JYP sure has struck gold with TWICE. The band’s brand of bubbly pop, sugary voices and smiley faces sells ridiculously well, while the views on Youtube reach some crazy new heights (TT is at 350 million, while the newest song is already at 74 million).
The band made a comeback earlier in April with a new EP entitled ‘What Is Love?’. The title track doesn’t really bring to the table anything groundbreaking stylistically – it’s exactly what one would expect from a hit made by Twice, and apparently, it’s exactly what the masses want, as the girls have won on most of the Korean music shows over the last few weeks. I’m kind of picky when it comes to TWICE songs – I’m constantly rocking to TT, Like Ooh AAh, and last year’s Signal and Likey, but my response to Knock Knock was lukewarm at best, and Heart Shaker is way too cringy for me (‘yeah yeah no no’) – What is Love? fits into the first group of tunes, as the song is the right sort of catchy and the music video is really cool.
As I’ve probably stated few times before, this sort of music isn’t aimed at my demographic – I may not be ahjussi yet, but listening to bubbly kpop is starting to feel like a guilty pleasure of mine, and TWICE is the leading cause of it. What I’m trying to say I’m not overly analyzing lyrics of the songs, and just focus on how enjoyable it is to listen to them at work or whatever.
First thing that the very title of the new song reminded me of, is the SNL sketch with Jim Carrey goofing around to the Haddaway’s immortal tune of the same name.
Carrey didn’t pop out anywhere in the MV, though he could have – the girls reference some famous movies in it, at the same time asking the important question, What is Love?
Song lyrics innocently tackle the subject of love, while the band reenacts the bits of La La Land, The Princess Diaries, Léon: The Professional, Pulp Fiction, etc. What we get is a nice display of top-notch movie cosplay.
What is Love – a good TWICE song. Dahyun/Chaeyoung rap is nicely done, Jihyo’s break part rocks, really catchy tune, 8/10.
Sweet Talker – was written by Jeongyeon and Chaeyoung, and it’s at Nyan Cat levels of hyper, something akin to songs made by kawaii jpop girlbands. Quite wild, that’s for sure.
Ho! – So many things to say regarding the title, but I’ll stay silent. It was written by Jihyo, and it’s my second favorite on the album. On the second thought, it might be better than What is Love?, it continues to grow on me more and more. It’s very upbeat, has a great rhythm, and I love strong Jihyo/Nayeon vocals in the chorus.
Dejavu – EDM-y track, with the focus on rapping and ‘nanananana’. I like it the least, and the sound is completely not up my alley.
Say Yes -the mandatory acoustic guitar ballad track. Decent, but forgettable.
Stuck – is a song that’s dedicated to TWICE fans (ONCEs). It’s about falling in love (which doesn’t come as a surprise anymore), and it’s a nice wrap-up to the EP.
Overall, it’s the first time I thoroughly looked over lines distribution, and I guess it’s hard being in a big girl band, as apart from Jihyo and Nayeon, the other girls get fairly little singing done (pretty sure it was/is the same for other kpop bands, just wanted to put it out there). This EP made me also realize that Jihyo has a killer voice (only now?!), though she’s still not among my favorite TWICE members (1. Nayeon, 2. Sana, 3. Mina 4. Momo, Chaeyeong).
My copy of the album has Nayeon on the CD cover (yay!), I got the folded poster, and bonus photocard set, and other photo goodies. I like the fact that they made the photobook bigger in size, compared to last several releases, but I I think I liked Signal’s photos a tad more.