touki is reviewing a boy group for once?!
I sure am! Today, we take a look at TXT’s most recent Korean-pop release, ‘minisode1 : Blue Hour‘. Released in the fall months of 2020, the Big Hit group (which means they are BTS’ little brothers) take on aesthetics, COVID, and a new array of sounds and jam pack them into a 5-track mini that’s meant to traverse you through a ‘blue hour’. But is this mini episode worth a watch/listen? Or is this blue hour just too blue for my liking? Let’s read on!
Kicking off is “Ghosting“, a move utilized by many today in the dating scene, and it is fully explored in song by the TXT boys backed by the throwback-iest of throwback instrumentals. With an incoming surge of 80s elements taking K-pop by storm, TXT looks to tag along, and boy do they do it successfully. Unlike some of their contemporaries, the 80s sound here is one that takes up a mellower approach to match the sadness of the lyrical content, with its zoom-like synth that twinkles with keys to represent what feels like tears. It is fueled by a set of percussions and guitars to add to its 80s homage, and it feels lonely, but in such a comforting way. If this is what ghosting feels like, then maybe I don’t mind being ghosted. ⬛
5시 53분의 하늘에서 발견한 너와 나
Romanization: 5 Si 53 Bunui Haneuleseo Balgyeonhan Neowa Na
Translation: You and I found each other in the sky at 5:53.
Had I found this sooner, this would have probably made it very high on my year-end K-pop list for 2020, but alas, “Blue Hour“, or as it is known above in its Korean-language glory, is, well, awesome. There’s a lot to unpack here, so get ready, but this is a song that has everything from a twinkly intro, a funky beat and disco-like melody, and vocals that just emote some form of joy, and not only that, it all blends together so well. It feels fresh. It feels like a song that not all the boy groups are doing (and let’s be real, the only ones doing something quite like this is their brother group, BTS). Had I found this in the sky at 5:53, I would probably feel the rush from the beginning, but alas… here I am, a few months late. That said, it’s on constant replay from here on out. ⬛
We Lost the Summer
Romanization: Nalssireul Ireobeoriyeosseo
Normally I cringe at the thought of COVID-related music (see anything done by American musicians in the year 2020), but WOW, did we ever. By that I mean, “We Lost the Summer“. And what a year it has been… we all thought 2019 was over and done but nope. And yet, just let me kind of walk on eggshells here, without 2020, we wouldn’t have something like this song (nor would we have so many people leave us, frankly). Describing the trials and tribulations that the younger kids of Korea were facing at the onset of the virus, “We Lost the Summer” incorporates a tropical house melody that’s catchy but still feels somber, and it couldn’t be a more fitting feel of how things came about… the summer is felt in the song but it’s not the same jovial feel, and its continuous beat feels like an eternity, much like the length of this pandemic. We lost the summer, but hopefully, with the efforts of the world continuing, we can get it back in 2021. ⬛
Boom goes the beats in “Wishlist“. Similar to “Ghosting”, “Wishlist” opts for the pop-rock vibes of the 80s, like it takes notes from a John Hughes movie. It also feels very BIGBANG ‘LOVE SONG’ era, and if anything, just DAY6 in general, and I am here for it! I will admit, the other three tracks prior are much stronger in comparison, but “Wishlist” is just close behind in terms of quality and delivery. The guitar melody gives the TXT boys versatility in their music catalogue, and with its anthem-like hand-clap midway portion, the track is heavy with power. With a title like “Wishlist”, this could have very well been a ballad, but I’m glad it took the route it did. Perhaps after this track, the mini album will be on my wishlist for actual purchase! ⬛
“Way Home” ends the album on a mid-tempo note, but rather than tackling the genres the boys took on in the tracks prior, “Way Home” finds itself to a more modern electronica sound, filled with twinkles and synth waves that echo all over. It has a very WAVE RACER feel to it that I really like, and with its little bits of hard beats and booming bass, it has an immersive sound experience that is worthy of a raise up the volume. There is an odd portion of the track as it somehow changes keys partway through, but despite this, the track manages to maintain my attention. It is a breezy finale, one that I really appreciate and feel for. It is slightly weaker following the momentum of tracks prior, but I find that this way home is one worth taking every now and then. ⬛
Wow! What a great mini album release from TXT. I have to admit, as an avid girl group stan, I never find myself taking the time to listen to releases from boy groups or mixed groups BUT I was always enthralled by TXT with their awesome debut. It’s in this comeback (their third, but correct me if I’m wrong) that they really turned it around for me. There’s so much here to enjoy, and the differences in genres are refreshing. If you’re new to TXT, I recommend checking this album out, especially if you’re someone who likes the 80s and is into aesthetically-pleasing concepts. Check out ‘minisode1 : Blue Hour‘. It’ll feel like a blue hour for a very long time.
MUST-LISTEN: 5시 53분의 하늘에서 발견한 너와 나, Ghosting, 날씨를 잃어버렸어
For more TOMORROW X TOGETHER (TXT) reviews, check out the archive!