Whatever you say about the discography of TWICE, but now they are one of the few artists in K-pop who truly understand and embrace their ideals. It is enough to recall their previous – and first – English single “The Feels”. Heavy groovy beats and twinkling disco synths, it was both an ode to and a culmination of the doe-eyed femininity they began to embody in the early years of their career.
“To get so shy, it’s obvious / Catching is like butterflies / If I say what’s on my mind / Will I hit heads?” they sang. Sweet yet flirty, not to mention adorably shy, “The Feels” showcases TWICE’s well-known final form that we’ve loved and admired for years.
However, as they have repeatedly made clear, this doe-eyed girl is now a thing of the past. The so-called second chance TWICE in JYP Entertainment started with the release of their album “Between 1&2”. Where previously they’d ceded some power to someone else (“You say I’m funny / that I don’t live up to my looks / I’m not amused at all, baby,” they said on “TT”), “Between 1 and 2” was filled with the most attractive color of confidence and sensuality we’ve ever seen TWICE.
So it makes sense that their latest release and second English single reflects the decisive end of their career. “Moonlight Sunrise” replaces the floral and hot pink hues of “The Feels” with a more mysterious, calculating approach. Despite the flirtatious glimpses of the attraction game – “I don’t even know how to say now/I need you now” – it’s clear that they are in control alone. Bravely, TWICE laid all their cards on the table. “Oh yeah, baby, I really don’t want to rush / But Ima really needs your touch if Ima’s gonna survive the night” — ugh, is it getting hot in here?
Sleek R&B enhances the sultry approach. With synths accentuating the chorus and especially the rap verses, the song makes you listen with rapt attention so you don’t miss a second of magic. However, as smooth and greasy as it sounds, the song never reaches its desired peak. The string is taut as the tension builds in the chorus, but the pleasurable pain of the snap never comes—the chorus, while memorable, doesn’t make enough use of the band’s excellent vocals. By the time the chorus is played a second time, the sequence becomes repetitive, undermining the display of confidence.
By comparison, the previous “The Feels” was a rollicking extravaganza throughout, with a catchy chorus — “Boy, me, boy, I know/I know how you feel” — smoothly transitioning into verses and then returning after the chorus. . Ironically, despite the fact that TWICE were more sincere and honest on “Moonlight Sunrise”, the chorus on “The Feels” is more explosive and exciting – they threw caution to the wind and finally enjoyed their true feelings. The sound of “Moonlight Sunrise” seems a bit tentative, like they’re still dipping their toes in the water.
However, we are talking about TWICE. In their journey to form their ideal, they diligently learned from their mistakes and actively corrected them. “Moonlight Sunrise” only gave us a glimpse – let’s see how else their sound will develop on their upcoming mini-album “Our Youth”.