Back when TXT debuted with the excellent Crown, it seemed they had years of bright, bubbly pop ahead of then. Instead, the group quickly veered into more combative territory. Their first comeback enhanced the rock angst and – apart from one disco-infused “minisode” in 2020 – they’ve stayed pretty faithful to that template. This paid off big time with last year’s 0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You) – a track that just grew stronger as time went on. New single Good Boy Gone Bad amplifies the guitars even more, fusing them to an aggressive hip-hop beat.
The song’s production is almost perfect. It’s focused and tight, bringing plenty of drive and grit that pushes the melody along with great synergy. It emphasizes the most important moments and gives the verses plenty of punch. The lack of a killer guitar solo feels like a missed opportunity, but I like how the entire track is roughed up with distortion. Vocal chants add anthemic heft in a cheesy way, and their repetition compliments Good Boy Gone Bad’s earnest spirit.
Melodically, Good Boy Gone Bad wrings everything it can from a very simple hook. It’s a bit too repetitive, begging for a robust post-chorus that never comes. But, I’d be lying if I said this refrain wasn’t already stuck in my head. Surprisingly, the verses offer a much more dynamic sound. The first verse thrives upon a rapid-fire, rhythmic delivery while the second goes harder with a tortured cry underlined by tense guitar. TXT totally sell the vibe, their vocals impassioned and expressive.
Merging Good Boy Gone Bad’s plentiful strengths with a couple slight disappointments, I’m rating the song the same as my initial score for 0X1=LOVESONG. That one is on the cusp of becoming a “perfect ten.” I don’t think Good Boy Gone Bad will have quite as impressive an arc, but I can see it becoming more addictive with time.