Following an outstanding 2021 and a good 2022, TXT have been off to an uneven start for me in 2023 between “Sugar Rush Ride” and their Jonas Brothers collab. However, they’re now back with “Back For More“, a collab with Anitta and an English-language pre-release off their upcoming album, and it provides promise for a strong finish to the year.
Arguably the best part of “Back For More” is the first 30 seconds or so in the lead verse, as it slides the listener right into the slick production featuring a groovy bassline and funk to it. An addictive start on its own, but the members are really allowed to excel here with their delivery and they’re as charismatic as ever. Things seemed set up well for it to some kind of anthemic disco-pop chorus, but while what we actually got was smooth and faultless, it also felt tuned down from the energy of the verses. On repeat listens that section definitely got a bit repetitive.
Thankfully, in an even bigger rarity, the dance break was my favorite part of the track. A clear nod to Michael Jackson with injections from the boys of his usual bells and whistles, even without the captivating choreography to watch, the song itself felt like it had a shot of life injected into it*. On the other end, while Anitta did her thing, it definitely was an odd fit within the track. It felt distant, as if she did a verse separate from them and sent it in via mail or something.
*Seriously though, the two-minute version is not nearly as good and its existence has to be a cynical ploy for streams or something.
Anyway, “Back For More” is very Top 40, a safe and streamlined composition that definitely feels like it targets the Western market. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing if the execution is there, and “Back For More” gets it done more often than not. It should be interesting to revisit this in a few months or to see whether it’ll be memorable enough to stick that long. Regardless, there’s little doubt that this is the best of TXT I’ve listened to this year, and it’s a promising start to their upcoming album.