When Big Hit announced that they were going to be putting together a new group – a boy group at that – I was both pleased as punch and a bit hesitant. It wasn’t that their stable of trainees was in any way lacking or that I wasn’t sure they’d do a wonderful job with the chemistry between the members or making sure they were prepared for worldwide stardom. If any label has familiarity with this kind of pressure on their artists, it’s Big Hit. What I was concerned about was the fervor of BTS fans both elevating them before they were ready while also lashing out at them for the very fact that they aren’t BTS.
The group, Together X Tomorrow (TXT), is young with the oldest having been born in ‘99 and the youngest in ‘02. They were introduced individually through pictorials and videos highlighting their assigned roles in the group – the fun one, the cute one, etc. I admit they have been charming as hell right out of the gate and though I have chosen to not spend a lot of time on them for the present, I’ve been motivated enough to check them out periodically through stages and reality programming. They are exceptionally polished, their language skills are well advanced compared to other nugus, and they really know how to connect with fans in the most darling ways. Big Hit knows that their audience is global and they’ve focused on meeting the needs of this varied demographic beautifully.
Those of us that went to Korea in March caught their debut stage at the filming of one of the music shows. The crowd was unbelievably excited to see them and, though I personally disagreed with the outcome, they won that episode. I’m sure that my concerns regarding their popularity in large part thanks to their labelmates played a big role in that and other wins, but that’s not to say that they aren’t quite talented. Their debut EP is adorable. It’s a good reflection of their ages and where they stand in the rookie group world – I give it props despite it not being in my preferred genre of pop. I listened to it a few times, but let it fall fairly quickly from my playlists.
This new release, however, is fabulous. I love it. The Harry Potter-like concept and styling are a day-dream sweet spot and the heavily R&B influenced sound is directly in my wheelhouse. I’ve learned that June of Planetarium Records and PLT fame has been involved with the creation of the TXT sound and has worked with them a lot in the past and that has really piqued my interest in continuing to see what they do and how they develop.
While I’ve been slow to jump on the TXT bandwagon, my interest is growing. It would do none of us any good for me to ignore them just because I don’t like the undue attention they’ve received. That would make me just as bad as those that love them because they’ve probably done a dance class or two with Hobi.
We’re more mature music listeners than that. Or, I hope we are.
Run Away, Together X Tomorrow (TXT)