Monday, June 21st, 2021

Twice – Alcohol-Free

A whiskey drink, a vodka drink, a lager drink, a cider drink…


Crystal Leww: Since 2019, Twice have been transitioning away from their cute concepts into something more ~mature~, which thankfully has actually been less clumsy and awkward than girl crush posturing or trying to be sexy or just straight up going for being Bad. It’s ranged from being cool oontz oontz fashion girlies to tropical aquatic dance drop banger to doing ’80s synth twinkles. Unfortunately, this has swung too far in an old direction while still trying to do… idk, puritanical and sweet? The result is a mess of a song that sounds like a Hilton Hotels ad made to appeal to drunk white wine spritzer aunt. 

Michael Hong: POV: You just stepped off the hotel resort elevator and on to the patio and a gorgeous girl is reading you the drink menu.

Thomas Inskeep: I mean, the “refreshing” jokes kinda write themselves, but this doesn’t sound like any of the current obnoxious pop trends: it’s a light, airy record with an uncluttered arrangement, based around a slightly samba-ish/flamenco-ish (it’s both, at various points) acoustic guitar riff and an easy beat, and not a lot else — which is to its benefit. The women of Twice sound appropriately sunny. There’s nothing whatsoever not to like here.

Dede Akolo: This is Jimmy Buffet K-pop. I, as a “zillenial” or whatever, enjoy it, but I think that signifies my age and the tolerance I built up throughout the second generation of K-pop. I am glad that this song doesn’t bring beyond the mezzo-soprano range because my girls’ vocal cords need a break. And the vocal range does along them to sing this live more successfully. Regardless, I need to have a good long talk with Mr. Jinyoung Park about delegating tasks such as songwriting and possibly going into retirement. 

Rose Stuart: I can’t find any fault with this song. Every note, every layer, every sample sounds perfect. But, like every Twice song since “Feel Special” and their introduction of a more mature sound, if I had never heard this before nor ever heard it again, I wouldn’t feel like I was missing anything. I guess the only problem with this song is me. Me — and JYP: I thought we’d agreed to stop the creepy whisper. Don’t bring it back now.

Katie Gill: What an aggressively boring song. The summertime vibes are the most cliché, stereotypical summer vibes you can imagine and it’s got a corny rap break and a remarkably middle-of-the-road chorus, instrumentation, and arrangement to back it up. I get what they’re trying to go with. But wow is this a serious misstep in the grand K-pop pantheon of summer songs. Hell, it’s a serious misstep in the grand Twice pantheon of summer songs: they’ve done better before.

Jessica Doyle: If we were using the Smart Bitches’s scale rather than our in-house one, “Alcohol-Free” would be a DNF: I’ve tried listening to the song five or six times now and managed to get all the way through maybe once. It comes off as both boring and unpleasant: tinny, and everyone somehow required to sound similar, to the point that it’s hard to tell the difference between Sana and Tzuyu on the chorus. (That this vocal compression threatens to blow up in the performers’ faces every time they’re asked to perform live is apparently not JYP’s concern.) “Signal” also had Sana and Tzuyu on the chorus, and sounded unpleasant, but at least there was enough going on that we could host a full-on debate. Here, what is there to talk about? Tinny and empty both; what happened to our Twice?

Camille Nibungco: Despite the hype, I couldn’t get past the disappointing Wii Channel sound.

Alfred Soto: Alcohol-free, maybe, but not sugar-free. Under control, though. The vocals hover between insistent and annoying, holding complacency at bay. 

Reader average: [6] (3 votes)

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3 Responses to “Twice – Alcohol-Free”

  1. twice released a lot of good singles last year and there are no reviews. When they release a bad single you review :(

  2. last year was a bit of a challenge to cover, well basically anything, but you’re right we should have covered “kura kura” instead

  3. okay i underrated this, the end of my blurb should have been “life is good.”