Boy group TXT has returned with their highly-anticipated fourth EP Minisode 2: Thursday Child. It has been a year since the quintet blessed us with one of the most magnificent comebacks of 2021, let alone in recent K-pop time. With their second studio album The Chaos Chapter: Freeze and its accompanying singles “0X1=Lovesong (I Know I Love You)” and “Loser=Lover“, TXT ventured into a rock direction and delivered a bunch of masterpieces. Now, the group is back with a mini album that continues where its predecessor left off. TXT arise from the pain like a phoenix from the ashes to — you guessed it right — channel their inner bad boy.

TXT’s discography has always been experimental and dynamic. The members revealed that their songs represent the hardships and challenges Gen Z faces. This was prominent in “Loser=Lover”, an angsty, rebellious track many listeners interpreted as both a love song and a social commentary on capitalism — issues that Generation Z can’t escape.

In their recent release “Good Boy Gone Bad” the pain and angst have however vanished and hardened up the boys. They have killed the old them and unleashed their inner bad boys. Everything makes the anger and birth of a new TXT evident; the aggressive music, the powerful lyrics and the gloomy music video.

While “Good Boy Gone Bad” is not on par with the group’s releases from last year, it is still a strong and solid comeback for the group. Within two days, TXT have proven their popularity by selling more than one million copies of their newest album. The aesthetics of the MV render this comeback particularly strong.

The opening scene is overflowing with a myriad of symbols. Member Beomgyu is lying in the midst of black trash bags before being slowly sucked in by them as all five members look down into a black hole, presumably a pit. In the next instant, Beomgyu is taking out the trash, symbolizing the closure with the person he once was.

Meanwhile, Hueningkai can be seen screaming into a telephone booth, while Yeonjun is riding a motorcycle only to land on the floor. Lastly, leader Soobin smashes a mirror only to lend in a bathtub with his bandaged hand and member Taehyun is wandering through an empty alley with neon lights, which he decides to wreck in his anger. The member’s hate and frustration are blatantly obvious and it translated into violence. The shots become more haunting by the muted and cold color choices.

The notion of killing and burying one’s old self reaches its peak during the dance scenes. While during the first chorus, the members are dressed in black outfits, dancing in a dark foggy site, a dark and nebulous cemetery serves as the setting during the second chorus. Dressed in nice attire, they bid farewell to the person they once were. The development in the dance sequences is well executed and enriching.

However, this transformation is nowhere as easy as it looks as the magnificent bridge demonstrates. It simultaneously serves as a turning point in the music video. Initiated by Taehyun’s heavenly vocals over the redeeming instrumentals, the listener gets an insight into the agony of letting love go:

Gouge you out from my heart
Bleeding out the traces of you
Love is a lie, I loved that lie
Burn in just burn it out

This part is accompanied by pained close-up shots of the members against a white background, shedding a single tear. It all looks more innocent, less aggressive and contrasts perfectly with the sinister setting of the MV’s other scenes. Everything comes full circle and we return to the bottom shot of the members looking down into a pit. Each member throws a flower into the pit completing their farewell. Now it is obvious — they are burying someone. To be exact, themselves.

A recurring motif in “Good Boy Gone Bad” is flowers and plants. Specifically, members Beomgyu and Hueningkai are carrying, burning or surrounded by flowers.

While flowers symbolize affection and beauty, their burning means less so — that foreshadows anger, pain and death, sentiments the members are drowning in. That this is an end and simultaneously the beginning of a new chapter is conveyed by the members throwing a flower into the pit. Member Yeonjun awakens with a smirking expression in the cemetery to a new world. In a final shot, the members are now bad boys as their leave the pit behind.

TXT are known for their metaphoric and symbolic music videos and “Good Boy Gone Bad” is no exception to this. TXT boldly announce their return as bad boys, as a new person in a rich and well-executed MV. In line with the song’s message the song is rough and turns things up a notch from their 2021 releases. The chorus is a bit too repetitive, but paired with its music video and amazing choreography, there is no doubt this will be another successful era for TXT.

(YouTube. Lyrics via Color Coded Lyrics. Images via HYBE Labels.)