TWICE reigns supreme in the K-Pop world, taking their throne at the top of the charts in the U.S., Japan, and Korea with their previous albums. Their newest album, “More & More,” released on June 1, has already made its way to number two in both America and Japan, with the title track “More & More” reaching second place in America and third in Japan.
The girl group, featuring a sizable nine members, has found a great deal of success. In Gallup, Korea’s annual music poll for 2019, four of their members were rated among the top 20 favorite idols in South Korea. During the 2017 South Korean presidential election, two different candidates used their song “Cheer Up” for campaign purposes. Their reach knows no bounds.
Sure enough, the album kicks it off with “More & More,” an alluring song that uses the repetition of the word “more” to get into listeners’ heads. Verses are separated by a ridiculously catchy beat with some small bursts of words thrown in. It becomes immediately apparent why this song in particular has been received so well by the greater public. The intensity as the song winds down with vocalizations by the group really helps it feel like the song has reached its zenith before it ends.
Soft percussions play in “Oxygen.” It’s upbeat and carries very standard love song lyrics. Again, repetition plays to its benefit during the chorus as each member takes turns with it. Chaeyoung shows up with a rap verse about halfway through that was distinct and enjoyable before the song gets back to the chorus once more and plays the song out.
“Firework” is an entirely different beast. The song is led by acoustic guitars and carries a beat similar to something you’d hear from a Shakira song. The drums let up for the bridge and intensify leading into the chorus. The feel of this song is totally different, almost like it has a story it wants to tell as opposed to a bunch of words with a catchy beat. The constant swapping of members singing makes me feel like they would be incredible to watch live. It was almost like a palate-cleanser of a song that leaves you wondering what’s next.
“Make Me Go” provides yet another incredibly distinct song. It has heavy percussion and bass that lead into jazzy lyrics backed by slight saxophone. It doesn’t feel like the voices are accompanying the music but rather like a borderline perfect improv performance. This isn’t just unique to their album but to their music in general. Their voices resonate with a confidence that is a stark contrast to the usual playfulness of it all. The three-minute runtime went by all too quickly.
A very relaxing beat played in the lyrics to “Shadow” and persists through the first verse. The chorus enters dramatically with an intense increase in the background instrumental. It also fades away with the chorus, only to return at the next one. Unfortunately, I feel the song was too short to truly realize the ambitious lyrics that were so much deeper than anything else the album had produced so far.
“Don’t Call Me Again” takes listeners back to the early songs on the album. The beats are heavier and the song is slower, but the lyrics feel superficial. Still, the voice of the group is powerful enough to make it an enjoyable listening experience all the same. It definitely feels like Nayeon’s voice is a step above the rest, and it almost feels out of place in this song. Overall, it fits the main formula of pop groups but doesn’t stand out as much as their other songs did.
The album ends with “Sweet Summer Day,” a happy title for a happy song. It carries that carefree feeling you’d hear at a summer camp or pep rally. It’s a powerful closing song that carries all of the momentum and really conclusive. The repetition of “sweet summer day” harkens back to the first songs, but I’d argue this song is a better listen overall. Chaeyoung returns with her best rap verse since “Oxygen” in the second half before the chorus takes over and plays the listener out.
Having listened to this, it’s ridiculously obvious how TWICE has managed to take over the spotlight. It’s catchy and enjoyable through and through. I do like the idol group approach, where rather than having members take roles within a group, they all get somewhat equal voices. It opens up greater opportunities for the members to play off of each other’s voices, which TWICE takes advantage of beautifully. It’s an impressive listen, even if it doesn’t necessarily reinvent pop music.