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K-Pop Comeback Spotlight: TXT – Second Mini-Album “The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY”

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TXT embraces a more mature sound in their newest mini-album, The Dream Chapter: Eternity, exploring the consequences that arise once the magic of youth fades.

Breakout boy group, TXT, is back once again with their newest release, The Dream Chapter: Eternity. The project marks a milestone in their discography as their darkest concept yet and concludes The Dream Chapter series.

Delivering a mini-album filled with rich lyrics and a production value soaring above expectations, TXT’s momentum in the K-pop industry continues to thrive.

TXT


The dream chapter: eternity comeback timeline

On April 27th, TXT first broke the news of a May comeback. Through BigHit’s official YouTube channel, the group released the first trailer video for their newest mini-album called, The Dream Chapter: Eternity. The mysterious teaser did not reveal much, leaving fans excited and intrigued for the May 18th release.

Building off of the frenzy created from the previous video, TXT released their longer concept trailer one day later. A cornerstone for the group’s success is their powerful narrative storyline that is integrated into their albums and music videos. This storyline is central to their work. Every release is part of a cohesive, creative endeavour that forms their own world, known as “TXT Universe”.

The newest concept trailer was no exception. The video featured a haunting, piano-driven melody as the members crooned, “This is my drama” and “I dreamed this drama”. This music is a snippet of the first track in the album, “Drama”. The mystical first half of the trailer focused on Soobin enjoying the companionship of his other members.

The melody was disrupted by the sound of beeping, reminiscent of the beginning notes in their track “Crown”. The trailer then switched to a more sinister second half. The distance between Soobin and the other members grew. Eventually, he finds himself trapped in a glass box, unseen and unheard by the other boys.

This provided great material for their fans, MOAs, to analyze for theories concerning how the visual teaser contributes to the TXT Universe, and what it could indicate is coming in their newest release.

On April 30th, BigHit Entertainment began releasing concept photos for the group’s release on SNS and its website.

The first photo featured a doll seen previously in their music video for “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away)”. This time, the doll takes center stage in a photo inspired by artist Rene Magritte, with the words “This is not a teddy bear” written in French below its feet.

After, the company released concept photos for the members on May 1st. The photo series closely extends their student theme from prior eras, with the boys’ preppy, sporty-chic looks. Moreover, the photos are a fun concept, inspired by social media accounts.

What makes the release so intriguing are the mysterious tags and captions of the photos, which provide additional clues for topics explored in their album and story.

Following the first round of concept photos, the group continued their social media-inspired portfolios. Releasing a second set, the concept photos made a dreamy turn in the “night mode” inspired shoot.

The second round of photos also included curious tags and captions relating to their storyline.

See all of the photos on BigHit’s official website in the “starboard” category.

The concept photos were followed by the official tracklist release.

While the title track for the album remained unannounced, BigHit reported to media that track three, “Fairy of Shampoo”, is a special remake. Reinterpreting the 1990’s track by Light and Salt, TXT placed their unique spin on the song. It was also revealed that member Yeonjun penned the rap verse.

On May 6th, Bighit Entertainment began releasing the first round of official teasers for the individual members, announcing the title track “세계가 불타버린 밤, 우린… (Can’t You See Me?)”. Yeonjun and Beomgyu stare solemnly into the camera while covered in red stains, as Soobin’s voice is heard saying “save me”.

BigHit consequently released the other members’ individual videos which featured different snippets of “세계가 불타버린 밤, 우린… (Can’t You See Me?)”. Soobin’s video contains the longest vocal teaser.

On May 10th, the group’s collective music video teaser was released.

BigHit subsequently released the album preview on May 14th.


The Dream Chapter: Eternity first impression

With the members’ contributions in the album-making process, The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY was highly anticipated. TXT did not disappoint. This release marks another achievement by the young group in showcasing their musical sensibility. Touching on themes of adolescence, loneliness, and identity in a thoughtfully produced album, TXT captivates their listeners once more.

The album starts with “Drama”, an upbeat track with a percussion-driven melody. Matching its melody is the track’s empowering lyrics. The members declare themselves the main characters of their own dramas, encouraging their listeners to see themselves as the main characters in their own lives as well.

Dark and moody, “세계가 불타버린 밤, 우린… (Can’t You See Me?)” is deserving of its place as the title track. Driven by heavy bass and featuring distorted vocals, its sound is just as haunting as the message it conveys. The lyrics allude to the heartbreaking moment when one discovers their friends do not connect with them anymore. Exploring the confusion and loneliness that occurs when friendships fade, the song is a testament to the bitter experiences one may face as they grow up.

“Fairy of Shampoo”, a remake of a song by the same name, is an eerie and melodious ballad. It also showcases Yeonjun’s lyrical skills as the member penned the rap lyrics himself. Perhaps the album’s most ethereal song, it is a dreamy inclusion to the project.

“Maze in the Mirror” also highlights the members’ production and writing talents, as every single member contributed towards its making. The song was partially inspired by TXT’s struggles during their pre-debut era, as they tirelessly worked towards their debut. The acoustic ballad has members singing about the dreams they pursue despite the difficulties they encounter along the way.

The album’s fifth track, “PUMA” is a standout amongst the b-sides. The song utilizes a metaphor of a puma that escapes from the zoo, comparing its escape to the feeling one experiences navigating through the unknowingness of reality. The trappy, bass-heavy song is an anthem of self-trust and bravery.

“Eternally” concludes the mini-album in an experimental flare. Switching between a reverent tune similar to a lullaby and a sinister trap beat, the track explores the confusion of memories. The song is an illustration of the group’s diverse range. It has many curious as to where the group will take their sound next.


“세계가 불타버린 밤, 우린… (Can’t You See Me?)” Mv afterthoughts

The music video for the title track builds upon the camaraderie seen in their prior music videos, however, it takes an ominous turn. It begins by showing the members joyfully spending time with one another in a house. As the video progresses, tension builds.

Members playfully engage in a food fight that escalates. The splatters of food resemble blood, and a fire starts in the kitchen. Cheerful group shots shift to solemn, sad solo shots of the boys. Moreover, in the choreography scenes outside of the house, the sinister turn of the music video is illustrated as the house behind the members gradually catches on fire.

The editing of the music video matches the distortion of the song’s beats and vocals. Featuring flickering red lights, glitching movements, and a mix of slow-motion and fast-motion shots, watching the music video is akin to viewing a trippy art film. The foreboding shots thoughtfully mimic the song’s isolating lyrics.

The music video was an excellent accompaniment for the group’s title track and matched the song’s high production value. Furthermore, it was an exciting addition to their prior releases by showcasing their abilities to pull off a darker concept.

As TXT’s storyline takes a dive into more troubling events, fans cannot wait to see where their journey heads next.


Image Credit: BigHit Entertainment

Video Credit: BigHit Entertainment YouTube channel

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