referred to as TXT, released their third full-length album The Name Chapter: FREEFALL on October 13. The new album comes as the K-pop boy group’s second world tour, “Act: Sweet Mirage,” is drawing to a close, following their headline performance at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago back in August. The 10-track album was met with high anticipation from fans as it gained 1.9 million first-day sales, setting a new record for the group. 

Throughout The Name Chapter: FREEFALL, we find the quintet embarking on the next chapter of their coming-of-age story, following their previous mini-album The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION. As the members — Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun and Huening Kai — face reality and depart from the deceitful Neverland, they plummet into reality. 

The freefall from Neverland is a grueling and agonizing experience. Yet the boys courageously confront this challenge, embodying the resilience of youth worldwide, as they come to embrace both the high and the lows of the real world. 

Falling into Reality

The Name Chapter: FREEFALL starts off with the heavy metal track “Growing Pain.” Listeners are immediately hit with the electric guitar and heavy percussion, a jarring difference to the sound of The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION. The boys sing about their painful freefall back onto Earth immediately following their departure from Neverland. Taehyun — who boasts writing credits along with Yeonjun and Huening Kai — emotionally belts, “My whole body hurts / There’s no way to stop.” Their anguish resonates vividly through the combination of powerful, tormented vocals and aggressive, head-banging instrumentals. 

In the first verse, Soobin delivers “Don’t know how to fly but I’m gonna try to let go.” The lyric is a sharp contrast to “Devil by the Window” from their last EP, where Yeonjun sings about his journey to Neverland, “I’ll fly, weightless without a worry into the night.” “Growing Pain” also directly follows the narrative of “Farewell, Neverland,” where the boys say goodbye to Neverland’s Peter Pan, who originally flew them to the false paradise. Without their Peter Pan, the boys are left flightless as gravity pulls them down a seemingly endless fall. 

Despite harshly plunging headfirst into reality, the members don’t let the fear stunt them. Yeonjun sings, “Even if I am bleeding / Even if my bones are broken / Gotta make my way through this.” Beomgyu has the revelation that this nosedive signifies a transformation of their past selves, with “Childhood dreams / Endless freefall is evidence of growth.” 

The synthwave-pop song “Chasing That Feeling” tells a similar story. The title track’s music video seamlessly continues from the events of “Sugar Rush Ride,” with the boys crash-landing from their paradise in the sky into the depths of New York City’s sewers. Beomgyu begins the Rock Mafia-produced track contemplating his actions: “I turn my back on heaven and fall from the sky / Maybe I’ll miss it for good / The sweet mirage.” 

The cinematic video, which was filmed at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, embodies inspiration from the films Doctor Strange (2016) and Inception (2010). The boys each have a colorful orb of power, allowing them to do supernatural acts: Beomgyu hotwires a car and drives upside down in a tunnel with his green orb while Taehyun’s purple aura lets him jump and run on walls. As the members meet each other in the middle of the street, their combined powers erupt into a vibrant and colorful display. While they do their dynamic powerful dance routine, the boys begin to warp reality around them. As they begin to take control of the world they’re in, Yeonjun sings, “I turn my back on heaven and fall from the sky / And everything’s gonna be alright.”  

The members are now free from the “cruel lie” they were living in Neverland. Even though they are marred and burnt from the fall into reality, they know it’s better than being stuck in the “paradise of lies.” The boys are chasing the feeling of freedom and possibly their first taste of real joy. 

Photo courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC.

Embracing Reality

Now fueled by the determination to succeed in this unfamiliar reality, TXT embark on a journey of self-discovery. On the falsetto-rich R&B track “Dreamer,” the boys work to strike a balance where their dreams can still thrive in this changed environment. No longer bound to the illusions of Neverland, the members must undergo personal growth in this new life. With fittingly dreamlike, ethereal vocals, Beomgyu sings, “An adult who doesn’t dream and a boy with nothing but dreams / Between the common fork in the road, I’m gray.” The members recognize that the path ahead will be challenging, understanding the fickle nature of dreams. Yet, they proudly wear the title of “dreamers” as a badge of honor.

The house club anthem “Deep Down” follows the boys as they acknowledge and accept themselves. It parallels the group’s 2019 debut track “Crown,” where a boy struggles with self-hatred after waking up with horns on his head, believing himself to be a monster. One day he meets a boy adorned with wings and soon explores the path to self-love, ultimately turning those horns into a radiant crown. On “Deep Down,” TXT reiterate how the horns were not a flaw but rather a unique gift that set them apart from others: “A big crown on me, no longer a sinister horn / You’re my silver lining.”

On the all-Korean indie-rock song “Skipping Stones,” the boys channel their resilience in the face of hardships. In a powerful blend of heavy percussion, bass, and emotional lyrics, the members share their determination to rise above lingering regrets. Huening Kai’s heartfelt vocals relay the message of empowerment: “When we reach the sparkling waves / I will hold your trembling hands.” 

Photo courtesy of BIGHIT MUSIC.

Set against the lively and joyful instrumental of the jersey club track “Happily Ever After,” the members reminisce on the naive mindset they had in Neverland, where they believed they were the main characters of a “wonderful fairytale” and destined for a storybook ending. They’ve now gained wisdom and embraced the idea that while reality may not unfold like a fairytale, the allure of free will and ability to write their own stories surpasses the charm of predetermined fate. Yeonjun and Soobin deliver this revelation in the vibrant pre-chorus: “Wow, even if you close the fairy tale book / Life still goes on / I realized there’s no happily ever after forever.”

Love Is in the Air

The Name Chapter: FREEFALL not only delves into the Neverland storyline but also features love songs. “Blue Spring” is a love letter to MOA, TXT fans, and was a memorable feature of the boys’ “Act: Sweet Mirage” tour. This alternative rock song, co-produced by Beomgyu and collaboratively written by all the members, iterates their appreciation toward MOA’s unwavering love and loyalty. The song’s chorus captures the sentiment perfectly: “When we’re high, when we’re low / You’re always by my side.” The song also echoes the horn metaphor from “Deep Down:” “It’s just like magic, you’re the only one / You changed my horn into the crown.”

OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder co-produced two of the love songs featured on the album: “Do It Like That” and “Back For More (TXT Ver.)”. TXT’s collaboration with the Jonas Brothers, “Do It Like That,” quickly became a summer sensation. The quintet and the American sibling trio released the single in July, with the music video currently amassing an impressive 44 million views on YouTube. The up-tempo dance song radiates the genuine joy and exhilaration of falling head over heels in love — the kind of love that leaves you thinking “Oh my God!” every time you lay eyes on your partner. 

Prior to releasing the album, TXT took the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards where they delivered a memorable performance. The group debuted their Latin-disco track “Back For More” in a captivating collaboration with Brazilian singer Anitta. The performance, coupled with the groovy baseline and playful whistling of the tune, was a powerful and seductive stage. The artists sing of an irresistible, magic-like love — a love in which both parties understand that if either ever leaves, the two will inevitably always end up back together.

The album includes “Back For More (TXT Ver.),” an all-English version featuring only the group members, with Huening Kai and Yeonjun taking over the second verse. In this version, Yeonjun raps, “We don’t got none of the issues that people got / Keep it on some of the same waves we keepin’ on / None of that stuff to make you dependent on.”

Both of the catchy tunes’ vivacious energies added a captivating addition to the album.

Behind FREEFALL

In The Name Chapter: FREEFALL, TXT masterfully portray the transition from youthful innocence to the daunting journey of adulthood. This album serves as a testament to their versatility as it encompasses a range of genres among 10 tracks, including the English version of “Chasing That Feeling.” The members gracefully accept the responsibilities and uncertainties of adulthood, ultimately thriving in the face of challenges the new reality throws at them. This musical project is one that will resonate deeply with many young adults, making it a soundtrack to their lives as they work toward accomplishing their own dreams. 

Be sure to listen to The Name Chapter: FREEFALL on Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube. To stay up to date with TXT, follow the group on Instagram, X, TikTok, and Weverse.

Want to learn more about TXT’s storyline? Read all about their previous mini-album The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION here!