Released on October 13, “The Name Chapter: FREEFALL” by TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT) signifies a transition from the dreamlike realm of Neverland to a poignant exploration of reality. This marks the culmination of an era and a fresh phase of growth for TXT. The second full-length installment in their “Name” series, “The Name Chapter: FREEFALL,” is a compelling narrative that encapsulates the struggles and determination of youth as they navigate the harshness of reality after delaying their adulthood and evading the world for so long. Big Hit Music, their management label, described it as a journey into the depths of reality, where the freefall can be tormenting, and yet, TXT perseveres by facing everything head-on.
In their title track, “Chasing That Feeling,” TXT weaves a nostalgic 1980s synth-driven tapestry, showcasing the impressive vocal range of all group members, comprised of Yeonjun, Soobin, Huening Kai, Taehyun and Beomgyu. This track serves as an embodiment of the transition from the innocence of youth, bidding farewell to the enchanting realm of Neverland, and embarking on a heartfelt journey that explores themes of reality, melancholy, clarity and gravity. Additionally, the release of the title song and official music video follows the debut of two other tracks, “Back For More” performed live at the VMA’s in collaboration with the popular Brazilian singer Anita, and “Do It Like That” with the Jonas Brothers. Both of the debuted tracks are featured on the album’s tracklist, with “Back For More” having a special TXT Version.
“Songs like “Deep Down” envelop the audience in a soothing EDM-pop ambiance, featuring a notably well-executed pre-chorus that shines even with its repetitive nature, and a chorus that seizes the listener’s focus with a prominent beat. Whereas “Deep Down,” showcases the group’s versatility in their lower registers, the prior track “Dreamer” contrasts as a soft R&B song that feels like a musical embodiment of a sweet dream, with its soaring vocals. And further down the track list, “Blue Spring,” previously featured in their Act: Sweet Mirage tour is a heartfelt dedication to their devoted fans (MOAs) and is a guitar-led ballad worth a listen on this album.
“Happily Ever After” may come across as a playful pop banger, but it conceals thought-provoking lyrics beneath its bubbly tone, forcing listeners to confront the realities they often avoid. TXT’s vocal prowess is on full display, showcasing their adaptability across genres and their commitment to expanding their musical horizons. In “Growing Pain,” they take an ambitious turn, embracing a full-blown rock mode that provides a heavy and impactful start to the album. Another standout track is “Skipping Stones,” which delves into the theme of self-acceptance, emphasizing the shift from being tough on oneself to meeting their true self. Throughout the song, TXT delivers impressive vocal performances, including falsettos, extended notes and powerful chest vocals.
As TXT continues to evolve and experiment with their sound, it’s clear that they are not only expanding their horizons but also pushing the boundaries of K-pop itself. This album serves as a testament to their versatility, vocal prowess and commitment to addressing themes that resonate with their listeners. Whether you are a devoted MOA or a newcomer to their music, “The Name Chapter: FREEFALL” promises a captivating and immersive experience.
Verdict: “The Name Chapter: FREEFALL” showcases TXT’s bold experimentation, solidifying their unwavering career growth and offering a message of hope amidst darkness.