Thursday, March 7th, 2019

Hwasa – Twit

Rife, according to Billboard, with “outside references, including George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the Virgin Mary, and Korean myth,” and also with calling someone a twit…


Joshua Minsoo Kim: Mamamoo’s singles from “Starry Night” onward were moody to the point of sounding languid, so hearing something that’s more outwardly upbeat is a surefire way to catch my attention. Hwasa bemoans an obsessive lover, comparing him to Sim Cheong — a character from a Korean folktale who sacrificed her life so that her father could regain his sight. In the story, though, the father wasn’t cured of his blindness right away; there’s a happy ending that comes much later. Hwasa’s comparison points to how she doesn’t want to deal with all the theatrics and drama of this drawn-out ordeal, even if the ending really does prove worthwhile. Her response is curt and simple: She repeatedly calls the dude a twit, matching the flute melody to make it sound like even more of a taunt.

Thomas Inskeep: Hwasa sells “Twit,” oozing attitude all over the place. (Her dude really needs to step up.) The chorus is a bit too musically perky for my taste, but the verses and especially the brassy bridge redeem it.

Alfred Soto: “Starry Night” made me curious, but Hwasa sounds like early Christina Aguilera maneuvering around the overstuffed room.

Iris Xie: The instrumental hook, with both a lower flute sound with a higher pitched “twit, twit, twit!”, sounds like the striking of a steel guitar, mixed with a cute bassline and subtle hi-hats. It’s surprisingly expressive in its carefree assertiveness, to the point where sometimes I prefer listening to the instrumental to the original song. But Hwasa adds a throaty delivery that alternates between an embodied sensuality and a darker, more commanding presence. “I don’t like it / nobody likes it” is ridiculously catchy, and when she goes lower in her range for the post-chorus, it provides some interesting contrast to the chipper instrumental.

Edward Okulicz: Is trop-trap a thing? It is now. The chorus has two delicious hooks fighting for supremacy inside my head. The one that has won is the nagging “twit, twit, twit, twit” — though it sounds like Hwasa is singing the title as “twite,” but that works for me because “twit” seems a little off phonologically and semantically for the song. 

Iain Mew: I like the fairly fresh take on the tropical through the whistles and rattles. It’s sharper and brighter, and the moment when it comes back in after a heavy pause is particularly satisfying. That said, it’s not really the emphasis of a song that is set up to give Hwasa plenty of big vocal moments. It succeeds, but at the cost of the room to do something more unusual.

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