TXT members pose laying down on a green field as part of the Daydream concept promotional photos for their 5th EP 'The...
Courtesy of BigHit Music.

TXT Talk About Temptation, Identity, and New Album “The Name Chapter: Temptation”

The quintet's new project is both a homecoming and a new adventure for the South Korean group.

In 2019, Tomorrow X Together (TXT) captivated audiences by unveiling the concept trailer for The Dream Chapter: Magic. The mesmerizing video served as the introduction for their first official comeback. It showed the then-rookies executing gravity-defying choreography against an ever-changing backdrop, playing with perspective and illusion with only the help of a projector. The blank canvas was an instant hit among their dedicated fandom, known as MOAs, and the general public and foretold just how artistic TXT's journey would be. Four years later, the South Korean quintet revived the format with the concept trailer for their fifth EP, The Name Chapter: Temptation.

Two months before Temptation's official release on January 27, 2023, the trailer for the quintet's new chapter premiered on HYBE's YouTube channel, transporting viewers back in time with immediate callbacks to their beginning. Except this concept is different, and TXT are all grown up. 

"We really thought about how we could [best] express the theme of temptation in our concept trailer visually, and I think it [naturally] came out similarly to Magic during the process, with the projection mapping and everything," Taehyun, who does much of the talking for the group, tells Teen Vogue over Zoom from Seoul two weeks before the album's release. "Many people like our concept trailers, like in Magic and Freeze, because we add some really cool elements to them [so we think long and hard about them]."

Though similar visually, a thin line separates Magic and Temptation thematically. If Magic was an ode to innocence, Temptation is an ode to its loss. These two sides of the same coin kickstart a new chapter in TXT's ever-expanding book, the third after Dream and Chaos following brief pitstops for Minisode 1: Blue Hour and Minisode 2: Thursday's Child. "Story-wise, The Name Chapter is about a phase where you solidify your identity and your name as you grow into adulthood," Taehyun explains, noting the overlap. “We try to express that temptation where you just want to settle for now and don't want to grow up anymore.”

As a motif, temptation is a tale as old as time. In Greek mythology, temptation serves as the driving force for multiple stories, from the Sirens to Pandora. In the Book of Genesis, it's temptation that ultimately gets Adam and Eve cast out from the Garden of Eden. Beyond religion and myths, temptation has also been a familiar trope for playwrights like Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare, and many after. Temptation is everywhere, and it's perennial. In TXT's universe, "temptation means you choose something that is not helpful for the future," Taehyun explains. “Falling into that choice is the temptation.”

While it is true TXT go back to their roots with The Name Chapter: Temptation in more ways than other — going back to their tried-and-true "intricately interconnected" whimsical concepts and veering heavily onto theatrics and storytelling with Peter Pan-inspired elements — in other ways, they explore uncharted territory.


After just one listen, it's not hard to discern that The Name Chapter: Temptation is TXT's most experimental album, exploring new genres we haven't yet seen from the band. Kicking off the five-track project is "Devil by the Window," a song produced by BigHit Music's very own Slow Rabbit and mixed by Grammy Award-winning engineer Manny Marroquin. Heavy on bass, "Devil by the Window" traffics in extremes, incorporating snaps, claps, rocky hi-hats, and glitchy noise scratches with subtle whistles, murmured vocals, and layered harmonies. The push and pull share some DNA with last year's "Good Boy Gone Bad."

The track is TXT's second official release featuring all-English lyrics, not counting "Cat & Dog" and collaborations. Taehyun says that was still a challenge for the group. "As Koreans, it's really hard to bring out the right vibe because of the accents when you have to sing in English," he explains. “It's really hard to bring out the detailed emotions and the vibes. But I think all the members did a really good job in recording the 'Devil by the Window.'”

"Devil by the Window" acts as a prelude for the title track: "Sugar Rush Ride," Hueningkai's favorite. "We always like to challenge ourselves with new style and sound, and we did exactly that with this song. The song plays a line from the Korean traditional folktale 'Chunhyangjeon,'" the maknae of the group shares. He also explains how the performance, which includes a tsundere-esque killing point move involving their index fingers, also borrows elements from traditional Korean dance. "I really like the song. I think it shows different styles and genres in the most TXT-ish style."

"Sugar Rush Ride" is the safest offering from the bunch. It's straight-up saccharine dance pop with instantly catchy funky guitar riffs and booming drum and bass. The real punch line comes with the bridge and chorus, with a whistle and echoed "gimme mores" that would be insidious if they weren't so sweetly tantalizing. Among the credits, there's one name MOAs will surely recognize: Salem Ilese. The group says the opportunity to work with the singer again arose naturally after sharing the stage in the U.S., Korea, and Japan last year. "She's a really good friend, a really good player, and a really good maker," says Taehyun. “She really has a knack for writing melodies and lyrics. She's the best.”

The official featured artist on the album, however, is Coi Leray, who jumps in on "Happy Fools." Also a Slow Rabbit production, like the previous two tracks, "Happy Fools" features writing credits from all the members. The track kicks off with a Bossa Nova-inspired elevator rhythm which quickly transforms into upbeat R&B with a camouflaged flute as the base. "I wrote the top line for 'Happy Fools' and all the members contributed to the lyrics," Yeonjun says of the track. "It's again, our story, so I think it expressed us well. I think it came out really well. When I listened to the song, I could see just how much our members have grown as artists and lyricists."

The next track, "Tinnitus (Wanna be a rock)," is the indisputable highlight of the album. It's TXT's take on Afrobeats, produced by Dystinkt Beats and Grammy-nominated Smash David, and features creative contributions by Taehyun and Yeonjun. After a suave kalimba intro, an engulfing bass-heavy drum beat and a distinct clave rhythm take over the sound, with the members' vocals layered over assorted adlibs for a fun element. On top of the percussion, the use of repetition in the bridge and chorus makes the track even catchier. Definitely a song that calls for headphones. Taehyun says the members were extra excited about trying out this new genre, but they were also extra careful, as a misstep could “ruin the vibe and the quality of the song.”

The closer for the album is "Farewell, Neverland," another explicit Peter Pan reference. "Farewell, Neverland" is a Latin-inspired ballad led by the strumming of an acoustic guitar and a cajón-style percussion swaying the beat, with heavier impacts and electric guitar joining the mix later on. Produced by Carson Thatcher, this track is the second "hitman" bang contribution on the album and also happens to be Soobin's favorite. "When I heard the recording for the first time, I got goosebumps because I could just imagine singing this song with our MOA at our show. I think MOA will feel the same when they listen to it," the group's leader shares.


"As we challenged [ourselves with] different genres for this album, I think all the members now have a more diverse spectrum [when it comes to] expressing ourselves," Yeonjun tells Teen Vogue. Beomgyu adds: “Since we try different concepts for every album, I think I'm more confident that I can pull off any concept now. I think that's what makes us grow, trying new things and taking on new challenges.”

The topic of variety rings true for the songs but also for the project's concept photos, which caused quite an uproar as they were revealed. "We usually share our ideas with our visual team and work with them throughout the process," Soobin shares about coming up with these concepts. Though very distinct from one another, all concepts are all intertwined in the music video for the title track. Still, each member has their favorites. 

For Soobin, "Daydream" takes the crown. "It has a dreamy yet sexy aesthetic which I think suited all of our members really well," he explains. Beomgyu, on the other hand, favors "Nightmare" because "it's supposed to look like some kind of a beautiful nightmare that is colorful and sweet like 'sugar rush'" and that “captures the overall mood of 'Sugar Rush Ride' really well.” Yeonjun and Hueningkai do not share their preferences, but Taehyun does not hesitate to pick "'Farewell" as his favorite. "This concept is about the very moment of saying goodbye to temptation," he elaborates. “The concept clip had a lot of close-ups, and it was really important that we show the complexity of emotions on our faces when the video was shot. I think all of our members pulled it off very well.”


The Name Chapter: Temptation is the first notch in TXT's belt this year after successfully wrapping up their first world tour and landing a historic Lollapalooza performance in 2022, two feats they're immensely proud of. Their second world tour, Act: Sweet Mirage, is already slated for a March start, with 21 stops across Asia and the U.S. already locked and a "more to come" promise. "If the opportunity allows, I hope that many people recognize us and listen to our music in 2023," Taehyun shares. "Also, we were invited to the AMAs in 2022, but if we go again, I want to perform." That seems like the next natural progression for a group that likes to take it one step at a time. 

Listen to The Name Chapter: Temptation in full below: