From Can’t You See Me to Puma, the choices around TXT’s latest mini album have easily been my biggest disappointments of 2020. But by promoting album-closer Eternally, Big Hit has finally done something right. Now, don’t get me wrong – although it has some cool, trippy moments, the music video is bloated as hell and stuffed with the kind of English Lit class symbolism that thinks it’s more clever than it is. But as a song, Eternally is the second-best on the mini album, and I’m happy to see it seize the spotlight.
Since debut, TXT have been lodged in this dreamlike, fantasy concept. It has resulted in some cool visual moments, but like most K-pop lore, it’s only grown more long-winded and convoluted with time. When it comes to music videos, the group has yet to replicate the succinct power of last year’s Nap Of A Star. Eternally bends over backward to be deep and meaningful, and that strain is honestly exhausting. Ideas that could be presented in three minutes are stretched out over twenty, most of which involve the members gazing moodily at the camera and walking slowly through hallways.
But, I digress. Eternally is most interesting when you consider its musicality. What begins as a typical Big Hit ballad morphs into a thomping electro track, borrowing elements from industrial music for a refrain that’s at once exciting and haunting. This dramatic switch-up makes Eternally a song of contrasts, which also makes it difficult to classify. Unsurprisingly, I prefer the more upbeat portions, but the song’s wispy production and vocal delivery make the slower moments pleasantly hazy as well. They actually remind me of the late-80’s dream-pop genre shoegaze, which I never thought I would say when it comes to a K-pop track. I only wish that Eternally pushed itself even farther, building to something truly avant garde rather than the interesting – but ultimately repetitive — stop/start structure it delivers.
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