After the largely viral hit that was “Cheer Up,” JYP’s trending girl group Twice have returned on October 24 with a new song “TT,” and just in time for Halloween. True to the title of their mini-album, TWICEcoaster: Lane 1, this group is on a roller coaster that only goes up. Despite still being relatively new in the K-pop industry, they have gained widespread public recognition in the past year, and enjoyed a number of successes, including having the most viewed debut MV of any K-pop group thus far, and being the first girl group to sell over 100,000 physical albums in 2016. With the high expectations for this comeback, will the TWICEcoaster maintain its momentum?
From a number of aspects, “TT” sticks to a tried-and-true formula that more or less pervades their three total releases. The genre of this song, first and foremost, sticks to Twice’s signature bubblegum pop sound, with its upbeat tempo, easy-to-follow melody, and the members’ loud vocals. Concept-wise, Twice has also seemed to cement a colourful and vibrant image with “Like Ooh-Ahh” and “Cheer Up,” and “TT” stays loyal to this style, with a concept that involves a bit of cuteness, a bit of maturity, a bit of humour, and overall just the members being their quirky selves. Furthermore, the group’s diversity and visuals have become one of their major selling points, and I find it amusing how given the fact that, and seeing how the cosplay concept worked so well in bringing out the members’ charms last time, JYP has chosen to bring it back again for this comeback under the excuse of it being Halloween. That being said, I’m not complaining – this release incorporates all the elements that made Twice successful, but presents them in an upgraded manner. This not only manages to maintain public interest, but also garners new attention.
One manifestation of this interest is the song’s current top position on music charts, but upon closer examination, it’s not surprising that the song appeals to the masses. “TT” has a very standard three chorus structure, making it easy to follow, and employs repetition in a number of instances, which is what gives lines such as “be-be-be-baby” their addictiveness. In addition, the lilt present on certain lines is a creative touch to an otherwise relatively safe composition, which creates a playful and quirky sound that matches the group’s image. However, what the song is weaker in is that it has no noticeable hook. While “Cheer Up” had a memorable chorus and the even more infectious “sha sha sha,” there is no phrase that stands out noticeably on first listen in “TT.” There’s also something cringeworthy about pronouncing emoticons out loud, but that comes down to a matter of personal preference.
In terms of the MV, it’s as visually-stunning as ever. Despite the members donning an entirely different set of costumes this time around, the majority of the members still match their concepts incredibly well. The hyper Dahyun is appropriately given a rabbit costume, the more tomboy-ish styled Jungyeon pulled off a very convincing Pinocchio, and mature makeup and grand dresses of Tzuyu and Jihyo, playing a vampire and ice queen respectively, brought out their striking features. The sets are also diverse and very intricately designed, with the use of adorable computer-generated effects. While each set is largely different from the others due to their specificity to the members’ concepts, the storyline of the children in the MV discovering different rooms as they move through the house creates a unifying narrative that links the individual settings together.
All in all, Twice is definitely living up to expectations with “TT.” Although the group continues to adhere to the image we know them best for, they pull it off better each time, which not only piques listeners’ interests, but is conducive to Twice’s establishment of a unique colour in the long term.
(YouTube, Images via JYP Entertainment)