As mentioned constantly throughout this blog, I have many artists and releases that I have yet to review. One of those releases come from TNX. For those who don’t know TNX, they are a relatively new group in KPOP who debuted as a six male group, formed through the survival audition program Loud in 2022, with Move. This week, the male group returns for the first time with their second single, Love or Die and second mini-album Love Never Dies. The group also pre-released the single I Need U ahead of the release of both Love or Die and the mini-album, which I promise I will review one day.
Love or Die is a definite improvement from their debut track. The group moves away from the standard and typical sound that male groups put out constantly that TNX (and their producers) fell in the trap of releasing as their debut single. Instead, TNX went with a different sound in Love or Die, opting for a punkish rock influence sound. Love or Die is by no means a new or innovative sound, but at least it comes off as refreshing and different from the rest of the competition. The autotuned beginning was quite striking, while that punkish rock influence gave a boldness to the song. The energy that is exuded from the verses is very neat and just gives a fresh breath of life that allows the members to really pop out from within the song. I also felt like their vocals and rapping were super clear throughout the song, and I really appreciated that. The choruses goes a slightly different direction to what I had expected. There was a clear incline in momentum and forwardness in the verses and pre-choruses. Naturally, I felt the choruses were going to add more to the song and at least progress that energy and momentum. But instead, Love or Die‘s main centrepiece switches it up with taking it all down a notch. I felt this cuts the flow and dampens the potential to the song, to a degree. Something harder, stronger and more intense felt like it was more ideal. But to be honest, this isn’t much of a deal breaker for me, as I still thought TNX did a really good job with what they presented to us in the choruses of Love or Die. And likewise, the same can be said with the rest of Love or Die.
Based on what I saw and my interpretation of the lyrics of the song, it looks like the members are coming to terms of a rejection from someone who they thought loved them. Hence, there was dejected emotions and facial expressions on the members’ faces. And given their young ages, it was fitting they did this in the more typical school age concept that we see in KPOP often for groups starting out. But even with that, there is a slightly edgy visual tone through some of the other scenes in the video, such as the abandoned plane scenery and some of the warehouse. All of these complimented each other quite well, and created a cohesive video.
I really liked the forcefulness and aggression the routine had during the verses, which channels the emotions expressed in the song quite well. Particular mention needs to be made to the start of the final chorus, which is where the aggression was the strongest. It makes for a riveting performance on stage and highlights the group’s potential. My only qualm about the performance is how the latter parts of the chorus didn’t feel fitting alongside the rest of the song.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.1/10