Striving to be the best, TXT returns with 3rd LP
Tomorrow X Together hopes for Billboard Hot 100 debut with new album, "The Name Chapter: Freefall"By Choi Ji-won
Published : Oct. 13, 2023 - 15:14
After a yearlong journey touring international stages, including Lollapalooza and MTV's Video Music Awards, boy band Tomorrow X Together is back with a new album, this time setting its sights on the Billboard charts.
The band, often referred to as TXT, released its third full-length album, "The Name Chapter: Freefall," Friday afternoon.
The press conference held on Thursday, a day ahead of the album's release, felt like a celebration of the group's glorious return after 10 months of remarkable feats overseas.
"There have been many honorable events where we felt so unbelievably grateful. It still feels unreal. I think the thought that we're contributing to the promotion of K-pop drives us to work harder," the band's leader Soobin said during Thursday's event.
The new album marks the band's return nine months after the release of "The Name Chapter: Temptation." Since then, the boys have traveled Asia and the US with their upsized third world tour, "Act: Sweet Mirage," during which they collaborated on a new single with the Jonas Brothers, headlined Lollapalooza Chicago and performed on the main stage at the VMAs.
Behind the glitz and glamor, the five singers continued to think about the kinds of innovation and inspiration they could bring to the world through their music. Another genre-defying album was born through the process, with the boys taking the next steps on their journey.
"The new album continues the story from where we left off in the past album. The previous story showed the boys hesitating upon facing temptations in life. This time, they overcome the temptations and run towards their dreams," Huening Kai explained.
"Reality" is the keyword for the latest album, the members noted, and "freefall," refers to their plunge back into the real world as they decide to confront life's temptations.
According to the members, the story reflects the thoughts the five boys each have about their lives.
"It's about the reality that we're living in right now. While young people experience insecurity from an uncertain future, they have their own moments to really shine. We tried to convey that fragile yet solid state of youth through TXT's colors," Yeonjun said.
Fronting the new album is "Chasing That Feeling," a fast-paced new wave tune flourishing with 1980s retro pop vibes. Synthesizer sounds spice up the melody, while thumping beats add weight to the overall peppiness.
There is both sweet and sour in life, and with the new title song, the boys are determined to face the sourness.
"The cold reality for young people is burdensome and stressful. But we have to soldier on in order to achieve our goals. This song embraces the determination of young people as they strive for their dreams," Soobin said.
The new album is the first full-length album from TXT in two years and four months. A nine-song package with tracks of all different sounds and colors, the members said they had crafted it carefully as a gift for their fans.
"We've packed it with diverse genres, from hard rock to pop and indie, recreating them in our own styles," Taehyun explained.
Follow the painful yet shimmering adventure through reality are eight other songs on the album -- "Growth Pain," "Back for More (TXT ver.)," "Dreamer," "Deep Down," "Happily Ever After," "Skipping Stone," "Blue Spring" and "Do It Like That."
The members all contributed in the production to deliver a more genuine story. Yeonjun took part in writing the lyrics for "Deep Down," while Taehyun helped in penning words for "Growing Pain" and "Happily Ever After." Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu and Huening Kai have been credited as lyricists for "Dreamer." For "Blue Spring," a song produced by Beomgyu, the bandmates together wrote with their hearts for their fans.
With the new album, the five-member group is already setting new records. The LP garnered 2.35 million copies in pre-orders, up by 100,000 units from the band's previous highest pre-order sales record set by "The Name Chapter: Temptation."
Expectations are high that TXT will go beyond the extraordinary records they had set with the previous album, which includes 1.86 million copies sold on the first day and 2.18 copies within the first week. With these feats, the band has become the first K-pop group after BTS to garner over 1.8 million copies in sales in just a day, and the fourth to win the double million-seller title in less than a week.
The boys continued its triumphant odyssey overseas, headlining the US Lollapalooza in August as the first K-pop team and taking the stage at the MTV VMA in September, becoming the first K-pop band to perform at the prestigious music awards. At the VMA awarding ceremony, the group premiered its new song, "Back For More," with Brazilian pop star Anitta.
The group's next goal is its Billboard Hot 100 debut, Yeonjun said. "They say you have to dream big," he added, grinning sheepishly.
TXT's debut on Billboard's main singles chart with its new album seems quite likely. With the past album, "The Name Chapter: Temptations," it notched up its first No. 1 on the main albums chart, the Billboard 200, toppling seven-week winner Sza's "SOS" from the spot. It also went on to grab the gold certificate from the US recording industry for surpassing 500,000 copies in album sales inside America, evidence of the band's stateside popularity.
Climbing to the next level on the charts is a secondary goal for the boys. Whatever the results may be, the boys will continue to go at their own pace in reaching the hearts of global listeners.
"I think the big reason behind our popularity is our story that resonates with all the listeners in our generation, regardless of their nationality or age," Taehyun said.
"Youth" and "empathy" are what defines the band's music, he added. "We share our own stories, which naturally resonate with fellow members of our generation, and with that connection we build the narrative that forms TXT's universe."
TXT's third full-length album "The Name Chapter: Freefall" was released at 1 p.m. on Friday.
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