How about let’s do a Korean artist spotlight?! Since it’s Halloween coming soon, we have to have the queens of fun Halloween concepts (and queens of autumn releases, to be honest): TWICE!
I’ll be covering five of their albums: this one, THE STORY BEGINS, YES or YES, twicetagram, and their newest effort, Eyes wide open, as part of their ‘fall’ release line-up (as all of these releases have been released in October/early November, and I also covered Feel Special here). I wanted to start with TWICEcoaster : LANE 1 first because it is one I have been working on reviewing for YEARS, and it’s about time it came to its full stop (lol).
‘TWICEcoaster : LANE 1’ is the third effort from the nine-member JYP group and came on the heels of their success with their second mini. We then have to wonder, was this rollercoaster of a mini-album worth the trial or are we riding on the kiddie ride? Check out the review!
The Filipino term for something suggestive, but most importantly, the emoticon to emote crying, “TT” is the title track of the mini-album and is incredibly fun. The song is powered by heavy garage synth that’s nearly reminiscent of songs in the 90s, but taking on a more modern approach with bits and pieces of instruments like drums in odd places, whirring distorted vocals, snaps, pops, hip-hop beats, etc. On paper, it sounds like a hot mess, but it blends so well that you can’t help but escape it’s catchiness. This is a dance track that is miles above ‘OOH-AHH’ and ‘CHEER UP’, giving it a vibe that everyone can enjoy (I should know, everyone I know loves this song). From the na-na’s, to the ‘I love you so much’, to the distinct vocals of each girl, I’m like TT everytime I listen to this song… happy tears. ⬛
Toning down the mood is “1 TO 10“, a midtempo R&B-dance track that has fall vibes written all over it. Kicking off with a soothing ‘baby’, we’re taken on a fluttery ride through a melody that has swaying and toe-tapping levels to it. The instrumental almost sounds accordion-like, with its synth occasionally joined by a piano melody to give it that sweet sugary feel. This formula continues throughout the song, but the vocals of the girls never falter. This track almost feels like it belongs in a miss A catalogue, but it suits TWICE just the same. A fun, sweet, and wholesome track, ‘1 TO 10’ has all the right numbers for a not bad song. ⬛
“PONYTAIL” takes the mini-album in a different direction, opting for a rock sound but still maintaining a bubblegum pop feel to match the girls’ enthusiastic vocals. We have huge riffs throughout the song, with chants of hey heys sprinkled here and there. It has a very wholesome vibe to it, and it sounds like it takes influence from the pop-rock vibes of the early 00s. Vocal prowess is on full-display in the chorus for our main and lead vocals, taking it to the highest of heights. It’s a fun little jam that will have you cheering throughout. It isn’t my favorite song on the mini by any margin, but it’s one ponytail look I might return to for a good pick-me-up. ⬛
We’re going for the anthem-like vibes now with “JELLY JELLY“, which hits those drums with every being from start to finish. With claps, hard hits, and the energy of the girls in their vocals, ‘JELLY JELLY’ has everything you need to make a cheer-like song. The track is really fun and has you jamming out all the way through, with a slight vocal and rap break part-way through to bring you back down; however, I do have one slight qualm – there’s no real chorus to the track, and it feels like we’re building up to something with no payoff. The song feels as sweet as jelly but with no real chorus to satisfy, it just feels like filler. ⬛
We go topsy-turvy with “PIT-A-PAT“, a track that contains a disjointed instrumental that feels circus-y and playful. The girls are offbeat here, giving the song a slight charm. That being said, with its weird horns, dance beats, drums, and other odd noises, the track sounds like a complete hot mess. There’s no real catch to the song, with no hook throughout apart from its somewhat fun and catchy chorus. This track feels totally filler, and it just has too many things going on that I can’t seem to focus on what I might like in the song. It’s a pit, it’s a pat, but it’s just truly a mish-mash of elements that don’t work well together. ⬛
Not to fret, as things get much much better with “NEXT PAGE“. It’s evident things are slowing down slightly by the end of the mini, but ‘NEXT PAGE’ keeps a good momentum going with its strange instrumental that goes from drums to a weird horn-like instrument that somehow just works. It actually just has many strange instruments, that it almost feels like we’d be heading into ‘PIT-A-PAT’ territory. However, it’s not until its chorus where all the strange elements blend into one for a joyous moment that sounds like it’s pulled right out of a commercial, filled with oh’s, ah’s, and a vibe that is so wholesome. This same formula follows but never wavers, especially with its track ender to really give this an epic close. I’m glad this was the next page. ⬛
We’ve reached the end to “ONE IN A MILLION“, which now significantly slows the mini-album down with a midtempo ballad that feels like a love letter to fans. It’s a lovely song, one that I find I like more and more as I listen to it. With a fluttery and pretty guitar melody that is sometimes slightly distorted, to the heavy beats in the background to give the song some oomph, ‘ONE IN A MILLION’ may not sound like one in a million songs (as this song does have a slight familiar feel to it), it feels like one in a million songs to love. It has such a wholesome vibe to it, and there’s a power to the vocal delivery of the girls and the overall instrumental. A near-perfect end to this first rollercoaster mini-album. ⬛
Not a bad mini-album, whatsoever! I had a fun ride on this rollercoaster.
Its title track, ‘TT’, really hit it out of the park personally and for many K-pop fans around the world. It just has all the right components for a successful K-pop song, and it was a major big-up from their last two title tracks (which are both also very good, mind you!). The B-sides to the mini-album were also good listens, with the last few tracks really giving it their all. I recommend this album for new and old TWICE fans, as well as fans of K-pop. There’s a little bit of something here for everyone, and I can assure you this TWICEcoaster has all the excitement and thrill to enjoy.
MUST-LISTEN: TT, NEXT PAGE, ONE IN A MILLION