I adore TXT’s debut mini album, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they end 2019 as my favorite rookies of the year. Yet, when I heard that Cat & Dog (of all tracks) was selected to be a follow-up to the brilliant Crown, I wasn’t sure how to feel. In the context of the album, Cat & Dog works well as an amusing (and amusingly WTF) aside, but songs like Blue Orangeade and Our Summer simply demand to be singles. I’ve never been a fan of the meme-ification of pop music, and I worry that Big Hit chose to promote Cat & Dog simply because it’s odd and memorable.
With that said, I enjoy the song much more than I ever thought I would. On paper, there’s no reason for me to gravitate towards a faux-trap mumble rap track that sounds as if it could be an anthem for Furries everywhere. It aggressively leans into some of my least favorite trends of the moment. It’s shellacked with autotune from every angle. Yet, here I am replaying it over and over again.
As a group, TXT are just so charming. There’s an innocence to their music that only K-pop can offer. It’s not trying to be cool or even ironic. When the guys literally start barking at Cat & Dog’s raucous climax, it feels oddly natural. Like, of course they would! It’s hard not to be won over by their complete lack of badassery. In a boy group climate that has steered way too moody over the past few years, a song as purposefully stupid as Cat & Dog is weirdly refreshing. With that said, let’s make this particular experiment a one-off. I’m allowing them exactly one animal noise-filled single. For the proper follow-up, I want something that can challenge Crown’s effortless pop exuberance.