Review

Song Review: TXT – Puma

I really don’t know what’s going on in Big Hit Entertainment’s head this year. As the agency rapidly expands, their 2020 musical choices have left me cold. BTS’s ON arrived at a challenging time, just as the pandemic was starting to take hold of the world. But even so, it feels like the most polarizing of the group’s title tracks. And then we have TXT, whose latest album largely forgoes the upbeat pop that brought them so much buzz last year. Instead, we have angsty trap music, moody ballads, and whatever Puma (동물원을 빠져나온 퓨마) is supposed to be.

Honestly, just give me a good pop song. That’s all I want. When I first heard Puma in the context of the album, I brushed it off as some indulgent little interlude, letting the guys briefly chew on some awful trends before moving on to something more melodically robust. But now that Big Hit has given it the full music video treatment, it seems that this is a sound they actually want to spotlight. What a mistake that is.

Puma has its moments, but above all else it’s a showcase for awful vocal processing and mind-numbing trap beats. When it comes to TXT, I’m not convinced by this harder, darker image — and that’s mostly because the songs just aren’t very strong this time around. Puma is a half-baked idea, like what EXO’s Wolf might have been if it had arrived during this dire, trap-fueled time. The production is claustrophobic and obnoxious, forcing that tinny, ugly percussion over every moment. The vocals have been processed until they become mush, barely reminiscent of the charismatic tones that brought us Crown (or even Cat & Dog) last year. It’s formless posturing, and far beneath an agency as established as Big Hit. Get it together, guys. This ain’t it.

 Hooks 7
 Production 6
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 6.75

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

45 thoughts on “Song Review: TXT – Puma

  1. I LOVED Run Away, liked Crown quite a bit, and thought Cat & Dog had its (goofy) charms despite not being my cup of tea. Can’t You See Me was in my shortlist for biggest disappointment from fav rookies, though I could see why many found it appealing. But this one… Puma… is just BAD. I was about to get pissed when you started comparing it to “Wolf” (that song still gets played daily and yes I love it that much), but then you mentioned “if it had arrived in this dire, trap-fueled time” and I agreed.
    Hhhh you okay there buddy @BigHit? Whatever happened to your stable of songwriters this year? Get it together buddy.

    Song 4/10. -0.5 because Big Hit hasn’t released anything worthy of replays this year.
    MV idk 7.5/10?
    Choreography don’t know don’t care.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. This morning I watched this music video thinking, wow, its beautiful, but Drama would’ve been so much better. Soon after I started listening to Cle : Levanter. That album has quite a few moody trap-pop bangers such as Double Knot or Booster. I decided to listen to those tracks right after Puma. I instantly was left with a horrible taste in my mouth, I instantly thought ” Why can’t TXT leave the angsty-trap music for Stray Kids?” Honestly I really beleive that this style does not suit TXT and they should leave it to their contemporaries. Just now I listened to Illusion and Double Knot, and while those tracks aren’t perfect, they’re filled with personality and energy. This track just feels so lifeless and sounds like it could’ve been by anyone. Unlike their title track this moody progression just deosn’t feell very natural. It sounds like what the Bighit executives want them to sound like, and not the sound they’ve been building up

    This track is easily the worst track on the album and I’d much prefer if they’d promote ANYTHING else but it is what it is. Also, ever since Run Away I thought that when TXT would go the dark route it would be an high tempo Emo/Rock/Pop fusion. This is just a mid-tempo Emo/Trap and is really hard to listen to.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. You were far more generous with you rating than I would be. I just dont get why agencies countinue to belive that this is what it takes for boy groups to look “cool” and if this is what it takes to look “cool” why is this always the fallback option when devoid of better ideas? I mean personally I’ve always considered talent and exciting music to be cool all on its own regardless of genera or concept. This song does nothing to promote the members strengths; I am not really familiar with TXT’s members but in this they all sound the same to me. Nothing sells me more on a group or song than soaring vocals that are arranged well enough to highlight the disinct differences between members, even when singing in unison. In my mind that should be one of the strengths of being a group in the first place, but none of that exists here.When I first started reading this blog I didnt get the frustration with Trap beats, at least partially because it took me awhile to recognize trap music. I wasnt really familiar with it before kpop. However, with this song I totally get how irritating it can be. I really dont like the instrumental of this song at all, its repetative, it goes nowhere, its very nearly grating, and i’d almost call it mushy. I really enjoyed TXT’s Runaway last year but I dont even see this one growing on me. At a time when the world could use more light or at least more energy in its music I just dont get the choices here at all.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. by far my least favorite TXT song ever and the worst one on this EP! More than just personal dislike the original song they wrote – Maze in the Mirror – is not only better but thematically ties to CYSM MUCH more.

    I am going to pretend this doesn’t exist much like I have with the song itself

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I respectfully disagree because if them as a group wants to experiment more genres then they should. I see them as like a bubble gum fun concept group that was why when they debuted I barely paid any attention to them till I actually listened to their songs so I think the idea of puma was to try new things , if they get more attention to their bad/cool side rather than their school boy or vice versa then so be it.

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  6. I knew it was too much for me to expect TXT to keep the fresh concept for long… but at least a few years? Why switch almost completely to dark and angsty barely a year after debut?

    Oh well. I suppose it’s too much for me to hope that they’ll surprise me each time I hear they’re having a comeback. I’ll just stick to the earlier stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would really like to know that everybody thought that since TXT went dark for an album that they were going to stay that way for the rest of their albums. Makes me appreciate Blue Hour much more.

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  7. Why!! I just want to have a good month……… JUST ONE GOOD MONTH!! Is that too good to ask? because we had 6 bad months in a row!! TXT has released the worst song of this month as of right now!! TXT !! ……. I’m sorry but if they keep releasing like this they’ll drop off my personal favorites. We are currently facing a storm right now , this june but we’ll pass it but as of right now we have two comebacks which were utter crap.
    I’ll give it 6.5

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I honestly liked puma… I don’t know why u guys are saying this, puma and cysm are both awesome tracks…..
    I didn’t like txt during the first a lbum… But I actually like them now after cysm🤩

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  9. Sorry but I am a TRUE fan of txt! Puma was NOT even that bad to me! The meaning to it was my FAVORITE!! Poor puma died🥺 RIP! Also TXT have the RIGHTS to try new things… it’s not ALWAYS about CUTE and CANDY boy??! And if you didn’t like it then keep it to yourself and let it be😗Maybe the next comeback will be CUTE and FLOWERS you never KNOW?? stick it up buttercup😂

    Like

    • We are true fans of TXT ….. but the thing is that they shifted to a more darker sound too fast and not only that I have met people just like you………. “ItS TheRe ChOiCe IsNt It” the thing is… yes! it’s their choice but why is that every group is shifting to a more darker sound for absolutely no valid reason…… and they always appeal to dark lovers like you. And do you know that fans can even dislike one song from a group…. I don’t like Without You or Fear but I am still a fan of Golden Child and Seventeen. Stop using emojis ……. it makes you look pathetic and Nick in the Top 3 Songs of the month told that “As of right now”
      See…….. “As of right now”. Even if , the next comeback is all flower boy then we are talking about the present and this is a review…. Can’t handle criticism your fault for not having the positive review you wanted. Go Back Dark Lover!! Nobody wants you in this site and also were talking about music not Meaning or storyline……… wait only “True Fans” use the Story Line excuse or what?
      Man , I have seen Elementary kids who can read better than you cause you misunderstood this whole site

      Liked by 3 people

    • …aaand YOU my good sir, are the real definition of an absolute delulu! Praising everything they do and putting down others who have different OPINIONS than you and all the other meme commenters out there on youtube.

      EVERYONE has the right to VOICE their opinion. You don’t have the RIGHTS to tell other people to “keep it to yourself and let it be” Freedom of speech, yknow what I’m saying? And just in case you pull out the “oh this is hate speech” card out, it’s not. Saying that you don’t like the song and why isn’t hate speech it’s opinion. These idols put out their work knowing full well that they’re going to get all sorts of opinions. That is the cost of putting out your stuff open to the public. Your faves aren’t gonna cry and go home to their mummy just because of Nick’s OPINIONS. The agency will be looking at comments and reactions, trying to decide where to next and what they need to improve on.

      Besides, all Nick said was about the music, which has nothing to do with the members themselves. They didn’t help produce it, so in a sense, all of Nick’s criticisms point towards the producers themselves. Cmon mate, this site ain’t the place for you to be doing this. This is a site with MATURE people with MATURE discussions, something that obviously you need to work towards and become. If you can’t handle this, go back to twitter and youtube.

      On a side note, please PLEASE do not put down people that just say I don’t like the song, I’m disappointed with the song or the mv or I wish they could’ve done this more than this. Don’t say things like “if you didn’t like it, then you should just keep that to yourself and move on”. Ask questions such as why, how so, and yknow LEARN about people and their different OPINIONS.

      You and millions of ppl alike are the main reason why I don’t read youtube comments. All I see is nobody: me:, fangirlboying, goals to stream 1B views in 24 hrs, and putting down differing opinions as hate speech.

      Liked by 5 people

        • @YOMAMATXTNCT
          -I personally think their dark stuff is pretty solid. Their two 2020 singles have been pretty good.
          -But you have to admit not everyone is going to like everything they do. And for me personally, I love the dark concept. But what I don’t like is when its overdone. What I’ve liked about TXT is that their main singles have all had very unique concepts to go with great pop tracks. But PUMA on the other hand, me and many others think that this deosn’t even come close to their 2019 work. And that does not mean you have to agree with us. This is a comment section, where you can express your opinions. But next time, please do it repectfully. And ditch the emojis, not that emojis are neccesarily bad, but with the way you use them its hard to take you seriously.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I read this review, thinking in my head, “come on, it can’t be that bad.” I stand corrected.

    It’s decent, I guess. I don’t want to bash txt but I was really looking forward to them this year since I really enjoy blue orangeade and new rules. But nope, drama has been the one I have enjoyed and bighit chose puma. I guess they want to follow the trend of a trap beat and an angst concept?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Not the MOAs flooding the ratings poll with 10’s, as if I’m some kind of TXT anti.

    Friends, do your research. I’ve been one of the biggest TXT cheerleaders on the internet ever since their debut, but part of being a fan is admitting when something is less than ideal. Simply rating everything an idol group does with a 10 out of 10 dismisses the work much more than a thoughtful critique would.

    Liked by 7 people

  12. All I can think about is how much I don’t think this ‘concept’ fits Taehyun.
    Also “West side East side” if y’all don’t stop putting this is kpop music lol

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m sorry but I have to say this
    I respect you guys opinion on their newest songs
    But I can’t understand why it don’t give an amazing impact on you guys
    My opinion is their songs are all good and have a really deep meanings of u guys know what I mean by that
    I think it’s quite sad and dissapointing for you guys to compare them with other groups..
    Let’s imagine how they feel if they know you guys thought on their songs
    How hard they work to give us better performances Everytime
    Stay up late, practice and practice nonstop thinking that fans will be happy and love the new music..
    Same goes to other groups also..
    They all work hard. No need to make an article about their songs or what..
    Just keep our thoughts within ourselves only.
    As a MOARMY and multifandom
    It hurts me a lot knowing you guys talk behind them like they have no feelings
    I just want you guys to know that making music is HARD. Especially to statisfy all listener preferences. If you guys want them having good music based on your preference you guys can donate your self produced music to them and tell them to sing it as idols are mainly controlled by fans right? So sad…

    Like

    • I can assure you Nick never intends to shit on TXT members, or any other idols. In fact, Nick is a big fan of TXT’s 2019 works and he’s always made a point to honour the hard work that these idols put in. Each and every review he’s done has always been critical of the MUSIC more than anything, which usually has NOTHING to do with the idols performing it themselves.

      Yes, music making is hard. Nick and (I’m sure) everyone here is fully aware of just how much work is put in into making kpop songs. Nick often puts extra effort in showing his appreciation for (many) production teams in kpop. Check out his very informative “Producer Spotlight” section.

      You’re being too defensive of your idols. (most of) The guys of TXT are adults. They have the mental capacity to understand that there will be people who like or don’t like whatever song is given to them and they will be prepared for it. Stop treating them like defenseless snowflakes.

      Music is entirely subjective. Everyone has their own musical preferences and the rights to say their opinions on certain songs. SHINee is my bias group, but if they release a Ravi-esque song (🤮) I have all the rights to call it “disastrous” cause it’s just not gonna align with my musical preferences. Part of being a fan is being RESPECTFULLY CRITICAL something doesn’t click with you, and this includes making REASONABLE comparison to other groups’ songs.

      I’m sorry if I come across as harsh or anything.

      Liked by 4 people

        • I really sympathize with you. Fans need to stop equating not liking an artist’s music to not liking the artist themselves.

          I like VIXX. I love their commitment to their concepts and I believe Ravi is an absolute sweetheart and a teddy bear. But the reality is I really dislike his solo music, and I actually think this is fairly common among Starlights LMAO. It’s possible to like a person, but not like their music.

          Even with my favorite kpop group there’re a couple songs I’m neutral about. You are never obligated to like/love all of their songs. If you happen to 100% like all of an artist’s songs, great for you! But don’t go policing other people for expressing their own opinions; if they’re doing it respectfully that’s their right.

          Just because someone worked hard on something doesn’t mean they automatically deserve 100% praise. If you study 92832938423 hours for a test you don’t automatically deserve to get a 100% score. If you get a wrong answer you get a wrong answer. If someone doesn’t like your song then they don’t like it, you can’t force them to like it/be quiet about it.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for posting this. I honestly don’t want to keep repeating myself. But it’s something we have to do in order to protect this blog’s integrity. You won’t find another place like this.

        Like

        • I appreciate your support. Oftentimes, it’s more powerful to hear it from a reader (or several readers) than over and over again from me.

          Like

          • It’s honestly bizarre how many times visitors to your site have completely misconstrued your music-focused reviews and criticisms as hate for the idols themselves. Where are they getting this? Where is the reading comprehension??

            Like

            • Many of these commenters are reading the reviews through an emotional lens (if they’re reading them at all), and that’s fine.

              In their defense, I imagine most of them haven’t been following my writing for any amount of time, so without that added context a single review might come off differently.

              Still, the blind idol worship gets a little tiresome, and it’s impossible to reason with.

              Like

  14. Say what you will, I’m enjoying it. Maybe this is just them dipping their toes into darker concepts, testing what feels right. The music video is definitely a shock to the system, and I like it that they’re experimenting.

    Liked by 1 person

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