K-pop's talented rookie class just got a little more crowded. On Monday (March 4), the five members of Tomorrow X Together made their anticipated debut with coming-of-age anthem "Crown," the upbeat lead single off their first mini album The Dream Chapter: STAR.
The Korean boy band — the first group from Big Hit Entertainment since global superstars BTS bowed in 2013 — is composed of five members: Soobin, Yeonjun, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Hueningkai. The name Tomorrow X Together (read as "Tomorrow By Together") speaks to the group's intent to "come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow." They lay the groundwork for that ambitious goal with "Crown," an early entry for 2019's Song of the Summer.
The vibrant single finds the young artists pondering the pangs of adolescence over an energetic synth-pop beat; the crowns they sprout are symbolic of the physical, emotional, and mental changes that all young people endure as they grow up. "Wanna run away," they sing. "Wanna disappear / Far away / Who am I / I don't know who I am."
But ultimately, they find comfort in one another — knowing that even though they may be different, they're all experiencing the same uncertain feelings and can embark on this coming-of-age journey together. "Your existence changes my world like magic," they sing. "I'm not in pain anymore."
Its bright, pop-art visuals and playful choreography are distinctly TXT, but the song's deeper meaning is signature Big Hit.
Given the company's commitment to producing music with a message, it's no surprise that TXT's debut single is the kind of song teens around the world can relate to. After all, BTS debuted with their own school trilogy that spoke to the fears and anxieties of a younger generation. Still, there's something so undeniably sweet and empowering about "Crown," a song that turns something scary — like the growing pains you can't control — into something powerful, and beautiful, like a crown.
And "Crown" is just the beginning of TXT's story. Per Big Hit, the five songs of The Dream Chapter: STAR will "unfold the stories of what they encountered as they grow and embark on this new journey."
The rookie group teamed up with hitmakers The Futuristics (Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello) for "Our Summer," another upbeat bop with crystalline vocals and a sticky, pop-EDM hook. Meanwhile, "Cat & Dog" combines marimba melodies with a trap beat, highlighting the group's charismatic rappers. Album closer "Nap of a Star" showcases TXT's airy harmonies over a simple guitar line. But it's standout track "Blue Orangeade" that proves just how dynamic this boy band can be as a formidable fivesome.
TXT still have a long way to go before they cinch the Rookie of the Year title, but with a debut as loud and buoyant as "Crown" they're off to a good start. Not to mention, they're already following in BTS' record-breaking footsteps: Pre-orders for their album surpassed 100,000 copies within three days in South Korea alone — and that's not even counting the streams from their international fans.
Perhaps "Crown" was perfectly titled after all.