Hi friends! I’m super excited because today is my first ever album review! Going forward in the future, I’d love to review upcoming albums by my favorite artists, but would y’all want me to do backlist reviews? Or you can request an album review! I’m considering maybe doing Becky G’s new album, cuz I’ve only ever been exposed to Chicken Noodle Soup but let me know!
For today, I chose TOMORROW X TOGETHER’S second album to talk about. I don’t listen to a ton of Kpop, but I like this boy group a lot*, so let’s do this! Also, the reason I put initial thoughts as a category is because I listened to this at 5 in the morning, and I only half trust my brain at that time so yeah. And this is in no way educational or thorough, this is mainly just me bopping away and occasionally pointing out something halfway intelligent.
*ALSO THEIR TITLE TRACK IS HARRY POTTER THEMED. i am still screaming.
Initial Thoughts: I can already tell that this won’t be my favorite on the album. It’s not bad at all! Definitely not a skip! But the vocals paired with the production aren’t the craziest thing ever.
Specific Thoughts: I like the contrast between the whispery first verse that escalates into full-on, beautiful vocals. But the chorus is very much pop rock, with all of the members chanting in the background. It does transition smoothly after the inital shock of the chorus, but the thing about this song (in my opinion) is while it’s fun to listen to, it shares a couple of similarities to other Kpop songs released this year.
Lyric Breakdown: This is, lyrically, a great song to open the album with. We have a young boy group making their first ever comeback, and the first thing they do is say right up front that they don’t want to follow all the rules set forth. I know that in Korea, it’s very structured and there’s a certain way of life everyone is expected to follow. Also, that line about hating math should be nominated for line of the year because SAME.
My life that’s trapped within boundaries
If it’s left root, right foot then
Right foot, left foot is comfortable
Even I don’t know why I’m like this
Everything of this world is forbidden fruit.New Rules
Platform Nine and Three Quarters (Run Away)
Initial/Specific Thoughts: UM. THIS IS ACTUALLY SO GOOD. We have this magical piano opening, that transitions into a pop rock verse, which then switches completely into this rock-ish chorus that’s incredibly catchy. In a golden age of production, I’m so pleased to note the real instruments used in the song! The drums and guitars are so refreshing. The vocals and adlibs are perfectly timed. ACTUAL KINGS. Also I’m in LOVE with the bridge! The English felt very natural and well balanced with the earworms.
MV Thoughts: I swear, their music videos are the height of cinema. I have no idea what’s happening but THE HARRY POTTER REFERENCES. Also a possible Doctor Who reference! My soul is happy. But for sure my favorite part is when they discover the door, because it hearkens back to all the Narnia feels. The lighting, the camera angles – it’s an actual movie y’all. And we’re not going to talk about the choreo, cuz that’s a whole other post entirely.
Lyric Breakdown: LOOK I’LL ADMIT IT I’M A HOPELESS ROMANTIC. These lyrics express the feelings of the being in love in quite literally the most magical ways ever.
Bibbidi Bobbidi the train is departing
Bibbidi Bobbidi our magic island
When we go past this tunnel
When we open our eyes
Our dreams become reality.Run Away
y’all are lying if you say that your heart isn’t soaring right now.
There’s this idea of wanting to escape with the person you most love, and leaving all of your worries, anxieties, and fears behind. It’s the reason a lot of us read fantasy, I think.
Please take me now, to the magic named ‘us’
On that dark night at the bottom of the stairs
The magic began the moment I saw you
Let’s make a magic spell with your tears
So there will be no more tearsRun away
Basically, it’s a whole bop, accented by rich instrumentals and brilliant vocals, a fantastic music video, and incredible lyrics. Even if I don’t entirely understand the MV but who’s surprised.
Initial Thoughts: This has got almost a retro feel to it? The chord progression is reminiscent of the 80s to 90s! And those harmonies at the end! Um…random thought…but the beginning kind of reminds me of Mario. I don’t know why.
Specific Thoughts: The vocals aren’t particularly light and airy, or dark and sultry, but rather they perfectly fit the 90s vibe! They’re well balanced in every way. And the ending just hammers everything home with the beat dropping off, leaving a main voice and gorgeous harmonies.
Lyric Breakdown: Judging from the lyrics and title, they’re about riding a roller coaster (you don’t say Past Kaya) but the way they describe the apprehension and excitement of the ascension, that leads to the thrilling adrenaline of the drop-off…I want to go ride rollercoasters now. I think that this could be interpreted in quite a few ways!
The cold wind and the light blue sensation
The ecstatic fall, the eternal moment
I’m not afraid, don’t let go of my head
It’s time we fallRoller coaster
Initial Thoughts: This has such a bright feel! It’s very chill, with an instrument that literally feels “poppin” haha.
Specific Thoughts: In general, this isn’t what I would consider a stand-out on the album in terms of music or vocals but it’s just a nice, chill song to play on the way to the beach. The whole structure of the song is simple, and the layers paired with the musicality itself are probably made to bring to mind happy, summery memories.
Lyric Breakdown: This probably isn’t about drugs but that’s all I can think of reading these lyrics lol. I suppose that this is maybe referring to someone who is addicting and beautiful, like a star? Hey at least give me points for trying! I’m kinda dumb.
The electrifying static you’re a popping star
The dull feeling in my head, the good feeling my love
Ah, perhaps this is the fireworks
That I can feel if I chew a mouthful of stardustPoppin star
Can’t We Just Leave The Monster Alive?
Initial Thoughts: I don’t know why, but this is giving me early 2010s vibes. And the vocals in the hook leading up the chorus are reminding me of the classic boy band sound.
Specific Thoughts: I don’t really have much to say on this song particularly, except that I like the pre-chorus/first part of the chorus a lot because it’s so calm and reflects the vocals well.
Lyric Breakdown: At first glance, this seems like just a random video-game metaphor. In actuality, I think it tackles the duality of trying to keep one’s childhood, while facing the looming certainty of adulthood. This is one that definitely requires more thought, and is open to interpretation.
Can’t we just keep the monster alive?
You can be the hero
And I’ll be the monster now
Away from our boring roles and become each otherCan we just leave the monster Alive?
Initial Thoughts: This is the one I called as my favorite when the track list drops. That whistle at the beginning though?! The piano is prominent in this, deeming it a soft ballad with a hint of RnB. And again with the harmonies!
Specific Thoughts: A BALLAD MY FRIENDS. The whistle at the beginning is melancholy, but the vocals it leads into are almost…hopeful? In a regretful way. As if they’re thinking back on the past, and how it led them to where they are now but they still have hope for the future. I think I can hear feminine vocals in the background which complement the whole song very well.
Lyric Breakdown: So many lines about stars and the sweetness of falling love and the pain of separation. They’re beautifully poetic. There’s really not much more I can say.
This place is our start line
Our star line
The starlight that we saw together
Don’t forget that night
Don’t forget this place
Initial Thoughts: From the start this has RnB vibes and I LOVE it! Idk how their voices switch genres with such ease, but this song is another that feels made for them. Do y’all hear those runs?! If I’m not mistaken, this is the one Daniel Caesar helped produce? It shows, and in a good way!
Specific Thoughts: Okay, but do y’all hear those runs?! And hello, high notes. I didn’t ask to be come for like this okay. The cymbals, the jamming bass, the background deep voice- it all fits the RnB vibe perfectly. It’s such a great song to have on this album, because not only does it vary the genres in general, the fact that it comes after Magic Island which is slow in itself adds a sense of musical predictability.
Lyric Breakdown: This is a song about growing up (literally) but also emotionally, and coming back the ones you love.
It’s not what it used to be
My grown up heart
By one’s own hand
As far away as one can go
You don’t know
That we’re 20cm apart
It’s kind of melancholy, but also adorable? I think it perfectly captures the feelings after you see someone for the first time in a long while.
Angel or Devil
Initial Thoughts: We’re really ending with such a bop?! This reminds me soooo much of a pop song on the radio, but with a (nowadays) hip-hop twist. But they somehow make it feel fresh and new!
Specific Thoughts: This is just another great pop, hype song! The chorus especially has a similar sound to the Jonas Brothers or a collab between popular rappers and singers. It’s very radio-like.
Also we aren’t going to talk about the boy in luv reference in the choreo and lyrics.
Endless fight [of] Devil-Angel
A repeated match without repeated questions
Tell me how can I make this stop…
This tackles the idea of the angel vs. devil shoulder thing, and my brain hurts from all this thinking so my only thoughts right now is this scene:
- Run Away
- Roller Coaster
- Magic Island
- Angel or Devil
- Can’t We Just Leave The Monster Alive
- Poppin Star
- New Rules
I’m just going to end here because we’re at almost 1800 words lol. Even if you read only part of this, thank you for sticking it through with me and I hope you enjoyed! Tell me if I should do more of these in the future!