Arts and Entertainment

Minisode 3: Mending the Promise

Minisode 3: TOMORROW is triumphant as a stylistically consistent, optimistic, and deeply personal narrative that every fan, old and new, can truly appreciate.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

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By Karina Huang

The Little Prince is a classic children’s tale about a young boy from another planet who travels the universe, eventually landing on Earth. He befriends a fox who reminds him that the most precious moments are often forgotten. The story conveys themes of love, friendship, and loneliness. Korean band TXT—or Tomorrow by Together—brings this sorrowful tale to life through their recent mini album, minisode 3: TOMORROW. The band reminisces about the past as they encounter the same fox, who tells them to fulfill a fictional promise to a star long forgotten. They manage to package their desperation in a final experimental masterpiece dedicated to their star.

Since their debut in 2019, TXT has gained attention in the Korean music industry for its refreshing and upbeat songs that veil a darker narrative. The quintet, composed of Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai, debuted with THE DREAM CHAPTER: STAR (2019). The lore behind TXT’s music is completely fictional, but it represents issues that real adolescents experience. For example, in minisode 2: Thursday’s Child (2022), TXT conveys the grief after a breakup with one’s first teenage love. Their songs often aim to express Gen-Z emotions, their main demographic. Playing off of the emotional highs and lows of adolescence, TXT experiments with genres, almost never sticking to one within an album. This iconic characteristic is incorporated flawlessly into the newest and third installment of their minisode series: TOMORROW, a mini-album that explores the hopeful future of Tomorrow by Together.

The concept trailer for TOMORROW is the most cinematic yet, with ambient music twinkling in the background of a fairy-tale-like grainy short film. There are several parallels between The Little Prince and the whimsical TXT fictional universe including the desert fox, which symbolizes the forgotten promise. When they were young, the members made an initial agreement with a star, synonymous with their fandom, to stay friends and return together one day. But as the boys grew up, they faced their own battles and broke their promise to reconvene. In this minisode, the group finally remembers their vow and reunites under the star. The first track, “I’ll See You There Tomorrow,” is a UK-style house song and the most unique production-wise, putting a twist on the common farewell phrase “see you tomorrow.” The members express to the star, “I believe, we are meant to be / You can be late, I’m always here / I’ll wait for you tomorrow / There’ll be no more sorrow, I’ll see you there tomorrow.” The choreography is energetic and athletic, matching the Funk-style beat and satisfying the empty chorus. Additionally, the short and uneven cadence of the intro resembles a Morse code signal, which serves as a genius transition from “I’ll See You There Tomorrow” to the title track, “Deja Vu.”

“Deja Vu” is the stand-out emo rock song of the album, as it ties together everything from the making of the promise to its fulfillment. The members sing, “I’ll hug you tight, as promised on the first day / Like déjà vu” and “Say my name” repeatedly throughout the chorus. Their hard-hitting group choreography is dynamic and highlights the trap beats of the instrumental, forming an addictively energetic chorus and dance break. The music video for “Deja Vu” is another masterpiece in itself. Dream sequences and reality interact so that it becomes nearly impossible to discern which is which. Many scenes draw inspiration from their previous lyrics or songs, such as the maze of mirrors from their “Frost” music video and the glowing female figure adapted from “Eternally.” The last track, “Deja Vu (Anemoia remix),” is an acoustic remix of the original, more trap-heavy production. Despite the slight nuance between the two versions, equal proportions of fans prefer the remix to the original and vice versa, a rare occasion in K-pop where the remix is equally as loved as the original. Overall, the album is very cohesive and consistent with TXT’s previous bubbly releases while also experimenting with other genres, such as “The Killa (I Belong to You),” which utilizes Afrobeats.

“Miracle” is the fourth and most personal track of the album—a cliche song about the members’ appreciation for their time together since their debut. However, despite its profound meaning, “Miracle” is easily the most forgettable track. While the song is upbeat and fun, the production sounds similar to earlier tracks, leaving less of an impact on the listener. Another issue concerns the album’s significance with the length of the album itself, each track running less than three minutes long except “I’ll See You There Tomorrow.” This trend of writing shorter songs has unfortunately transcended into the realm of K-pop in the form of removing bridges. It would be more meaningful, especially in a mini album, to diverge from this trend, which would create a positive image for the band and captivate the audience.

Despite these flaws, the artistic choices in this album create the ultimate déjà vu for the fans. Elements from every TXT comeback have been incorporated into possibly the last album heavily involving their lore, bringing a bittersweet conclusion to their fictional storyline. Minisode 3: TOMORROW is triumphant as a stylistically consistent, optimistic, and deeply personal narrative that every fan, old and new, can truly appreciate.