Back on release day, I mentioned how TXT’s 0X1=LOVESONG could “go either way” when it came to longevity. I’m happy to say the song has grown more addictive over the past two weeks – so much that it probably deserves a retroactive spot within my top three songs of May.
Follow-up track Magic is also great, even if I would have preferred a music video for the superior No Rules. The thing about songs like Magic and BTS’s Dynamite/Butter is that they feel disposable. Combine HYBE’s increasingly effects-heavy production style with obvious pandering to Western markets and you get a product that feels inauthentic and weirdly chintzy. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy pop music for these exact reasons. I happen to like inauthentic, chintzy pop when the melodies are great and the performance is fun. That’s why Butter scored so high on this site.
Magic isn’t quite as exciting, and feels even more generic. In fact, parts of its delivery remind me of that awful “Cake By The Ocean” song from a couple years ago (or, even worse… a Maroon 5 single!). In actuality, Magic boasts UK-based singer Olly Murs as one of its many co-writers. As a former binge-watcher of X-Factor, this is a crossover I never expected to see.
All that baggage aside, Magic is a blast if you don’t think about it too hard. The lyrics are banal enough to pass by without consequence, and TXT’s plucky energy lends the track a bit more character than expected. The unpleasant HYBE production sheen is omnipresent yet again, washing over every element with the same fizzy texture. The one exception is a repeated chant during the bridge and final chorus. I imagine many listeners will find this segment cloying, but I like how it pokes out from the mushy mix to deliver a more urgent sound. Other than that, this is a vapid, by-the-numbers pop song that I happen to enjoy quite a bit. It’s kind of like fast food that way.
**On a related note, Magic’s instrumental ends with a “ding” that sounds exactly like an iPhone text message. Fool me once? Shame on you. Fool me twice? Three times? Four…? … oh, come on!