TXT (Tomorrow X Together) welcomed the dawn of a new era with the title track “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” from their Chaos Chapter: FREEZE. As they shifted from the “Dream Chapter” (with “minisode” as an intermission), the members showcase maturity and sophistication in the MV of “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You).”
First of all, it is one hell of a title, but TXT also tackle a darker concept through it, like “Can’t You See Me?” However, the former is not as sinister as the latter, although the new song is still unsettling. Even when TXT have their fleeting moments of happiness together in “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You),” their joy is sharply juxtaposed with the emptiness and rundown conditions of the locations they inhabit temporarily.
The track announces its presence with the crash of a drumbeat, the chorus of vocals kicking in alongside acoustic and electric guitars. This confidence and emotion grows stronger as the song carries on. Taehyun’s raspy voice in the pre-chorus sends chills down listeners’ spines, the grittiness creating a nice contrast with the group’s usual polished sound.
Seori joins the five for “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” as a feature; however, her airy vocals only appear during the chorus. She has a beautiful light quality to her voice, which cuts through the heavier elements of the song. Unfortunately, Seori plays a much smaller role than one would expect as a “featured” artist. It would have been interesting to see how the track changed if she had been given more parts than her chorus lines.
Although TXT’s latest comeback is about romantic love, the MV emphasizes friendship, which the group explores alongside youth. The MV of “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” does this through the sets—abandoned places where TXT discover pieces of home. The desaturated palette also lends itself to the overall feeling of isolation. Warmer and brighter colors do appear in the MV, such as reds and yellows, but these bits of color are still overwhelmed by the monochrome in each shot, including the members of TXT themselves.
The main choreography set is the first rundown building viewers see. Although there is music equipment behind TXT, the location looks like it has not been occupied by other people in a long time. There are foggy tall windows that stretch from the floor to the exposed metal beams of the ceiling are dirty, concrete floors covered with dirt, and chairs that have been knocked over and never righted, indicating that the place might be an abandoned warehouse.
The light is crisp in these scenes, and the light from the background windows give the shots a warmer feeling. However, a cooler palette dominates, especially with the consistency of monochrome from the speakers to the black and white clothing TXT wear. Despite this, TXT are all together and moving in these scenes. Amidst the overflowing light, the members work with each other and sometimes literally lift one another up in the choreography, such as Taehyun.
The teamwork and friendship demonstrated here create an even more powerful juxtaposition with the narrative scenes of the MV, especially the early scene where Yeonjun plays video games in his apartment while his parents fight in the background. Yeonjun faces viewers, allowing them to see him and his parents arguing simultaneously. It is also worth noting that this is the only scene where there are other human beings present besides the moments when TXT are all together.
The space that should most indicate “home” for Yeonjun is everything but. The apartment is clearly lived in: there are dishes stacked in the sink while pillows and blankets are thrown about on the couch. As Yeonjun’s parents fight and he ignores them, viewers understand that this is a place that provides no comfort nor the love and closeness one might expect. This juxtaposition makes Yeonjun’s isolation in this “home” even more obvious.
There are attempts to create artificial warmth in this scene. The space itself is quite dark, and the few light sources are the small lamp on the right side of the room and the window in the background where Yeonjun’s parents are.
Meanwhile, the color of the cabinets in the small kitchen struggle against this darkness. The light wood color is then reflected in the palette of the lamp shade across the room, which is strikingly similar to the pattern of a scallop shell, ripples of darker red blending with pale yellows and taupes.
Yeonjun is emotionally detached from his parents, and he is physically separated from them within the frame. Furthermore, there are layers to this distance. Yeonjun is settled on the couch in between the foreground and the middle ground. The back of the couch, the kitchen table, and the curtains that lead into the far room where his parents are separates him from them. If his parents were not focused on fighting with one another—the chilliness of the blue-tinged lighting mirroring their relationship—they would see that Yeonjun’s back is turned toward them. However, their son does not factor into the equation of this heated moment.
While there is division and isolation in the apartment, the brightest set is the abandoned indoor pool. The members seem to have put a yellow pool inside of the dried up Olympic-sized pool, where they get to be together, playing, youthful, and free. The dashes of warm colors like the yellow of the pool complement the moments of friendship TXT experience here.
Red is the warmest color in the scene. The red striped umbrella takes up about a third of the left side of the frame in the middle ground. This color continues throughout the scene in the little details, such as the red pail next to Beomgyu, Yeonjun’s shirt, the red and white beach ball floating in the pool, and even in the faded orange lifeguard chair in the background.
Above all, the members of TXT are surrounded by light. Similar to the opening choreography set, there are floor-to-ceiling windows and the majority of the ceiling is actually windows. It is in these pool scenes that TXT find light in this lonely place. The transformative power of light, especially the warmth of the golden hour, is palatable.
About halfway through the MV, all of the members lean their arms on the edge of the pool. Yellow dominates the space through the smaller pool and the golden hour light streaming through the windows. This, however, juxtaposes with the muted palette of the background and the obvious disuse of the space.
As the five look out to some unknown spot in the distance, five purple betta fish, a popular pet fish known for its colorfulness, swim in the air. The awe and magical nature of this moment is heightened, again, because of the comparison with the space. Dislodged tiles on the floor of the big pool is not the main concern, nor is the dirt in the cracks between the tile or the beams of the windows. Rather, TXT are more than happy to be together and construct their own lives, even if it means making “home” out of a place that not many would want to call “home.”
There is no one in sight, and no evidence of past owners except for the lifeguard chair and the assortment of beach chairs clustered around their yellow pool. Although an abandoned building, TXT have made it their own secret place—their own oasis.
Later in the MV, they are back at Yeonjun’s apartment. His room is no different from the main living space, with its green-gray walls and rare bits of light providing a sliver of warmth.
Most of the brightness comes from TXT themselves through the splashes of orange and yellow in their clothing. Beomgyu’s hat has yellow circles on it; Taehyun’s sweatshirt is a pale yellow; Huening Kai is bursting with color; and Soobin’s sweatshirt has a vibrant yellow and pink pattern on the front. Yeonjun is actually the sole member who wears a monochrome color palette. Furthermore, the five of them are subdued sitting on or around Yeonjun’s bed. They are nothing like the exuberant teens from the pool.
Out of all the places TXT went in the MV, the only place they did not laugh in was in Yeonjun’s room. Towards the end of the MV, they huddle together on his small bed, isolated together, yet separated from one another. Rather than interacting with each other, they all look at the viewer, understanding that someone else is watching.
The bed where they are clustered is their island, their safe spot. Are they protecting themselves—both collectively and individually—from something beyond? In addition, a fish tank sits next to them. Like the fish, TXT are trapped in their own space with little light and an abundance of shadows. There is no freedom or laughter for them here.
In juxtaposition, however, the members have fun and friendship in usually abandoned and rundown places, including the empty lot at the end. The MV rapidly cuts to these moments. They splash in the yellow pool, golden hour at its peak. They dance in a line in the lot, bending backwards like they lost their balance until the camera cuts to them on the side of the pool as they throw their bodies upright together.
“0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You)” concludes with Yeonjun waking up alone on a mattress in the lot they were dancing in moments before. On his left side is his car, perfectly intact, since Beomgyu had accidentally set it on fire. Yeonjun’s apartment building is in the background, but his friends are nowhere in sight. Now the question is, was the friendship he had nothing but a dream?
As TXT kick off their “Chaos Chapter” with the release of “0X1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You),” it is exciting to see how the sophisticated story will continue.
(YouTube. Images via Hybe Label.)