Review: TXT’s The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION

By Anna Yang, Assistant Editor of Community and Culture

The album cover to The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION. (Photo credit: TXT)

On January 27th, 2023, TXT delighted fans with the new release of mini-album The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION. Following the band’s release of Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child featuring lead single “Good Boy Gone Bad”, this new EP has been highly anticipated ever since announcement on December 14, 2022. The announcement came with a trailer on December 3rd, immersed in a sentimental and fantastical mood and generating incredible excitement, which carried through the album’s release. The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION is TXT’s first album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling over two million copies within its first week out, which tops even Taylor Swift’s Midnights release record. 

Like most of TXT’s work, The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION follows a storyline. The songs were inspired by TXT’s own growth as a band and their experience with solidifying their identities into adulthood. As implied by the album’s trailer, the album is about the members being on the brink of adulthood, tempted to remain in a Neverland of youth but knowing they must move forward. The concept’s cross between dark temptation and youthful whimsy reflects in the album’s unique sound.  

TXT has been known to play around with their sound, and this new EP is no different in that regard, with some online critics describing it as TXT’s most experimental album so far. Minisode 2: Thursday’s Child’s lead single “Good Boy Gone Bad” was a genre mashup of hip-hop with rock elements. Minisode 1: Blue Hour jumped between disco dance, indie rock, and R&B, The Dream Chapter: Eternity juggled dreampop and funk-pop with hip-hop tracks, and their debut EP The Dream Chapter: Star took an electronic spin on K-pop’s classic fresh, energetic sound. Compared to previous albums, The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION incorporates even more musical variety, but keeps cohesion throughout by toning all the tracks down. 

The EP opens with English track “Devil by the Window”, which is the closest this new EP gets to its predecessor. More rock-inspired instead of true rock, it’s a dark-themed pop song with heavy drums and high danceability.

The album’s title track, “Sugar Rush Ride”, may initially seem like a return to TXT’s original fresh, bubblegum candy pop sound, but the anti-drop brings the song’s energy sharply downwards to match the rest of the album. Some fans have said the anti-drop fails to carry out the energy the pre-chorus brings, and felt the song would be better separated in two. The chorus is catchy and fun on its own, and the song isn’t a bad listen, but the difference between the two pieces may feel a bit jarring.

American rapper Coi Leray made a guest appearance on third track “Happy Fools,” which blends a bossa-nova introduction with the rap-pop style of the singers. TXT has worked with Western artists previously, including Minisode 1: Blue Hour’s “We Lost the Summer” with Charli XCX, and more recently, “PS5” with Salem Ilese and Alan Walker. Their experience with including different vocal colors and tones shows, as the transition between verses in “Happy Fools” is smooth, without letting the bouncy beat drop once.

“Tinnitus (Wanna Be A Rock)” may carry the oddest name out of all five album tracks, but it’s an unexpected hit. This is TXT’s first foray into the afrobeats genre, and the song pulls the slower mood of the album off better than many of the others. The song’s peculiar title also belies the depth of its lyrics, which discuss failed ambitions and going from a shiny rockstar to “just a rock”.

Finally, the EP closes with “Farewell, Neverland”, another rock-based pop track that feels more nostalgic and whimsical than the rest of the tracks, thanks to more delicate vocals and an acoustic guitar. It’s another unexpected fan favorite and surprisingly memorable.

Altogether, The Name Chapter: TEMPTATION is slower and more subdued than previous TXT tracks, making it perfect for casual listening. With its variety of sound, it caters to a wide range of listeners. I would easily recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, relaxing sound, especially the standout B-sides.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s