Minisode 3: TOMORROW Lands TOMORROW X TOGETHER on Solid Ground

Bridging the gap between past and present over a five-year journey is no small feat, but for TXT, the payoff on Minisode 3: TOMORROW is sweet.
All photos: HYBE / BigHit Entertainment
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Minisode 3: TOMORROW Lands TOMORROW X TOGETHER on Solid Ground

TOMORROW X TOGETHER's protagonist is a traveler first and foremost: through parallel dimensions, transcending time and space. From getting lost in the ‘Maze in the Mirror’ to calling ‘Dear Sputnik’ and falling headfirst into a Carollian ‘Sugar Rush Ride,’ the group have always been on the run, mostly from the looming threat of adulthood. However, as they enter their 20s, there’s no choice but to ground themselves in reality. Bridging the gap between past and present over a five-year journey is no small feat, but on Minisode 3: TOMORROW, the payoff is sweet.

The mini-album gets off to a fast start with ‘I’ll See You There Tomorrow,’ a glitchy house-inspired number that slots them seamlessly into the voyage of The Little Prince. Recalling promises made between them and their own fox, depicted in the comeback trailer to represent their fandom MOA, trusting that connection is what allows them to face the future head-on. One of their most developed (and addictive) pop tracks perhaps since ‘Blue Hour,’ ‘I’ll See You There Tomorrow’ leans into TXT’s penchant for misdirection, putting some of their most reflective lyrics over a tried-and-true earworm.

Interlude ‘- --- -- --- .-. .-. --- .--’ (meaning TOMORROW) employs their longstanding Morse code motif, and title track ‘Deja Vu’ is further riddled with Easter eggs for MOA who’ve been following their lore from the beginning (a fan-run translation account thoroughly breaks those references down here). The theme of running away that permeates their whole discography is present as ever, but they pause in the liminal space of ‘Deja Vu’ to comfort their lost inner child: “Say my name / I’ll hug you tight, as promised on the first day.” The accompanying music video finds them flitting through dreamlands in search of security, adorned in coquettishly deconstructed takes on prince costumes we’ve seen them wear before. 

While I always ponder what direction K-Pop could be headed, trap beats still remain a cornerstone. The fusion of tinny, arpeggiated hats and moody synths conjures earlier BigHit work, particularly BTS’ ‘FAKE LOVE,’ to keep emotional intensity catchy and melodic. That balance makes the ‘Deja Vu (Anemoia Remix)’ feel more purposeful than the grunge of its FREEFALL counterparts; interpolating a bygone era of rock parallels the lyrical deja vu itself. Though TXT introduced themselves to the world with bright, happy pop and surprised us with heavier sounds on FREEFALL, ‘Deja Vu’ shines in the crux of uniqueness in between.

Where much of K-Pop has begun to co-opt Afrobeats as the genre continues to rise in global popularity, HYBE has been no different. TXT revisit the vibe of TEMPTATION’s ‘Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock)’ on Soobin-Yeonjun subunit song ‘The Killa (I Belong to You).’ The track’s writing team includes longtime Afrobeats fan Taehyun (who also participated in writing ‘Tinnitus’), but even more notably so, British-Nigerian mainstay Ari PenSmith, best known for his work on GoldLink’s Diaspora, Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift and Renaissance, and Tyla’s self-titled debut. It’s worth highlighting the impact of collaborating with Black creatives when touching a genre so tied to its cultural roots: slightly subverting the sound with a smooth 2000s acoustic R&B twang, ‘The Killa’ exudes sexiness with ease in a way most K-Pop Afrobeat riffs haven’t.

‘Miracle’ and ‘Quarter Life,’ though, take on more conventional anthemic 2000s pop rock. At face value, ‘Miracle’ reads as a fan song to thank MOA for standing by them through the highs and lows of the journey so far. But co-writer Soobin has stated that getting to make music with his fellow members is a miracle to him, too. It’s easy to envision the wistful ‘Miracle’ as a setlist closer on the upcoming Act: Promise tour. 

The equally as nostalgic ‘Quarter Life’ is performed by the three youngest members, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai. Overt in its youthfulness and darlingly cliché, the tune earned a few tears: it’s a reminder that coming of age stories are for everyone, even 28-year-old teenage girls (like me). 

Here is where TXT’s traveler finally stops running and finds solid ground. Minisode 3: TOMORROW offers closure in that sense, to every growing pain documented through each chapter of the TOMORROW X TOGETHER saga. It marks a shift to the group facing adulthood with courage, solidifying their name as a promise that they’ll be with you for all of your tomorrows, if you’re willing to be there for theirs, too.

Minisode 3: TOMORROW is out now. TOMORROW X TOGETHER also kick off their Act: Promise tour in Seoul this May and ends its US leg in Washington, DC on June 8. Limited tickets are still available here. TOMORROW X TOGETHER can be found on Instagram, Twitter, and all streaming platforms.
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