Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Twice – TT

An artist we have now covered exactly.. two times.


Madeleine Lee: Those tuneless verses are TT for sure, but the chorus — still characteristically catchphrase-reliant but musically different enough from “Like Ooh-Ahh”/”Cheer Up” to make me believe Twice has some range — is almost ^^ enough to compensate.

Jessica Doyle: This is at least more listenable than “Cheer Up,” since the singers’ voices are balanced against an admittedly interestingly understated sound. But man if this doesn’t feel like Uncle JYP trying to make sure the ajosshis in the audience get to have their cake and eat it too: the girls swear they’re all grown up while pouting and chanting hooks one step up from baby talk (“bae-buh-buh-buh-bae-beh,” “wae-wae-wae”) and describing their collective inability to manage their own emotional states and reactions, so won’t the listener come in and do it for them? I’m glad ONCEs have the imaginative stretch to put their own spin on works like this, because I don’t. 

Alfred Soto: I love call-and-response vocals when the lead sings the title and backup singers go OOH. Add the sampled snapped percussion reminding me of Ciara’s “C.R.U.S.H.” and it’s Friday night.

Ryo Miyauchi: Twice cry and grumble, but they also hum: a brief moment of peace comes when Sana finds time to sing a little “nana na nana na na.” Elsewhere, it’s a hot mess of “should I stay or should I go” without much space to think so clearly. And like the love that has them torn, “TT” is a push and pull between the sweet and bitter. The fact the emoticon hook doesn’t soften things may be a sign the latter is winning out.

Iain Mew: The sparkly Sky-Hi spaceship intro turns out to be a red herring, and there’s neither the ginormous chorus or emotional rollercoaster of “Cheer Up.” That leaves it as merely a well-designed, well-excecuted pop song with a goofy title conceit, and even if it’s less distinctive I’ve always got room for more of those.

Thomas Inskeep: Spice Girls x Taylor Swift ÷ freestyle = “TT.” This is glorious sugar-rush pop that’s exactly what I need after the events of the past week — or year, for that matter. This is also Twice at their peak, moving them into the upper echelon of K-pop girl groups.

Adaora Ede: On an unrelated note, I very much resent Halloween, for reasons only explained by my tortured non-celebrating childhood. As a result, Halloween has to be uncornified in the cheesiest of ways: new Twice singles. Twice gave us “Like Ooh Ahh” with the zombies, “Cheer Up” (yes, it wasn’t really Halloween-themed, but Tzuyu as Audrey Hepburn has to be a miracle only explained by the spirit of the season), and now we have “TT”! This starts out being nearly as engaging as the other musical meme coming out of East Asia. But Twice wins in another realm as this is greater than a pen or a pineapple — it’s yet another display of performative girlhood from the Twice girls. JYP has created a system to demystify the struggles of teenage femmes through sing-a-long vocal delivery. And I’m starting to believe in it. OK, Chaeyoung and Momo may never be able to hold up the rap line, yet they’re not putting up airs; they want you to TT along with them because ugh! Mom is bothering me again! “I eat all day and am still hungry”? We’ve ALL been there! The chorus is undiluted electrogum; the verses finesse staccato in a way that rivals Jersey Club tracks. “TT” is a reminder of the beautiful simplicities that lead to the rise of the Hallyu wave — a bevy of pretty girls + an awesome point dance + that perfect pop hit to equal mega success. I can’t say that I think that Twice is ever going to stop singing about how dismayed they are over uptempo beats, but I can say that I take solace in it.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: There’s always something that never quite fits about Twice’s productions. “TT”‘s hard-dance instrumental is perfectly balanced and punchy enough to bring attention to every structural detail but is not matched by the girls’ vocal performances, which are still coming off as sterile, even kinda robotic, especially in the way they deliver the pre-chorus. “Cheer Up” had a similar issue, but the adventurous nature of the track made up for that; this one’s more straightforward, so those inconsistencies are more audible. One thing i can’t deny is their enormous ability to turn small vocal bits into hooks. Last time, “sha sha sha” went viral, and “ba-ba-baby” is going the same road. That inmediate charm is what saves the song. It’s also what’s making them the hottest young group in Korean charts — well, that and having such a media monster backing your every move. 

Reader average: [7.73] (15 votes)

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2 Responses to “Twice – TT”

  1. I am offended that this received the same score as GFriend’s Rough, and .25 points more than Cheer Up.

  2. Upstaged by JYP-produced IOI this time..well not on charts, which Twice dominate completely.