The world last saw in September 2019 Twice. After releasing their eighth mini-album, Feel Special, the group had musical silence for over eight months (apart from a previously recorded Japanese release) – the longest gap between the comebacks that Twice had so far. April's Feel Special and Fancy You were two high-quality releases that marked the growing maturity of Twice's sound. So all eyes were on the group to see where they would go next. Fortunately, More and More is successfully able to maintain Twice's newly discovered, mature sound, and shows further sonic exploration.
Different styles are examined on the album: Each song sounds distinctly different from the next. Some genres are those that Twice has not yet explored, such as the tropical house of the title track or the Latin American pop of "Firework". "Oxygen" is an example of an excellent example of Twice's sonic exploration: a song that contains some experimental elements and still feels like a Twice song. The verses begin with a minimalist house instrumental before moving into a more powerful beat during the choruses (or possibly the pre-choir – the structure of the song leaves some room for interpretation).
The super catchy "I really really really want to" catch the listener's attention before we are introduced to the beautiful, soaring vocals that make up part of the instrumental for the rest of the choir. This slightly experimental chorus perfectly releases all of the tension built up, as the song smoothly transitions from pleasant minimalism to joyful maximum and is an excellent example of just the right amount of experiments that increase the joy and memorability of a song and at the same time do not alienate listeners.
The bouncy "Sweet Summer Day" also retains that "Twice" taste by sounding like a more mature version of some of their older, cuter songs. The song is filled with soft vocals and sugary vocals, but also with a retro-style instrumental with an energetic and stylish piano melody that heightens.
Other songs show sonic maturity by questioning Twice's previous material: In particular the "Twice Title Track Formula" – d. H. Which member sings which part of the song – is challenged with "More and More". In most of Twice's titles, the choir is split Nayeon and Jihyo. Sana and Tzuyu also shared the chorus in "Signal" and "What Is Love", with Sana also contributing to "Knock Knock" and "Likey", and Jeongyeon for a few others, but Nayeon and Jihyo are the overwhelming choir directors.
The choir is divided into "More and More" Dahyun, Mina, Tzuyu and Momo. Dahyun and Momo in particular often receive very few lines in title tracks. So it's definitely a positive change from the traditional Twice formula to give them chorus lines. Additionally Dahyun and Chaeyoung often have only one rap verse between the two or for one of them, and have no or very few other lines. In "More and More", Dahyun receives both her rap verse with Chaeyoung and her choral lines. In addition to her rap verse, Chaeyoung also receives a pre-chorus line and part of her own singing.
As satisfying as it is to hear Nayeon and Jihyo play a perfect double chorus, switching voices allows members to shine the different vocal colors of members in new environments and opens the door for further changes in Twice's sound in shape of genres and styles based on the singing of different members.
Other songs on the mini album also allow members to shine in new ways. "Make Me Go" is one such example, in which not one, but four, two members alternately rap / speak the sensual refrain:
Love me, love me now
Love me, love me well
Don't need anyone else if it feels so good
Isn't it that nobody does it the way it should?
"Make Me Go" is definitely one of the outstanding – if not the most important – of the album. The sparse, throbbing beat not only makes the vocals of the members stand out, but also offers a simple and classic background for the lyrics, which represent a big step forward in terms of maturity. If the beat fails to make room for the song's full English refrain, the impact of both the meaning of the words and the sultry transmission of the members hit hard and left no room for ambiguity. There is no doubt about it: they have grown up twice.
This is not twice the first foray into more mature poetry, though it is certainly one of the most explicit. Interestingly, some of their most mature, unique, and effective texts were written by the members. The fan favorite "Love Foolish", co-written by Momo on Feel Special, describes the emotional roller coaster ride of a toxic relationship. Jihyo sets limits in "Get Loud" and warns others that if they exceeded them, they would express themselves. The fans have recently put forward the theory that the "Strawberry" written by Chaeyoung on Fancy You is about hickeys that have a new meaning, the "freckles like strawberries" mentioned in the lyrics. Feel Special also had no less than five of his seven songs with lyrics co-written or entirely written by different members.
"Make Me Go" is now one of only two tracks on More and More with lyrics written by a Twice member. Although I personally believe that artists who don't write their lyrics don't inherently affect the quality or perceived "legitimacy" of music by nature – a talented performer and a talented songwriter who work together can create a better end product than anyone by them who work alone – more and more If the members had written more lyrics they would have demonstrated their skills even more and maybe brought us even more lyrically surprising jewels like "Make Me Go".
A few other songs on the mini album also stand out lyrically. In "Shadow" Twice sing about the release of repressed emotions by dancing alone at night:
Even if it hurts, I pretend to be okay, pretend to be an adult
Hide the real me
Without time to ask if this is actually okay
If that's normal …
Shadow, shadow dancing alone
Let me be freer, freer
The dark, lush synthesizers on this track feel like a cool breeze through the window on a midnight ride, calling on the listener to dive into that night with Twice and dance next to them and feel free. The lyrics also reflect mental health issues that were briefly covered in "Feel Special" – topics that I would like to see twice as they have a special talent for songs that can comfort or cheer up listeners (pun intended).
The lyrics of "More and More" also deviate from Twice's usual title track tariff: the vast majority of her title tracks have focused on topics such as sending a signal to the boy they like or asking about it with wide eyes what love is. In "More and More", Twice becomes more confident and confident even in the first lines of the song:
I know I want it
I will not try to please you anymore
Because I deserve it
As the song continues, Twice tells the listeners that no matter how much they avoid them, they end up coming back and wanting more and more. In many ways, the song is like an improved version of "yes or yes" – one that avoids the approval problems that stem from lines like "I will say no to your no, am I or we?" It is also a direct opposite of these lines from TT:
The more I try to push you away
The more I'm attracted to and attracted to you, baby
Now they are on the other side twice: they always attract people. They take control of their story and know what they want: far from the shy (shy) girls they used to be.
Despite the fact that this title track shows a lyrical maturation in relation to Twice's previous work, it does not mean that it stands out in the current landscape of K-Pop, in which songs about self-confidence and the “it-girl” are played ” Have been in abundance for years, which leads to the fact that these texts appear generically borderline. The lyrics of the other songs on the album are well written, but they also play it safe.
Lyrics are not the only area in which the mini-album is kept in general: the melodies on this album are usually a hit or miss. In particular, "More and More" suffers from the problem of overly familiar melodies, which is not a good sign for a title track as it is less memorable. While the song's dance break and rap bridge can stand out, other areas do so much less. Some fans have already pointed out the similarity of the pre-choir "more, more, more" with the choir of the American girl group Fifth harmonyThe 2016 release "Work From Home" (a perfect time for all of us to remember this song too). This resemblance is relatively excusable because the repeating quarter note melody is extremely simple. However, the pre-chorus also rings with familiarity – I still have to find out which song it reminds me of, but the sense of Deja Vu is overwhelmingly strong.
In addition, "More and More" relies on some overly familiar production elements and sounds, such as the tropical house-based chorus of chopped vocals. Personally, I like the chorus very much – it has an appealing melody and I don't think Tropical House is a genre that K-Pop has to get past as quickly as possible.
However, the song was partially composed by the Swedish pop singer Zara Larssonand their influence on the choir is almost too great and sounds almost like one of their songs and not like a double song. I also believe that K-Pop is best when it stays away from western melodic clichés and song structures and / or brings complex elements into songs that Western artists avoid. While Twice's fun, summery venture in tropical homes can (and should) be appreciated, it could have been done without sounding like it was partially recycled.
Even though Twice definitely makes her sound varied with this album, researching a new genre does not necessarily mean that a song cannot be unforgettable. "Fireworks" is an example of this. While the song is certainly a solid foray into Latin American pop – it reminds you of K-pop songs like Mamamoo "Selfish" and AOA Jimin Among other things, "Hallelujah" – and it is new territory for Twice. There is nothing in the song that is particularly striking or grabs the listener and makes him return for more. In addition, the high two-tone vowel sample, which occasionally echoes throughout the song, makes the chorus of Nick Jonas & # 39; single "Jealous" from 2014 fly into my head and disturb the mood of the song, but maybe I am only me.
In other cases, such as the brassy, cheeky "Don & # 39; t Call Me Again", the song feels incomplete – especially in that it doesn't highlight any points or is as effective as it should be given its assertive title. It's a fairly static song that lacks dynamism: the song goes into overdrive at the start with its bombastic first verse and the loud, constantly repeating background brass melody, and the energy rarely wanes for the rest of the song.
The rare moments of calm come when the background tune falls off during the pre-choirs, but the verse and chorus have similar energy levels. Despite the group's powerful singing, the choir has little influence. Bombarding with the same brass melody for most of the song and the phrase "Don't call me again" will also be exhausting, and just when a bridge is needed to give the song the much needed rest, or maybe one Art development or contemplation. The song simply ends and leaves the listener in the same place as at the beginning.
"Sweet Summer Day" is also wrong on the unforgettable side as it seems like a song that could genetically appear as a filler on other K-Pop artists' albums. At the same time, this song has something that captivates the listener. The multi-layered and structured instrumental as well as the vocals of the members give the song the "Twice" personality that is missing in "Firework" and "Don & # 39; t Call Me Again".
Although More and More sees Twice continue to mature their sound, his main stumbling block would be that many of the albums' strengths also act as their weaknesses. Some of his songs show significant lyrical maturity, while others remain the same; Some songs explore new soundscapes, while others use ineffective or overused sounds. For these reasons, this album is not necessarily a step forward from Feel Special, but simply not a step back.
Nevertheless, More and More is a positive achievement for Twice and offers many moments in which the group can shine. It continues to show Twice's growing maturity and, above all, its potential. With a bit of pressure your next effort – maybe your second album? – could turn out to be really fantastic. At the moment this Mini only needs a little … more.
(Images: JYP Entertainment. Text and translations from color-coded texts.)