Song Review: TXT – Run Away

It’s been a long road to TXT’s first comeback. Originally scheduled for August, Run Away (9와 4분의 3 승강장에서 너를 기다려) arrives after two postponements, increasing anticipation for where the group’s music would go next. TXT has been pitched as a lighter, more pop-informed version of agency-mates BTS, and this approach resulted in a knockout debut. Crown remains one of 2019’s most ebullient tracks, but the guys have taken an edgier route for their follow-up. Run Away feels like the spiritual successor to BTS’ own Run, as filtered through TXT’s youthful vision.

Homage or not, Run Away was worth the wait. Its rock-infused arrangement is a more daring stylistic shift than I would have expected, but still adheres to many of the elements that made TXT’s debut such a treat. After a brief, mysterious opening that echoes the morse code motif of Crown, Run Away bursts right into its propulsive beat. The vocals here (and throughout the song) are much more processed than I would’ve liked — which, funny enough, was also an issue with BTS’s Run — but the melody is strong and instantly anthemic. TXT have the kind of bright, clear timbres that I prefer in pop songs, and they bolster Run Away with an effortless confidence.

Given that this is the lead track of an album entitled Magic, Run Away occasionally dips into fanciful territory. Its spell-casting pre-chorus is jarring the first time through, but gives the song a unique touch that never waylays the energy. A half-time breakdown during the second verse is unnecessary but relatively harmless. Unfortunately, these trendy moments are par for the course in 2019. I just have to learn to live with them.

Run Away’s true star is its two-part chorus. It’s here that the guitar comes in, boosting an already potent hook and giving the track just the grit it needs. The melody is incredibly catchy — probably one of the most instantly memorable refrains we’ve heard all year. This is the power of a good chorus, and the reason why I’m such a staunch protester of EDM drops posing as hooks. TXT are one of several new groups bringing back the appeal of classic K-pop, and Run Away is another bold step in the right direction.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 10
 RATING 9.25

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17 thoughts on “Song Review: TXT – Run Away

  1. I’ve been refreshing the page waiting for your review to go up! I was optimistic from the teasers, but it’s still better than I expected. I do wish the vocal production were a little less… obvious, but the song itself is wonderful.

    (Also, I’m preparing my favourite songs of the decade playlist, and ‘Crown’ may wind up on top. I wouldn’t have expected a 2019 release to go all the way, but no other song brightens my mood so consistently.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is probably one of the most instant and engaging choruses of the year. It’s hooky, sticky, and surges with energy. I’ve had the melody stuck in my head since it came out. And honestly, who doesn’t love a good full throated two part chorus? It’s a 10 for me just on the chorus alone.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. i agree with you on the vocal processing and the trap break but thank god it’s small, i love the bibbidi bobbidi part it’s unexpected and fun and the chorus is just so fresh and catchy, it fits them so much……the album is amazing too

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Its aiight. Nice to hear a song fully sung through. Actual chorus! … Did I miss the rap? Is there a rap? Well, if I missed the rap, then I didn’t miss it at all. Songs don’t need raps, people!

    At some points it sounds like a little girl is singing. I don’t think that is the intent, but that is what I am hearing, so it sounds young in a young sort of way to me. Like kids bop young. I haven’t made up my mind yet about the bibbidi bobbidi boo twirl yet.

    Overall, it is a nice change of pace. Actually it sounds like late 2nd gen song – something I can’t quite place right now, but the beginning of the each chorus line has a descending melody that reminds me of like an old Nuest Face / Good Bye Baby era. (which isn’t a bad thing) (but it isn’t Nuest).


  5. Absolutely awesome chorus. The kind of chorus I’ve wanted all year.
    I am pretty meh about whoever is processing their vocals though…it’s unnecessary imo.


  6. My prayers have been answered – a kpop song with guitars AND a knock-out chorus! I think this and ACE’s Undercover have been the only two songs like that this year, unless I’m forgetting something. That being said, I really dislike the processed vocals (are they just overdubbed to hell or is there some sneaky autotune in there?) that BigHit seem to love. It’s always one of my main problems with BTS too. Oh and the mini trap breakdown. Could do without that. The lord giveth and the lord taketh away…


  7. Runaway is one of those songs I will never stop listening to, even 10 years later. Like for real, it’s such a bop! ^^


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