Now in their sophomore year, TOMORROW X TOGETHER is back with their sophomore EP, The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY; the third and final installment to The Dream Chapter series. After their all-star rookie season of 2019, in which they earned at least ten New Artist of the Year awards, TXT continues their story of adolescence set to powerful and emotional tunes that further solidify the group’s signature sound.
ETERNITY’s lead single “Can’t You See Me?” focuses on the conflicting feelings of loneliness and alienation even when around those close to you. Tackling this difficult dynamic when navigating relationships, the song is a blend of hip-hop and rock with an electric guitar blast timing perfectly with the song’s whistle-tipped beat drop. Driving the point home, in case you missed it, is the rhythmic repetition of “Friends don’t understand me, understand me anymore” in the post-chorus — almost in a chant between the titular question, “Can’t you see me?” The song fires off like an anthem while still maintaining a voice of youth in a message that’s ageless. By the time the painful emotion within the song registers, you’re already dancing along in a classic “BIG MOOD” method of leaving your cares behind.
CRAFTING ‘THE DREAM CHAPTER’
During the TXT Comeback Special on Mnet, the members expressed that “Can’t You See Me?” showcases their darker side, combining feelings of resentment simultaneously with the desire to be saved from them. It sits in opposition to their debut concept in both fashion and sound, with the sunny mask of “CROWN” being replaced by the angsty grit found in “CYSM.” The story progression of all TOMORROW X TOGETHER title tracks was demonstrated in a back-to-back-to-back performance of “CROWN” (The Dream Chapter: STAR), “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away) from The Dream Chapter: MAGIC, and The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY’s “Can’t You See Me?”
Group leader Soobin described the differences of each album and where it fits into the story: STAR tells the joy of meeting friends like you, MAGIC is an adventurous escape, and ETERNITY is being hit with the harsh reality of life’s conflicts. It’s a journey that’s especially poignant when coming of age, and TXT plays into their strength by not growing up too fast; presenting songs that connect to all ages from the perspective of teenagers and young adults.
In addition to “Can’t You See Me?,” two other features on the comeback special were “Drama,” a piano-driven punk-pop song with energetic choreo in the same vein as “Blue Orangeade” and “New Rules;” and “Fairy of Shampoo,” a remake of a 2014 song by Light & Salt.
The dreamy, ‘70s-inspired “Fairy of Shampoo” is a definite standout on the album as the group once again puts their harmonious vocals and falsetto front and center. From project to project, TXT has shown great skill in incorporating popular genres from decades past into their music with TDC: STAR’s 1980’s influences and TDC: MAGIC pulling some style from the 1990s. It was only a matter of time before the sounds of disco and roller rinks gone by made an appearance in a delightfully nostalgic way.
Speaking of callbacks, “Drama” scores major points for giving us yet another example of the boy band’s excellent footwork, dancing around the subject of popular friends and the dramatic events that come with them. Going back to the beginning, “Maze in the Mirror” is the first song the group wrote together about their pre-debut worries, culminating in a pretty acoustic number that’s shaping up to be a fan fave.
The bass-boosted “PUMA,” or “The Puma that Escaped the Zoo,” speaks on leading one’s own path and recalling what’s left behind in the face of reality; boasting a charismatic rap to remind us all of the group’s multitude of talent. The most experimental track on the mini album is “Eternally;” which is just as dreamy as “Fairy of Shampoo” in a different way. Like whiplash, the song hits more than one 180 degree shift with a jolt from ethereal ballad to a dark and thrumming rock beat. Not unlike the “Pure Imagination” scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. For a song that explores confusion and longing of memories, we can’t think of a better way to express the conflicting wave of emotions that come with it.
Following the release of The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY, TOMORROW X TOGETHER released a secret track specifically for their fans, written by all five members. The group produced the first verse of the touching gift as trainees, and completed the song after debut. As the song is not meant to be shared openly, log in and check it out at http://www.txt-theanswers.com. (You don’t want to miss it, it’s one of our favorites!)
Shining exactly where they are on their path, the more mature look and sound of ETERNITY is a good note to leave The Dream Chapter behind; allowing the boys to easily transform into whatever the next era may be.
The Dream Chapter: ETERNITY can be streamed on Apple Music and Spotify, and physical copies are available online. Find the album and more at the TOMORROW X TOGETHER Weverse Shop!
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Cover Image: TOMORROW X TOGETHER (Big Hit Entertainment)