If you have been living under a rock for the year or have distanced yourself from K-pop entirely, then perhaps you might not have heard about the recent news involving 9-member JYP girl group TWICE. One of its members, Japanese-born Mina Myoui, took a hiatus from promotional activities due to anxiety, something that isn’t fairly represented in the world of K-pop. With the concerns that their fanbase had over Mina’s health and this affecting TWICE as a whole, TWICE decided to shed light on the matter with a comeback that is not only dedicated to their fans, but may be important to Korean pop music as a whole.
A song blessed with an intro by Chaeyoung, a sound that twinkles upon every beat before bursting into harmony, and a small central focus on Mina, “Feel Special” is a class-form change of sound from their previous efforts, presenting to us TWICE’s growth in both concept and style. It is both mature and beautiful. Yet it isn’t the hypnotizing melody that catches you, as its lyrics touch base on the feelings of loneliness and inadequacies, while addressing what feeling special is all about. I know it helped me get through my own anxiety issues; guaranteed, this song will make all those who are lonely feel special.
A dance-pop track fashioned with a tropical house sound intro-ed with a snapping beat that’s evident on Top 40 radio, “RAINBOW” is a fun, upbeat summery-like tune. It doesn’t quite have any oomph to keep me interested, however, as it lacks any hook. Perhaps the most boring of the bops on the album, but I’ll give it credit for being enjoyable. It’s a shame because I love rainbows, but this is one that might just be too faded for me.
If the title doesn’t make you want to, then the entirety of “GET LOUD” is likely to get you chanting, as its anthemic, powerful booming beats pump throughout. This is a hype-you-up song at its best, as it begs you to get louder and louder as it goes on. The slight problem I have with the song is that it feels entirely like it’s building up to something bigger but the chorus doesn’t quite have the satisfaction to end off the build. Despite this, it is still a fun bop and lives up to its title.
The bops don’t end here! The next track on the list is “TRICK IT“, which has more of an electronic vibe. Blended with the American-style synth noise and trap noises, this is a hypnotizing song meant to get you to groove. The ‘aha aha’ portions of the song ensure a hook is caught on and that it won’t escape your brain upon first listen. I know Halloween is well past, but if I were asked for a trick or treat, I’d pretty much trick it.
Undoubtedly the darkest and one of the best songs on the album, “LOVE FOOLISH” is a heavy-duty electronica track built with so much bass interlaced with synth and noise. With its futuristic, yet somber feel, it maintains a catchy-ness that hooks onto you and keeps you hypnotized. The best parts of the song have to be Chaeyoung’s low sultry voice telling us she loves/hates us over top the unison of crazy love. Topped off with booming vocal delivery from Nayeon and Jihyo, this song is love, but not foolish, at all.
The only ballad on the album, “21:29” is a sultry, soothing tribute to ONCEs. It’s quite R&B in nature, fueled by a booming beat on top of a quiet piano and a strumming guitar. The song is quite nice, and as a midtempo ballad, has a calm but sensual energy to it. However, apart from the other songs on the album, it is simply just as it is, and I don’t think I’ll be listening to this on repeat too much.
The Korean version of one of their summer Japanese singles, “BREAKTHROUGH (Korean Ver.)” has just about the same flavor as the Japanese version does. A powerful dance track built around a fire snapping beat, with spitfire raps from Chaeyoung and Dahyun, and a hook that convinces you to say say don’t give up, this is a song that in itself could be a perfect title track for a TWICE comeback in Korea. It could very well have been the next breakthrough for the nine-member set.
Aside from the importance of the title track, TWICE did not come to play around and delivered on all fronts. TWICE is truly OT9, and even with all that’s happening with the group, TWICE continues to not disappoint. I haven’t felt so in love with a TWICE mini since their TWICEcoaster eras, and Feel Special is something to really, in essence, feel special about.
Apart from that, the title track really is something you’d never hear of in K-pop, and it is such an important track. If there’s one thing to take from all this, it’s that, even in your darkest times, someone is there for you, and if there isn’t, then you need to let yourself know how special you are. Everyone deserves to feel special.
MUST-LISTEN: Feel Special, TRICK IT, LOVE FOOLISH