After a long wait, Twice are back with their first Korean release of 2020, an EP and title track both titled “More & More”. It follows last year’s very successful “Fancy” and “Feel Special” as the third instalment in a new, more mature chapter of the nine members’ careers.
“More & More” is an upbeat, tropical house track composed by MNEK, Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and Zara Larsson – all artists or composers who are well-established in the Western pop industry. It’s no surprise then that the track is one of Twice’s most Westernised yet – instead of their usual catchy, melodic chorus, it opts for a vocal chop instrumental breakdown similar to many pop songs nowadays. Thankfully, its MV adds interest with its psychedelic visuals and reimagination of the biblical story of the fall of man.
Lyrically, “More & More” is all about temptation; unlike the shy, passive character played in songs like “What is Love?” and “Heart Shaker”, in “More & More” they continue to be the assertive chaser introduced in songs like “Yes or Yes” and “Fancy”:
Keep avoiding my eyes
Keep hiding your heart
Run away from me, no no
When you open your eyes again
When you suddenly think of me again
You are gonna be mine again
The MV is full of gorgeous, summery imagery, with the members in colourful, flowing boho fashion, dancing on glittering turquoise lakes. The narrative seems to be a loose reinterpretation of the story of Adam and Eve – in the beginning, the girls frolic in the utopic Garden of Eden, before a serpent appears and tempts them into eating the forbidden fruit, a red apple in this case.
Specifically, Nayeon, Mina and Dahyun are the ones pictured eating the fruit from the tree, before walking through a mystical portal and discovering the “real” world – a stunning Jeju Island lake. In the original story, Adam and Eve were exiled from the Garden of Eden into the mortal world as punishment, but Twice’s interpretation feels more like the wondrous discovery of a world more beautiful than they could have imagined – perhaps a metaphor for falling in love. This could explain why they go from being in a small pool barely big enough for the nine of them, to a huge lake reaching as far as the eye can see, and from a dimly lit indoor set to the sunny outdoors.
Although they seem to play the part of Eve in the MV, tempted into eating the apple and being transported to another world, the lyrics are from the opposite perspective of the less-than-innocent tempter:
I was always a greedy person, if you didn’t know, sorry
I’ll apologize in advance cuz I want you more more
Don’t need to hear your thoughts, I’m gonna steal your heart
You’ll be bewitched by me, you can’t say no no
I’m a cat thief, I’ve come to catch you
So wait right there
Don’t go far, come to me, come, come
This, along with the sinister flashes of red interspersed throughout, adds a subtle suggestion that they might in fact represent the serpent, tempting the listener into wanting “more and more”. A particularly interesting hint is the difference between the two group shots at the beginning and end – in the beginning, they are wearing pale, flowing gowns, sitting in the garden in daylight, but at the end, they are dressed in brightly coloured clothes in the garden at night. The three members that eat the apples are wearing their outfits from the first scene, suggesting that succumbing to temptation is what causes them to change and for day in the garden to turn to night.
Whereas “Fancy” and “Feel Special” opted for warm colours, such as hot pinks and rich golds, “More & More” has a vibrant yet pleasantly cool tropical colour palette, anchored by the deep forest green of the fantastical garden. The most striking and memorable scenes are the two where they dance on water – the beginning of the song when they dance in a tight formation on a small turquoise pool, and later on the set floating in the middle of the lake.
The first is magical, with a dream-like haze created by the glitter of the water and hanging jewels. The latter is euphoric, with the (momentarily blinding but unmistakeably summery) glint of the sun reflecting off the floating set. Outdoor water sets feel like an underused element in MVs nowadays, which is a shame because they never fail to make it more enjoyable to watch.
The MV is also one of Twice’s first to dabble in psychedelic visual effects, with sequences of trippy transitions, double vision effects and bright, oversaturated colours in the “more and more” segments of the song. While some parts are entrancing, like Dahyun’s rap section, there are a few moments which feel a bit tacky, such as Chaeyeong’s “So one more time” – the double vision effect here feels a bit more like the comedic meme-vision of BTS’ “Idol” than a mesmerising hallucination.
Likewise, the purple room in which they perform some of the dance scenes feels more like an alien’s bedroom than the private pool of a Greek goddess – the garish Barney-the-Dinosaur purple used in these scenes doesn’t fit well with the rest of the colour palette. There’s also a white set where they perform the dance break – the dancing itself is great, but the white and gold outfits along with the tinsel-like decorations feel a bit too much like Christmas in an otherwise summery MV.
Overall, “More & More” is a song saved by its MV – capitalising on the song’s dramatic verses and summery tropical house chorus, they’ve created a visually gorgeous video that takes Twice’s MV work to new heights, especially with the psychedelic visual effects and unusually abstract concept and narrative. Adding depth and meaning where the song was lacking it, “More & More” paves the way for Twice to embrace darker and more mature MV concepts in future – and judging by the sinister ending to this one, those won’t be too far away.