Review

Song Review: TXT – LO$ER=L♡VER

TXT - Loser=LoverWhen TXT released 0X1=LOVESONG at the tail end of May, I wasn’t sure whether its catchy pop punk sound would fade quickly or grow into one of their strongest title tracks. Several months later, the song has exceeded all expectations, ranking among my favorite comebacks of 2021. It’s amazing how well this angsty sound fits a group who debuted with the light and buoyant Crown. Repackage track LO$ER=LO♡ER continues LOVESONG‘s rock-influenced style, acting as a suitable companion to round out their strong album.

I’m always astounded when a pop song this simple encompasses thirteen (!) co-writers. I mean, there aren’t a ton of ideas going on here. Take one of Bigbang’s old rockers and merge it with today’s production trends and you’ve got LO$ER. I don’t mean this as a bad thing. The track’s straightforward nature is a strength. In a K-pop climate filled with breakdowns and switch-ups and spectacles, it’s rare to hear a song this uncomplicated.

From the teasers, I expected LO$ER=LO♡ER to feel more anthemic. Its two-part chorus has a driving, rebellious energy, but I long for the instrumental to punch with the same intensity as LOVESONG. Instead, the bombast occurs during the explosive pre-chorus. After that emotional catharsis, the track coasts into its hook with an easy – almost laidback – road trip vibe. The melody here is catchy, moving from a soaring refrain to a chant-along structure that will lodge in your brain whether you want it there or not. A standout Yeonjun rap adds bite during the bridge, and this would have been the perfect time for a key change or a blazing guitar solo to vault LO$ER to another level. With thirteen credited writers, you’d think they could come up with something to boost the song’s finale. Instead, LO$ER=LO♡ER acts as a satisfying — if slight — comedown from the mighty ferocity of 0X1=LOVESONG.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

47 thoughts on “Song Review: TXT – LO$ER=L♡VER

  1. A stronger finale would definitely help the song, you’re totally right. I like it a lot and I’m still :O about them cursing right there in front of my salad like that lol!

    Liked by 8 people

    • Same lol! I wasn’t expecting them to drop two (three including korean) f bombs. I guess it fits the rock angst thing very well but still :OO

      Like

  2. I like CIX’s “Weezer” song, Young much better. This lacks a kind of sharpness and edge; the very clever chorus deserved more.. Still holding out for another glorious track like Blue Hour.

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  3. this really appeals to my teenage sensibilities haha.

    Personally I like how much this arrangement adheres to a pop-rock trap hybrid simplicity letting the boys let loose vocally. I am glad TXT has gotten a chance to expand on the vocal color palette introduced in LOVESONG.

    for some reason I have a notion that this song may perform well for Western markets because of the simplicity of the instrumental. I noticed Olivia Rodrigo’s pop-rock singles are chart crushing, and actually have less frills than early 00’s emo did, production-wise.

    It’s fun to listen to the TXT boys cruising on this one!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. *sigh* My humble opinion, freely shared, we may as well rename them “Tomorrow One Together”. I just looked it up and it seems it would be something like 내일 하나 함께 Naeil hana hamkke, or NHH for short
    … also I just looked it up, and Niall Horan’s middle name is James.

    Nope, this sound is not for me. I can turn on the radio and hear a song just like this.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah I agree. For something trying to be an angsty emo type song, it lacked those actual emotions for me. Not enough edge. Don’t know if that makes sense but yeah

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh we probably have agreed some time in the past.

        I mean, its not a bad song. It will probably sell a whole bunch to all the kids who need to have a classic boy band sound for their generation. But I have lived through enough of them to just give a shrug. I tolerate it well enough when my own kids put on the 1D songs. You got the (bum) one thing.

        Also, its not really punk. These kids are so far from being punk. Punk is like showing up on an ordinary afternoon show dressed as a pirate with double drums, and subverting enough expectations of what a song and performance should be that is so exciting. Like these. And then going out for a pint afterwards.
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwP9mesLxro
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o08aC2ykrR8

        Liked by 2 people

  5. my only gripe about this was the goofy English lyrics (like with 0X1=LOVESONG). whoever wrote that “lover with dollar sign is a loser” line should not be allowed to enter a studio ever again.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. As I always say, electric guitar added to anything>>>>

    Judging from the teasers, I expected a more anthemic, bombastic piece but this satisfies. I’m not so sold on the melody of the chorus though. The rap part during the bridge is really great.

    I get a crooked-esque vibe with this and would be more than pleased if they went with this musical direction with this kind of emo punk rock being my thing (more to do with my age I guess haha).

    But anyways, I think the next mini album probably, will mostly be a moody affair judging from the mv’s end (though this is exactly what I told before lovesong released smh)

    Liked by 2 people

  7. i didn’t except much from this song by the teasers, but i ended up enjoying it. still, i feel like it lacks something, more anger and sadness, more force? i know it isn’t actual rock, but i think it needs a little more of its spirit in it.
    what i found great about lovesong was how it did feel like a heartbroken boyband singing it, full of the angst and loss of the first heartbreak in life, but loser just sounds too plain.
    i like the song for now, just don’t think it will survive in my playlist for long. but who knows, it could change.

    i, however, do know that i’m a bit disappointed on the emocore remix. i feel like it’s just the original song with slight changes and the changes were really not enough to make it “emocore” for me.

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    • I’m a day late but just want to say I agree with all of this, you expressed exactly how I feel about both Lovesong and Loser. I could have done with more of the angst and rawness that I felt Lovesong delivered really well.

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  8. If you told me back when TXT debuted that they’d be the ones to go emo out of all the k-pop groups, I probably would’ve believed you honestly (boy groups are fickle with their brightness) but I bet Nick wouldn’t.

    It’s interesting that out of all the niches, this is the one they go towards. Not that I’m complaining, it’s definitely valid. However, I’m not a fan of sad emo songs though, so their teenage angst was never going to appeal to me despite being one.

    I don’t really like any of the melodies really, and the hook is not for me. Not a fan of the English lyrics too. Still, it’s a song perfect for their audience, but I’m not part of that.

    Sigh. Maybe if they were more rock ala Paramore, I’d be more into them but alas, their guitars are nowhere near that.

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  9. I agree wholeheartedly about the last chorus. I’m a big TXT fan but lately as I’ve been listening to more (especially older) kpop I can’t help but feel their music would be better if they had a standout vocalist. I was longing for some wild adlibs or random high notes in that last chorus or SOMETHING to differentiate it! (I’ve been listening to Heart Attack by AOA a lot and I love the goofy chants in the last chorus. Make Hueningkai do that!!!!!)

    That said the song is still pretty good and I’m a big fan of the pop-punk direction. It feels fresh on the music scene right now and like many kpop young adults I also grew up with this sound music and it hits me right in the angsty nostalgia gut. If BigBang won’t come back I’ll let TXT take their place. (The “I suck, please love me anyway” lyrics are very BigBang also). I think it works for TXT’s whole coming-of-age concept as well – but I also can’t wait until their Boy With Luv moment and we get another Crown.

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  10. The problem with this song is also my gripe about having a team of 10+ people creating a song. As you may have noticed, I typically dislike, criticize or even row such writing camps as they are widely inefficient and often produce the most neutral work, out of any neutrality. It is personally invigorating, and emotional for me. However, as a critic would suggest, it simply is a fair radio slob.

    Also, I was correct in predicting that Nick would be the first to rate the song below 9.

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    • Despite it being below 9, it’s honestly a better a score than I thought it would get. 8.5 is not that far off from 9, and it’s certainly higher than some songs get here.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I miss when TXT’s style was cute and bright but now, combined with the music too, it’s all just so corny. The Harry Styles styling and just… lmao. This song shouldn’t be taking itself so seriously for one

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  12. TXT as my favorite KPOP group really surprised me on this song. I was obsessed with 0X1 when it first came out and that hasn’t changed for this comeback, BUT, my only complaint with this new one is that the ending is so anticlimactic. It has a nice buildup after the rap only to let you down with the same version of the chorus we’ve heard before. A key change, like stated, or even an extra harmony would’ve made this song an instant favorite but, that being said, this still a fantastic comeback and def up there as one of their best.

    Sidenote: I really hope that for their next comeback, they move away from the emo rock style because, although it fits them, it would be nice to see them diversify into either slightly darker or a light lighter concepts (like Blue Hour and Run Away).

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  13. I agree on the last chorus feeling anticlimactic, I definitely wish it exploded there or did something different at least. Like others have mentioned as well, some of the English lyrics didn’t really land right for me either (but honestly the novelty of them dropping multiple f-bombs might be enough for me to make up for it LOL).

    Other than that, I really like it! I’m looking forward to blasting this on the car alongside Lovesong haha. I can’t tell how it’ll age for me though, similarly to 0X1-Lovesong – I liked it ish when it came out but was unsure how it’d age for me, and it’s became an absolute favourite now. We’ll see. On another note, I’m liking how these last two comebacks have incorporated mics into their choreo, with the handheld mics in Lovesong and now the mic stands in Loser=Lover.

    Even though I think this sound fits TXT, I do hope that the next comeback switches thing back to a brighter sound like Crown/Blue Hour.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. It just feels like a Big Bang cosplay. I can’t get over how YG it feels. Even my partner said “this is iKON” when they first heard it. And Big Bang didn’t have 13 songwriters to make (much better) songs either.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. It’s not as good as “LOVESONG,” but almost nothing would be… that’s one of the best songs to come out of kpop in a long time imo.

    I don’t know how much longevity this one will have for me but I’m obsessed with it purely for the dropping of THREE F BOMBS (one in Korean so everyone can appreciate it). Crazy! I would love it if this PAVED THE WAY for many other acts to say fuck. I know they want to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Yeah…I don’t know. There’s something about this kind of track that feels like it should be for me, as a fan of emo and pop punk bands. But it just seems like it’s missing something. They’re trying too hard to achieve some level of emotional authenticity and I just don’t buy it.

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  17. As apart of the teenage angst-filled target audience for this song, I can say they’ve done a good job at satisfying said audience. TXT have proven their own versatility since debut, and their progression from ‘Crown’ to now has been very exciting to watch, and I appreciate and enjoy every style they’ve taken on and made their own. I’m really fond of their current self-described ‘emo-core’ era lol. However, I do have my own personal gripes with this comeback..

    1)‘Lover with a dollar sign is a loser’ is such a lame, half assed lyric and yet it’s what the whole song centres around. There’s some pretty big hit makers on the credits of this track, and not 1 out of the 13 of them could come up with anything less perfunctory?
    2) The styling of the stages. Half of them look like they’ve stepped out of Season 3 of American Horror Story, the other half dress like my Aunt at a funeral. If i see one more tweet about ‘fuck gender norms’ or ‘fuck stereotypes’ I’m gonna rip my hair out, the stylists aren’t even trying. This is such a good opportunity to be more experimental and embrace the emo and the angst in all its glory😢
    3) The first time I listened to the song and heard the ‘I’m a loser, I’m a loser’ in the hook, my brain (somehow, unfortunately) made the link to ‘I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo’ and now I’m just gonna think about radiohead, and how I’d much rather be listening to them instead every time this song comes on 😶‍🌫️

    There’s aspects of this song I prefer to ‘Lovesong’, but overall I think ‘Lovesong’ is a bit more potent. One last kick up the ass for the finale of this song could have definitely excelled it to its full potential though, another shortfall from the *13* songwriters behind this..

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  18. Recently I was in the sudden phase of listening to Set It Off’s “Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”. Having said that, I have similar sentiments to some people here that I do wish the production went harder for “LO$ER”. Its pop-punk! You can do so much with that genre; unapologetically! Especially for that final chorus *sigh*

    Apart from that gripe, I’m a big fan of this genre so this will definitely get a thumbs up from me. “LO$ER” is a solid sequel to “Lovesong” (and damn you guys are right, this song has grown a lot more than I thought over time. That’s the power of longevity!).
    In the first listen, I would say “LO$ER” has a more memorable hook. But as a whole, “Lovesong” did it better.

    But I must say… I can’t help but compare this to BTS’ “Permission to Dance” after people had made the comparison of TXT’s Magic to BTS’ “Butter”.
    I don’t think it sounds that similar but maybe it’s because “MOA Diary” and “Permission to Dance” are built on similar notes and structure…?
    Or maybe it’s the autotune that’s messing with me.

    Oh, right. Yeah, the new bside “MOA Diary” is nice.

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  19. I love this song! I felt it was a fitting follow-up to Lovesong.

    For me TXT’s selling point is their lives…I feel the official MV audio does not highlight their true potential. It was the same with Lovesong, after the first listen I didn’t care much as it felt just ok – but the song hit me 1000 times harder on the stages.

    This time it is no different. I really loved the MV – I absolutely love people singing into the mics 😂 and the aesthetic was really cool. I immediately headed over to their showcase and I got a taste of how incredible their stages are going to be 🙃

    I think TXT would really suit the k-band vibe. I feel TXT and BDC are the two groups who are bridging the gap between idol groups and K-bands.The main focus is ALWAYS on the vocals – a few clean choreo pieces, mics,minimalistic stuff etc as props & solid stage presence.

    August is going to be a hard month for top picks😭 My favorite groups haven’t even started and already Golcha,ONF & TXT have come for my heart!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I love and adore txt so much, but I need something new from them. Besides, this emo concept honestly is not their true identity. This song is not for them or define them. Please just find something fresh txt.

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  21. Although this song is actually easy listening, but I can’t feel the emotion, can’t resonate with it. So, it’s I wanna say that this song is breakthrough, set the new trend or something, but I can’t.

    Add something! Make song that truly “belong to txt” not the producers.

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    • This one (loser lover) is a miss for me. But overall, freeze album (the songs) are top notch with txt vibe. I mean, freeze is txt, frost and all the songs in freeze is belong to txt and only they can bring the song.

      Like

  22. Since yesterday I’m having the feeling that for all me, Nick and people I know railed against 2020 in K-pop (in different places, ofc), we ended up with a way higher share of great songs than this year. I can’t remember any other time when I felt so enthusiastic about so many comebacks as during 2021. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling let down all the time now.

    About this song… well, I think I haven’t expected anything from TXT since Blue Hour, but that was me, not them. If anything, Blue Hour did feel like a TXT song, while this and their last comeback sound like what I’ve always called “teenage rock”, and I didn’t much like teen rock even when I was a teenager. As someone said, this doesn’t feel like their true identity.

    I do feel like I would have loved Lovesong if it went harder, though. More like actual punk. It’s still getting into my good graces, in a slow and sneaky way, ever since it popped back into my head a few days ago.

    BTW, Big Hit, please feed Taehyun. Guy’s breaking more bones than an old lady taking a shower for her hangover.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I know this era will not be something they continue towards in their music career- but I wholly except it. I am one of the people who this sound totally caters too.

    Now this song does not have as strong of a chorus as lovesong. It doesn’t pack as big of a punch. HOWEVER, it’s still a great song. But I’m not sure a whole repackage needed to be made for it. I honestly think it could have been a strongly promoted b side.

    All in all, I love this style of music. Cheesy “punk-like” vibes. Not exactly punk because it’s far too cheesy and teenage crush for it to be that. But still, it’s in that direction, which I admire. I can’t wait to see what they do next!

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