Review

Song Review: TXT – Blue Hour

After an incredibly strong debut year, I began to worry about TXT. Visuals and lore aside, it felt like Big Hit was pushing them too hard to sound like agency-seniors BTS, rather than embracing the group’s unique strengths. This hit a sour note with May’s Can’t You See Me, which felt like a junior version of Fake Love, minus the charm. Luckily, new single Blue Hour (5시 53분의 하늘에서 발견한 너와 나) returns TXT to the bright sound of their debut, though its heavily-processed disco sheen pulls equally from BTS’s recent hit Dynamite.

I think this style fits TXT more convincingly than BTS, even if its ebullient energy feels better suited to spring or summer than the dog days of October. Blue Hour has a laidback disco groove, heavy on percussion and light on tonal shifts. Unlike many K-pop title tracks, its structure is kind of flat, and that’s oddly jarring the first time through. It’s not that the song is subdued, but there’s an ease to its arrangement that initially comes across as underwhelming. I actually think this approach may prove helpful in the long run. There’s something so ingratiated about Blue Hour’s rhythmic energy. The production may not really modulate, but that’s okay.

Melodically, Blue Hour follows suit. It delivers a breezy pop melody that sneaks up on you. Taken apart from the cotton-candy music video, the song feels less sugary, but still bright and exuberant. Unfortunately, Big Hit’s awful vocal processing strikes again, robbing TXT’s members of most of their unique vocal color. I’ll never understand why the agency decided to move in this direction, as it seems to be overwhelming unpopular with listeners. A crisper vocal might have sent Blue Hour up a notch, but even so the song feels like a return-to-form after Can’t You See Me’s angsty detour.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

47 thoughts on “Song Review: TXT – Blue Hour

  1. I really don’t know who TXT are at this point. There are the avant garde long form videos every summer, the happy clappy Crown Cat Dog songs, the dark themes copycat ones from spring, and the more original Run Away 9 ¾ from last autumn (which I quite liked).

    Nothing seems to be sticking.

    And then there are the songs like these, the ones that make you wonder if TXT has a separate identity at Big Hit that is differentiated from BTS, something other than being BTS’s little brothers, the ones who have to take over should the worst happen. Let’s be frank: This song is a Dynamite leftover, the one that came in 3rd or 4th choice from Dynamite. Instead of sounding like a Target store like Dynamite did, it sounds like the American mall itself, that light pop soundscape infused with the smell of the Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s wafting from the food court.

    I’m not saying it’s bad. It’s a perfectly fine pop song. Well produced and performed. Its just too vanilla for me.

    You know how Bath & Body Works sells multiple versions of vanilla candles BOGO with coupon in their rewards program. There is the French Vanilla, Champagne Vanilla, Brown Sugar and Vanilla, Sugar Cookie, Vanilla Buttercream, etc. This is song is one of them. Somehow they sell out of all these versions of vanilla, and seem to be doing quite well. It’s usually the busiest store in the mall right after the Apple and Lego stores. Its like that.

    “Ghosting” is slightly better, if only because it sounds like its wafting from the British high street which makes it instantly half a tick better than an American mall, because hey UK! Big Hit have also done that microphone trick again to make it seem like the boys are singing live (they are not).

    Liked by 3 people

      • I waffled between an 8.5 and and 8.75 (which isn’t really that different). Objectively, I’d probably lower my rating a bit, but I just know this will be sticking around on my playlist despite its shortcomings.

        I much prefer it to Dynamite. It doesn’t sound like it’s trying as hard, and feels more authentic to TXT than Dynamite did to BTS.

        Liked by 2 people

    • I think that’s their charm a bit tho – they’re marketed as just young teens trying out lots of things and expressing that with different types of music/comebacks. Moody/angsty, bright & happy, introspective are all things inhabiting them at once.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My personal favorite is the toasted vanilla bourbon on the rocks sipped slowly that is their summer avant garde short films, but if this or another one is yours, fine by me.

        Like

      • I happen to like watching the French avant garde sipping a fine whiskey slowly, because that is the only way to get through them. True story: Cache, Juliette Binoche, Daniel Autiel, at the end of it I turned to honey, honey what the frick was that about, so we looked it up, and it was something about the French war in Algiers, and I … I …. well we had no idea. I mean … the memory still makes me laugh.

        Anyway, this summer ‘s TXT offering “Eternally” was all Jean-Luc Godard’s Alphaville. Light dark corridors doors blinking lights elevators bells shots. Back in the day, there was a German band named Alphaville named after the film Alphaville, and if you were or wanted to be hip you went out and rented the film on VHS (of all things) from Blockbuster (of all places), and you learned why the hip kids spoke the word “Alphaville” in a dark menacing robot voice. Why Big Hit puts out a long form MV inspired by it, who knows, but I was very entertained by TXT’s “Eternally”.

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    • They’re still so young and not even 2 years since debut…you guys expect too much from them, they will grow just like bts did and just every group and artist have

      Liked by 1 person

    • Their producer is slow rabbit, so it can’t be a dynamite leftover, since bts don’t work with him but mostly with txt, especially when the entire industry is doing retro. But if you take away the visuals and just listen to their music, it’s obvious their sound is rock influenced pop.

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    • the rating is high for me too. I get bored of the song really fast and the cgi was really annoying. The song didn’t have anything amazing that I would say this is amazing. It sounds very generic and pop to me. This song is bland. They have had better songs and this was not it.

      Like

  2. When I heard this described as a ‘disco’ feeling during them talking about it to teen vogue I KNEW you’d like it LOL

    I maintain that CYSM was a perfectly fine, age appropriate offering but do think BH is notably better and could use some picking up in the production

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Disco-ish beat automatically means I’ll like it. The song does not have much else going for it, though. That vocal processing makes them sound undistinguishable- and also makes them sound even more like BTS.

    It feels very much like a discount Dynamite indeed.
    Groovy background music.

    Like

  4. This is me being dramatic, but I almost threw up when I heard that first line & therefore this is going to be a rant about the horrendous vocal processing because that was all I could think about the whole time I was listening to the song. Does anyone actually think they sound better with all that editing? Does anyone even like it? Why have them sing at all if you’re going to strip out everything that makes their voices enjoyable? I searched for a live vocals compilation to see if they’re terrible singers, & they are not, so I truly just do not understand why someone felt the need to edit their voices into mushy noise. I would much rather just listen to their raw vocals.

    That being said, I like the song itself, maybe even enough to keep listening to it despite all the issues I have with the vocals. Also, the section with the hats & the pastel trench coats may be one of my favorite things I’ve ever seen. I want a whole stage based around those outfits & a poster of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • same!! the first line of the song made me go EWW. it’s so horrible and the rest of the song didn’t get any better. i hate bighit for hurting our ears like that, their voices are fine so i REALLY don’t know why they keep doing that…

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so weird that I was really into their first two albums, but it’s only lately that the vocal processing is bothering me on their 2020 songs. Maybe I liked the other songs so much that I could just look past it?

      This newest one sounds like nothing and the shrieking helium robot voices don’t help at all.

      Will still check out the album tracks though since the last one at least had “Eternally.”

      Like

    • It’s weird because the vocal effects were one of the things I found most charming about Crown. Back then, even if the guys’ voices were processed, it never sounded mushy or tinny. I don’t know what’s going on at Big Hit. I think they’re under the impression that this sounds ethereal, which works in some of their softer music. But, it has no place in a dance track like this.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, tbh I think We Lost The Summer should have been the title track. Blue Hour is so disappointing! At this point I don’t understand what Big Hit is trying to do with TXT. The boys have so much potential but seem like Big Hit is starting to mess up everything.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really like the amount of bass being utilized in kpop right now.
    This is a really nice listen but kind of…idk…static? The lack of a build up makes the song seem much longer than it is to me at least. Maybe I’ve become too accustomed to the louder drop chorus songs!
    Totally agree that this (I guess) Big Hit sound shines much more with TXT than BTS. I hope their musical identities don’t become intertwined.
    8/10 for me

    Like

    • Static is a good word for it. But, for whatever reason I think this is the rare time that that approach kind of works. the groove is so pleasant that I don’t mind wading around in it for awhile.

      Like

  7. Overall i’d say it’s an ok song. as someone who absolutely hated can’t you see me this is a major step up. however, it is no where even close to how good crown and run away are. the rest of the album is ok. the standout track is wishlist for me.

    on another note, the vocal processing is garbage, it’s so so bad. why can’t bighit lay off of it for just one comeback? this is the reason i’m not fully hooked. same thing went for on and dynamite.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, I was happy that TXT again went for a happy concept. But since u was expecting something like runaway, I naturally was disappointed. But this song is still nice. I like the bridge the most. But like seriously, It didn’t matter that much in the mv, but when I heard only the audio, their voices… Is it autotuned or something? Can someone please tell that it’s sooo not good to bh?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was really busy but now I am back at it again! and……………….
    something really doesn’t feel right to me , this doesn’t feel like a traditional TXT Single. The one where I think about TXT at all times. Crown and Runaway left this type of impact on me and Drama too.

    but…..Blue Hour feels more like “Here is a single”. there is nothing wrong with it but there is really nothing special about it.

    But the line opening the chorus is my absolute favorite part.

    And I really like the song but vocal effects…………..

    Song Rating: 8.75 (My thoughts make it sound like I hate the song , It’s not that , It’s just……….Crown, Runaway and Drama had this type of feeling I can’t really feel in “Blue Hour”)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Funny enough, despite my initial excitement Drama hasn’t aged all that well for me. I still like it (and think it should have been the single), but haven’t returned to it nearly as much as I would have thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I was going into this thinking “oh it’s described as disco! It’s not dark like CYSM or Puma” But no, let down again. The vocal processing of TXT makes me not able to get into their songs. If they fixed that I would probably enjoy them a lot more.

    Like

  11. I wonder why Big Hit feels motivated to do their vocal processing this way. Do their producers think of it as a style choice characteristic of Big Hit? Are they not confident in the natural vocal performance by TXT and feel the need to tinker with it?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m surprised by the amount of people who don’t seem to like this song! I honestly love it! I mean it does remind me of the disco-ness of Dynamite but that’s the vibe for kpop nowadays. I kinda like the gentle funkiness of this song. I can agree that the vocal processing is a bit overkill for me though.

    Like

  13. I was pleasantly surprised cuz I’m not expecting so much since CYSM. I think the song is good, but for a title track not so much, but still I like it 🙂 I think the cowboy aesthetics in this video and performances is ridiculous, IMHO. But the rest of the album is sooooo great, I love it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. The vocal effects strike again. This is why I’m not excited not even a bit for ENHYPEN’s debut. I feel like the vocal effects on their songs are gonna be worse considering the group in general has a very weak vocal ability.

    Like

    • I fear for that, too. ILAND did nothing to showcase their vocals, which leads me to believe they won’t be a selling point of their music, either. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. ngl I enjoy blue hour but my preference is we lost our summer, blue hour doesn’t have that feeling that txt has I think the wardrobes were great and the choreo looks fun but the mv had some parts that didn’t get along well and like I said there is something missing.

    Like

  16. People here don’t seem to like Blue Hour as much as we do? It’s not quite the all-time great the first two titles were, but it’s definitely miles ahead of Can’t You See Me and the chorus is irresistible (‘Cuz of imagination… has been STUCK in my head).

    Like

    • I love it, actually. It’s becoming more addictive each time I hear it. (though I may have replaced the album version with the mv breakdown version… why oh why wasn’t that included in the album?!?)

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ghosting is painfully good, sooooo good. U should review that song asap. Blue Hour is too vanilla for some of people (include me), wishlist is not my type, we lost the summer and way home is okay (around 8-8.25). But Ghosting! Ughhhhhhhhh god damn that song! ghosting is 9-9.25

    u agree?

    Like

  18. we lost the summer is around 8.25-8.5

    slightly better than way home.

    overall, this album is good and solid. No bad song. Applause for txt.

    Like

  19. the rating is high for me too. I get bored of the song really fast and the cgi was really annoying. The song didn’t have anything amazing that I would say this is amazing. It sounds very generic and pop to me. This song is bland. They have had better songs and this was not it.

    Like

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