Nov 12, 2016

Another Very Twice Comeback With "TT"

Twice's story really is something special, and what they've achieved in only a year is truly astounding. From a skeptical "Sixteen" to a surprisingly well-received debut and earlier this year a mega-hit these girls are on their way to becoming the next big deal in K-pop and Korea. I wasn't the biggest fan of "Cheer Up" but I couldn't deny that it was catchy and understood the appeal of it, but I never in my life thought it would take them as far as it did. If you're in the K-pop realm like me you know how enormous the impact of that song, dance and "shy, shy, shy" was. However as one often thinks when a group has a big hit you wonder if it's just a one-time thing or if they can keep the momentum, and with the release of "TT" and "Twicecoaster: Lane 1" Twice has proven they're nowhere near loosing any of their popularity.

Like BTS and their comeback earlier this comeback too has broken a few records already, which gives quite the indication of their public popularity and the size of their fandom. It always makes me happy when girl groups are able to break records and set new bars because it's usually the boy groups since those generally have bigger fandoms. Twice are really proving themselves to be a player not to rule out with their power and as a supporter of all things girl power it makes me very proud. "TT" is quite an interesting song as Twice's third title track, because at this point you should be on the way to establishing a trademark sound.

I do think this song fits in quite well with their other two title tracks; youthful, upbeat bubblegum pop, but just like the other two it still has its own thing going on. Compared to groups like GFriend who's songs are all very similar in musicality and structure (not that it's a bad thing, I love their music!) Twice's title tracks have all had a distinct individual sound but within the same genre of pop. I do like that they switch it up a bit each time, and this song in particular sounds a lot more mellow and not as "in-your-face" as the chorus in particular has a much maturer sound and the instrumental in general is a lot more spacious.

What confuses me though is the childish element of spelling out "TT" ,as in the emoji used to symbolize a crying face, because although musically it fits conceptually it seems strange. I don't think it's my favorite Twice song (none of their title tracks actually are) but it's still good and are currently resting peacefully at the top of the charts whereas the boy group fans (read EXO-L's and ARMY's) are having an endless battle as the MAMA's are coming up soon. Sigh.....

Anyway back to Twice! The MV is also quite good and continues off of the same concept that the video for "Cheer Up" have, which is the members themselves having different concepts. It obviously worked last time so I understand why they went with the same principal, although this time it's because it's Halloween so they do get away with copying themselves. I do, however like the idea of the each member being presented differently as it makes everyone more memorable and gives them an individuality and a personality to show.

"Cheer Up" had some great moments as the girls played dress-up and this one does too, but it's not as playful or amusing. Dahyun is probably the only one providing some comic relief with her bunny costume, which by the way is adorable but I would be quite irritated if my members got to dress all sexy and cool and I got to be a huge bunny, but apart from that the rest of the video is quite serious. It goes hand in hand with the song I guess but it's not as fun to watch. It is enjoyable in another way though, as it's packed with eye-candy as literally all of them are serving A+ visuals. Tzuyu is stunning as a vampire, Mina looks fierce as a pirate and Jihyo plays a gorgeous ice princess. All of the scenes are very well shot and edited, as well as having realistic sets and props, which does give the video a high-quality feeling. That is, however, until they're dancing inside of a pumpkin. Not a real one obviously but it's edited to look as if they are and it once again takes away the maturity and resorts to a more childish approach.

I do know that Twice's demographic is quite young and that the girls themselves are young, but I wish it had been a more serious attempt at coming out with something slightly more grown up. Large parts of the video are also dancing sequences, and once again I find the choreography to be quite underwhelming. The moves are definitely more interesting to look at and it's not as excessively cute this time around which is appreciated, but it's still below their level of competence. They do look flawless executing it but that's because they're Twice, and not because the choreography is actually anything special. Of course it has a point move that everyone will be able to follow which I know is intentional, but I really want them to do something more challenging next time.

The mini-album for this comeback is called "Twicecoaster: Lane 1" and seems to be the first part of a new series, which is something we've seen a lot in K-pop this past year. I don't mind at all but I do wonder about the name "Twicecoaster", as it isn't exactly the prettiest name ever to be seen. Anyhow the album has seven songs and all of them are sticking to Twice's "easy-on-the-ears" sound of youthful and energetic pop music, and although this isn't as good as their first mini album which remains my favorite I do like it a bit more than "Page Two". The second half is definitely better than the first, with my absolute favorite song being "Next Page" (I honestly have been playing this song constantly since it came out), but none of the songs are not listenable.

The title track is, as mentioned earlier, a fresh spin on their bubblegum sound with a slightly more mature and mellow tone, and it is one of the stronger songs on the album. It's worth noting that I actually like it better without the MV or watching it live, as that childishness I was talking about is less noticeable. "1 To 10" is a really chill pop track that actually reminds me of early 00's pop music and "Ponytail" is quite the opposite with its extremely prominent J-pop/rock sound, sounding like it could be the opening of a anime. "Jelly Jelly" is just crazy infectious with it's steady beat and repetitive hook, and it from what I've heard so far it sounds like very much like a Twice B-side, and one of the better sort.

Following track "Pit-A-Pat" also has a similar B-side sound but it's more poppy and upbeat, and has a strong and memorable chorus. "Next Page" is, as I already said, amazing and shows a new side of Twice without being too out of the blue. The chord structure and melody is amazing and I love that they get to sing in a lower register, and my only problem is that it's too short with only three minutes. "One In A Million" is the closer and it's an emotional songs as it's directed towards the fans, and I have to admit that it's very sweet. The combination of heartfelt lyrics, acoustic guitar and sweet vocals makes for a great mid-tempo track and I think it's a good song to go out on.

Overall this comeback has been yet another huge success for this group and I doubt it will be their last, as the hype and craze for Twice is growing bigger as time goes by. I'm ecstatic for them and also for their company JYP Entertainment since I remember only three years ago they were struggling to hold on to their former glory as one of the big companies, but now they have absolutely nothing to worry about. Of course it's not because only of Twice, because I doubt Twice would've been able to become so huge if JYP hadn't been on the upswing to begin with. It's definitely good times for everyone involved right now, and I will continue supporting the girls as they keep on breaking new ground. I myself ordered the album only a couple of days ago, and I can't wait until it arrive so I can indulge in all the greatness that is Twice.

MV: 4/5
Album: 3,9/5

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