Last year, Tomorrow X Together were exalting the powers of love after finding a romance so strong it could thaw even the iciest of hearts. But life has a habit of swerving off course and destroying all your plans, hopes and dreams just when you think you’ve got everything on the right track. The five-piece’s latest mini-album ‘minisode 2: Thursday’s Child’ is evidence of just that, the band’s formerly potent affair now nothing but a painful reminder of what could have been.
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“Love is a lie, I loved that lie,” Taehyun cries on ‘Good Boy Gone Bad’, a roaring rush of menacing rock guitars and assertive hip-hop beats. “Burn it, just burn it out.” Illusion of love’s all-saving force shattered, everything is now bleak and the group share equally as wretched views on the rest of the track. “A scar on my chest gone bad / Slash my heart, gone dead / The one you knew, that good you’s gone bad,” they sing on the electrifyingly dark chorus.
‘Thursday’s Child’ catapults us through TXT’s winding journey of romantic grief, each song representing a different stage in order. If ‘Good Boy Gone Bad’ is anger, then before it the stormy ‘Opening Sequence’ details denial and, after, comes bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. In that way, the mini-album continues to fulfil the band’s aim of reflecting the reality of the world around us, vividly capturing the feeling of each step in both the lyrics and sounds exhibited on each track.
Never ones to settle for something ordinary, the group use the subject of lost love to explore intriguing tangents. The indie-pop ballad ‘Trust Fund Baby’, in particular, is one of pop music’s most interesting takes on a break-up song in recent memory. Its title highlights TXT’s ability to capture the zeitgeist, here taking a voguish term for a rich kid and using it to tell a story rife with cynicism and despair about wealth’s impact on love and life, as well as feeling like your peers’ lives are on a much brighter and better path. “The shining spoon to me is someone else’s story / Someone that already has their dreams,” Yeonjun sighs, while later Beomgyu sullenly drops a pin in his location: “A paradise for the losers.”
This mini-album also finds Tomorrow X Together splitting into units for the first time as they enter the final stages of their journey. Yeonjun and Hueningkai team up on the contemporary R&B gem ‘Lonely Boy (The Tattoo Ring On My Finger)’, a song that’s as sparse in its instrumental layers as it is in feelings of happiness. A revolving acoustic guitar lick underpins the track, only beats and occasional coatings of barely-there effects joining it and the duo’s voices. “I hate it, now I now I don’t need it / Your traces that won’t heal,” Hueningkai sings, referring to the ill-advised titular tattoo.
Beomgyu, Taehyun and Soobin, meanwhile, join forces on ‘Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go’ and bring us to a sparkling synth-pop conclusion that shakes off the sorrow, ready to smile again. “Today’s hashtag: ‘break-up’ / Then paste ‘glow-up’ next to it,” Beomgyu sings, a nod to a TikTok trend that finds users working on bettering themselves rather than sinking further into post-split depression. “I’m looking forward to the wonderful days,” Soobin sings as the song hits its final throes, the magic of focusing on themselves clearly working.
‘Thursday’s Child’ represents yet another leap forward for TXT, displaying continued inventiveness and improvement, and adding yet more creative credits to their resumes (Beomgyu co-produced ‘Thursday’s Child Has Far To Go’, while all tracks had the input of the members in their writing). Yeonjun, especially, shines with some brilliant rap verses – first in ‘Good Boy Gone Bad’ and, later, in ‘Lonely Boy’.
The latter perfectly conveys feeling foolish after giving your heart over to someone and the promises of “forever” that come with that – whether verbally or, as is the case in the song’s backstory, ink permanently etched on your body. “A doodle that lost its meaning / Yeah, I was stupid,” he raps at one point, despondently elongating the last word of the line to emphasise his misery. “Why did I do that then?”
The record fully justifies that hype, continuing to position Tomorrow X Together as voices for their generation (and beyond) with songs that are both sublime in quality and evocative reflections of life’s ups and downs.
- Release date: May 9
- Record label: Big Hit Music / HYBE