Monday, March 18th, 2019

TXT – Crown

K-pop’s new kings?


Thomas Inskeep: Big Hit’s newest boy band isn’t out to make great art, that’s for sure. This is pure candy-pop unlikely to impress anyone over 25; it’s not bad, just inoffensive and unoriginal.

Alex Clifton: The first word that comes to mind is “cute,” and I want to stress that I don’t mean that as an insult. We’re heading towards spring — it’s finally nice enough for me to run outside again without freezing my ass off — and “Crown” hits me like a sudden patch of sunshine. I wasn’t sure if I liked it at first, as there’s something about it that struck me as potentially basic for Big Hit’s first big launch post-BTS success. It’s really grown on me though; the chorus has been stuck in my head for a couple of days, which is a sign that it’s doing something right. I find myself comparing TXT so far to other bands — vocalists that sound like BTS’s Jungkook, the spangle of Wanna One’s “Energetic” — which doesn’t give me a solid idea of who TXT are themselves. But if they’ve got more tunes up their sleeve that remind me there is still brightness in the world, I will be excited to hear what they come up with next.

Anna Suiter: TXT are nothing like their seniors BTS, not even at their most sentimental. TXT gleefully embrace the pitfalls of young love, but the joys of it too. Crown might not be groundbreaking, but it leans so much into the charms of the bright boy band sound that it’s hard to be too picky about the ways it might feel generic otherwise. So I sure do still love it, just as “Crown” loudly declares itself.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The pre-chorus is a nice moment of serenity in an otherwise busy song — the vocal melodies in the chorus, for example, are much livelier than they would seem on paper — but it’s all a bit too perfect. This would go firmly into the “well-crafted but ultimately generic” category of K-pop singles if it weren’t for the bizarre inclusion of the dissonant, morse code beeping in the bridge. It spells out the title, which is cute, but it could’ve spelled out anything and been a delight to hear. It makes the song slightly less pristine: a definite plus.

Jonathan Bradley: Indulgent synths splashing around the careful boyband arrangement had me confused; “Crown” sounds on first listen more like classic J-pop. The contours are carefully delineated and the energy apportioned accordingly. The precision works in its favor, but a rapped second verse with 808 hits and au courant as-libs (“skrrr!”) coincides with a threatened full-on Phil Collins turn towards maximal AOR-bop that never arrives. More’s the pity.

Alfred Soto: This new boy band’s vocals chops are no big deal even massed, but when they gather ’round to echo the synth string melody with whoa-oh-ohs I get the goose pimples anyway. And are they imitating Migos in those verses? 

Iris Xie: Sounds like Namie Amuro’s “Golden Touch” but with the production turned up to maximalism, softened, and given more dimension. There’s a sense of the song being passed back and forth between the singers, due to the interplay of the drums and fizzy and spunked out synths. Unfortunately, the vocal melodies are all woefully underpowered to accompany such a bright and rich soundscape, and the lack of fulfilled potential ends up reminding me of other incredibly safe K-Pop boy group songs. I also adore how the bridge has a satellite call signal, which is a underused metaphor and something I haven’t really heard besides ORANGE RANGE’s *Asterisk and TWICE’s Signal. But overall, I understand that TXT trying to go for a vibe of casual joy, but it’s a little underbaked and neatly slots into the mediocre “boba shop genre” playlist I’m building.

Reader average: [9] (3 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “TXT – Crown”

  1. This grew on me after watching a video of the boys recording the song in the studio. Underneath all the bells and whistles is a really great vocal performance that I wish wasn’t buried so deep. The chorus could still be *more* though

Leave a Reply