TXT know youth. Similar to their company seniors and juniors, including NewJeans, TXT have tackled this multi-faceted idea in the past four years. From the relatable message of their debut track, “Crown,” to their exploration of fractured friendships in “Can’t You See Me?,” the five boys have studied the countless layers found in the five letters of “youth.” 

But this 4th Gen it-group is growing up. On January 27, TXT came back with the mini album The Name Chapter: Temptation. The MV of the title track, “Sugar Rush Ride,” draws apt inspiration from the story of Peter Pan, written by J.M. Barrie, reflecting TXT grappling with their transition into adulthood. “Sugar Rush Ride” takes viewers on an addictive journey as beautiful things hide sinister truths. TXT throw their thoughts—and their bodies—into exploring the temptation of youth; however, the members discover that this sugary persuasion robs them of the people who care most about them. 

In The Name Chapter concept trailer, a voiceover quoting Barrie’s Peter Pan plays as TXT perform. “Take my hand and let’s go to a place where we will never grow old with no worries. Forever will never end,” the detached voice cries. Flash forward to the “Sugar Rush Ride” MV, and the boys wake up, disoriented, on a deserted island. This island acts as a metaphor for the hyperfocus on youth, something TXT—and the K-pop industry at large—are very familiar with

Each member is tempted by their own devil, a small whisper in their ear, which the group mimics in the lyrics of “Sugar Rush Ride:” “the devil said.” Hazy visual effects and languid body movements capture this idea in the MV. When Yeonjun and Soobin, for example, reach for brightly colored flowers in the forest, the former undergoes a psychedelic experience. Glitter coats the right side of his lips, while his hooded eyes still manage to pierce viewers despite the fleeting shots of the camera. The neon effects as well as the blurry purple ones hide the eldest member’s face in its natural state. 

Soobin also goes through a physical change when he heeds temptation’s call, a visual expression of the lyrics from “Sugar Rush Ride,” “What did you do to me, sugar.” Like Yeonjun, glitter imprints itself on TXT’s leader. This time, however, it finds its way to Soobin’s pale ear. Breathy singing accompanies him as he is a picture of innocence while he reaches a little bit higher for the white blossom. 

Their temptations aim for the soft, vulnerable parts of themselves, causing their guards to fall. Youngest member Huening Kai exposes his throat, a breath forced from his lips as he hovers at an in-between state of consciousness. A beat later, Huening Kai rubs his hand across the smattering of glitter that now has left a shiny path on his throat. The allure of youth and the freedom found in the forest have marked him, too. 

Meanwhile, Taehyun literally throws his body into the wind, his back bent and his arms drawing fluid patterns in the sky. His solo scenes are the closest to the story of Peter Pan. The versatile vocalist tries to fly, again and again, just like Wendy and her brothers after Peter Pan flies with ease. The MV captures Taehyun hurtling his body forward, emphasizing his speed and disorientation through a double vision effect. By the end of “Sugar Rush Ride,” he does manage to levitate; however, Taehyun also later decides to keep his two feet firmly on the ground, taking back control over his body and his life.  

Before this happens, though, TXT are lured by beautiful creatures to trek further into Neverland…so far in that they nearly become a part of this mysterious utopia. Vines crawl up Yeonjun’s pants, replacing the black belt he wore on the beach. The more he yields, the more pieces of himself he loses, which goes for the other members as well.  

This is true for Soobin, who becomes enamored with his own reflection. While Beomgyu reaches for someone else at the end of the MV, the leader reaches for himself—his mirror image in the water. Temptation opens the gates to a damaging isolation, especially since he is often tasked as the person who looks out for the rest of his teammates.  

Beomgyu, on the other hand, gets chased by a horde of butterflies and ends up in a dark secluded cave. He is the only one who looks confused and concerned when he sees these creatures. Brow furrowed, he looks around wildly as they circle him, indicating the highest level of alarm compared to the other four. 

He discovers this utopia is more than the illusion of freedom it offers. TXT may run through the bright green fields with dazzling smiles, but they disappear as quickly as they appear thanks to the rapid cuts the camera makes. A shallow—and temporary—happiness may exist, but through it all, TXT are alone. Trapped. 

The MV’s story leans into the lyrics of “Sugar Rush Ride,” weaving together an addicting visual and auditory treat. The danger-tinged temptation the boys experience in Neverland appears in lines such as “I can feel it I can’t resist it,” “Gimme more” (from the chorus), and “Come here, more / Let me give you a piggyback ride, more.” TXT lifted the latter line from Chunhyangga, a famous traditional pansori, combining various forms of storytelling in their latest comeback. The bubbly rapid of a guitar hook, the addictive whistle hook, and the raspy, hushed vocals (especially during the frantic “sugar rush, sugar rush hush-huh” part) make this song one to devour on the first listen or the hundreth. 

However, the temptation TXT experience in “Sugar Rush Ride” not only puts their individual bodies in harm’s way, it also forces the members apart from each other. Besides Taehyun and Yeonjun in the beginning, the five rarely interact—and more importantly—visibly connect with one another. Beomgyu, for example, looks over to the others sprawled out on the sand in the first few seconds of “Sugar Rush Ride.” However, the camera quickly cuts to a close shot of Soobin, forcing him into a small space where only he exists. 

TXT are also together when they languish on tree roots, but they do not look at each other or acknowledge the others’ presence. This is a significant difference from the group’s past MVs, including “0x1=LOVESONG (I Know I Love You).” TXT’s bodily autonomy is gone, and the alluring nature of Neverland deprives them of human connection, isolating them from the people who love and care for them.

As the five eventually make their way back to the wooden rowboat, Huening Kai looks back over his shoulder. Their feet may be back on the ground and they may have matured as a result of their experiences, yet youth still tempts them. Now the question is, what will they do next?

(YouTube[1]. Lyrics via Genius. Images via HYBE.)