[Mini-Album] TWICE – TWICEcoaster: LANE 1

TWICEcoaster: LANE 1 is the third mini-album released by TWICE. TT was used as the promotional song for the group and has become the group’s biggest hit.

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Released: October 24, 2016
1. TT
2. 1 to 10
3. Ponytail
4. Jelly Jelly
5. Pit-a-Pat
6. Next Page
7. One in a Million

TT opens the album up and it is a blast of a song. It has a similar feel to Cheer Up with its cuter verses and explosive, hook-heavy choruses. I would actually say this is stronger than that one as the hooks are more cleverly worked around instead of just thrown in your face. Once the first chorus hits, it feels like the song never really lets up and there are only a few moments here or there where the song lets you catch a breath. It’s fun though.

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I like that 1 to 10 slows things down for something more on the midtempo pop side. The group has tackled songs like this before, but this is probably one of their best of this tempo. I wouldn’t say it is perfect, but there are some nice points to it. The music is rather laidback, but still has a nice punch to it. I do find the melody to be a bit overpowered at times though. I wish the music was a bit brighter because I feel like it would have fit the girls’ voices better.

Then we swing into the pop/rock Ponytail. I think this is a fun sound to get into, but there is something rather lackluster with the melody. The energy of the music is quite powerful and while I was scared of the girls not being able to fit this genre that well, they do a surprisingly good job. However, I just wish the song was catchier. The chorus just zooms by and doesn’t really get stuck in my head.

Jelly Jelly is something a bit cheerleader-like. It has a fun beat and I like it’s somewhat retro vibe. I just wish the song wasn’t so high because the girls sound like they are straining in the verses. The transition into the chorus isn’t that obvious either and it’s a bit of a letdown because I was hoping the verses would translate into something more explosive for the chorus. Not bad, but not quite there.

Pit-a-Pat pretty much continues the sound of the last song with its bright pop vibe. I do find this one to be a bit better because there are some more interesting transitions brought in. The pre-chorus could be a little better though. Unfortunately, like the last few songs, the chorus just doesn’t quite do it for me. It frustrates me a bit because I know the group has it in them to hit it with the melodies, but these just go by with little interest for me.

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Next Page is a bit slower and has a more relaxed vibe to it, but it still has a bounciness to it that keeps it from getting boring. The music has a lot of weird synths coming in and out and I like that it changes things up a bit. The chorus is probably the strongest in a few songs. It’s a bit empty and features a few lines here and there, but it is much more memorable than some other songs. I wish it went a little harder, but it’s not bad.

One in a Million is a slower pop song and focuses more on the acoustic guitar. This reminds me of bubblegum pop songs from the early 00’s in the US and I actually like this throwback. Luckily, this is the second best song on the mini. The chorus is strong and has a catchy melody that works wonderfully with the music. I don’t think it is in a sound that totally matches the girls, but it is a really nice surprise.


Overall: This is the group’s weakest release up to this point of my reviews. I was expecting something a bit stronger considering the quality of TT, but for the most part, the B-sides just fell flat. There was some great music, but the melodies just weren’t what I was looking for and it’s a bit frustrating because the girls have it in them, as they proved on their last minis and in One in a Million.

B-

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[Mini-Album] TWICE – Page Two

Page Two is the second mini-album released by TWICE. Cheer Up was used as the promoted track and was a massive hit for the group, earning the group their first number one.

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Released: April 25, 2016
1. Cheer Up
2. Precious Love (소중한 사랑)
3. Touchdown
4. Tuk Tok (툭하면 톡)
5. Woohoo
6. Headphones On (Headphone 써)
7. I’m Gonna Be a Star

I love that the mini opens with Cheer Up, which follows up their last promo track with something a little more on the sugary side. With that said, even with the aegyo-filled vocals, the song is just full of catchy hooks. The chorus is especially ear worm-y with its simple but effective “Cheer Up” catchphrase. The verses are also quite fun and each section has a different but still equally catching sound. It just glides along before exploding into the chorus.

Precious Love is a cover of a Park Ji Yoon song by the same name. I love the original, so this was an interesting choice. It’s more on the cuter side, but it is changed up a bit to sound more contemporary. This song is just perfect for TWICE. They aren’t known as vocalists, but the group’s unique tones thrive in this sweet pop tune that showcases each member.

Touchdown is one of the group’s more intense pop tunes with its clapping beat and more aggressive vocal delivery. It’s nice to hear the girls do this kind of song because it shows they can do something a bit harder hitting. The song has a great hook with its countdown before swinging right into a trumpet heavy backdrop. It’s a fun song.

Tuk Tok starts off in a soulful way but then goes right into a cuter pop song. I think this is the first song I’m not a big fan of. It is just really messy. The song tries to do a lot of things, but ties everything together in an odd way. None of it is particularly catchy and there are times when the vocals sound totally off.

Another upbeat pop tune, Woohoo is better than the last song just because it seems to transition smoother. With that said, there is something missing. The melody feels like it has the potential to be as strong Cheer Up, but the editing was just messing around. The music does nothing to heighten the melody and the melody itself could use some tweaking.

I like the way Headphones On starts off because it has a cooler vibe going for it. The energy of the songs starts to get more powerful before hitting the chorus, where things get a bit confusing. It goes a bit more bubblegum pop, which isn’t totally bad but it just lacks impact. It makes the song forgettable.

I’m gonna be a star gets a lot of flack from people because it has a really annoying, but highly memorable hook with that spoken “I’m gonna be a star” line. I actually really like this song because that beat is crazy addictive and there are some really fun parts to this song. I quite enjoy the rap and it fits the song so well. The pre-chorus where things slow and bring something a bit more dramatic is also really fun and helps build things up for that funky chorus.


Overall: This mini is really weird because I really like half of it but the other half I don’t. There are some great pop tunes on here that work really well with the group and fit their image. However, at the same time there are some tracks that just seem so dull. The music has no life and the melodies are just forgettable.

B+

[Mini-Album] TWICE – The Story Begins

TWICE debuted in 2015 and while they weren’t met with immediate success, they slowly crawled up to the top of the girl-group pack in 2016. The Story Begins is the debut mini-album released by TWICE. Like Ooh-Ahh was used as the promotional track.

thestorybegins
Released: October 20, 2015
1. Like Ooh-Ahh (OOH-AHH하게)
2. Do It Again (다시 해줘)
3. Must Be Crazy (미쳤나봐)
4. Truth
5. Candy Boy
6. Like a Fool

Right away, we are thrown into the promo track. Like Ooh-Ahh is still my favourite of TWICE’s song because it works so well with their image, while providing a catchy and straightforward pop tune. I do enjoy how the vocal arrangement plays around with all the different members and many parts play off of each other to create more excitement. The chorus didn’t seem that strong when I initially listened to the song, but it has a way of growing on you. The mixture of some more melodic parts tied with a touch of repetition really blends well together in this case. But my favourite part is actually the breakdown that comes right after the middle-8. It keeps things going really adds a bit of edge to the song. This is a strong tune.

I’m pretty sure Do It Again was featured on the TWICE’s pre-debut show, SIXTEEN. I do like that it has some stronger hip-hop elements to it and we get to hear the girls belting it out a bit more. I wasn’t a huge fan of the song at first, but it has grown on me. I don’t think the more melodic pieces are as strong as they could be and the girls do end up sounding like they are screaming through the song, but it’s that cool breakdown for the second half of the chorus that really brings the song to life with its “wahhh” hook. It’s really intoxicating.

Must Be Crazy is a bit more on the cuter end of the scale. I do like the beat to the song, which is emphasized by the cool synths. The highlight of the song is definitely the chorus, where the melody is just really catchy and the girls sound great here. The rap break also helps keep the song from getting stale and really works well here. While I do feel it’s definitely B-side material, this is certainly a strong song.

Truth is definitely different. It keeps that upbeat pop sound, but gives us something a bit less predictable with its mix of rapping and singing in the verses. The chorus is totally different though as the song has a soaring feel to it. I don’t think this is the strongest song, but it’s definitely an interesting mix on things and reminds me of something from f(x).

Another song that reminds me of f(x) is Candy Boy. Unfortunately, unlike the last song, this one is definitely not as well executed. Actually, the melody in the chorus is quite annoying. I do like the music and I think there is a nice build-up, but I just do not like the transition into the chorus and how high-pitched it is. The girls are straining and the melody just doesn’t sound pleasing. Not my cup of tea.

Like a Fool is a total switch-a-roo. Here we have the first mid-tempo tune and it just doesn’t fit with the rest of the mini. I do like that it goes for something a bit more progressive with its soaring chorus. I just wish the hooks were a bit stronger and that they went 100% into this the song. It always feels like its losing a bit of potential and the music should be even stronger to help that the melody. It’s quite nice though.


Overall: I was surprised with this mini as I haven’t really been into TWICE’s B-sides as much as their A-sides. There were some decent tunes on here though and while they aren’t songs I would revisit often, they are still pretty solid. I did wish they cut out Candy Boy though cause it really weakens the mini.

B