[MV & Album Review] TWICE – ‘Signal’

[MV & Album Review] TWICE – ‘Signal’

By now, you’ve probably heard about TWICE’s comeback. It’s hard not to hear about it, as video views keep piling up and their new JYP-penned song “Signal” hitting an all-kill. So, without further ado, here’s what their new EP ‘Signal’ sounds like…

It kicks off with the J.Y. Park produced title track “Signal,” which, quite frankly, is not as strong as their previous title songs. It lacks the energy of “Like Ooh Ahh” and the charm of “Knock Knock.” It also sounds like several songs that were just mashed together, so the flow is really off. To make matters worse, the intro is really annoying. Once the song gets going it does get a bit better, but there are those awkward chanting parts which isn’t musical and boring.

Now, “Three Times a Day” is a really nice slow jam. The girls sound equal parts fierce and sweet, and it’s a magical combination on this tune. This tune is one that uses all the girls’ vocal strengths and is interesting in its own way. I’m not sure I quite understand the dial tone at the end, but it’s not terribly jarring. 

“Only You” is a more frantic affair, but doesn’t take it too far. It starts out like that at the start but acquires a more comfortable pace as the song gets going. It’s lively and catchy, bright and repetitive. The use of “Only” as a hook was a good choice, and it really gives the tune some punch. And a shouted “Only Love, Always Love” during the chorus just makes this track that much better.

“Hold Me Tight” has that trademark cute charm that I was looking for from TWICE. It’s a pretty standard fare, but it seems like it’s a song that was made for tons of aegyo, especially the ad-libs in between each line, and there are adorable raps that fit well with the tone to the track. It’s all meant to make you jump around and put a smile on your face. It’s not a great tune, but it is fun.

“Eye Eye Eyes” tries to capture that same charm that the previous track did, but doesn’t quite get there. Or maybe more properly it would be that it goes a little overboard. There’s a weird almost country-western beat in parts, along with some music box effects. The raps are more awkward and just sound like talking. The chorus is okay, but I’m not a fan of the main verses.

“Someone Like Me” is a good closer. It’s a very quiet, unpretentious ballad. It’s got guitar and claps, and a nice steady slow beat. The harmony in the chorus is just masterful. There’s a nice “gather around the campfire” vibe to this one, and the chorus is beautiful and expansive. This particular track is a delight for my ears.

So overall, you have four good tracks and a couple that aren’t so good. The real problem for me is the title track. It’s a popular song, but not particularly pleasing to the ear. The same way Budweiser might be a terrible beer, but it’s the most popular. And when you’re promoting with it… I’m a fan, so I was looking forward to this comeback. In any case, it’s not a bad EP, but it needs a little more to push it to “great” status.

Well, aside from the awkward song, the MV is kind of funny. An alien lands… a blue alien with a rather cartoonish cranium. The girls stick him in a classroom and try to get his attention. They fail. Badly. There’s a twist ending, but I’m not going to ruin it for you.

Of course, the implications of shipping humans and aliens are outside the boundaries of this review.

So the girls of TWICE continue the supernatural bent, this time with aliens. There are some cute sequences such as a bunch of Dahyun clones running around in the background, and Mina trying to hypnotize the alien only to put herself to sleep. As much as I’m not a fan of the helpless girl tropes, I still found myself laughing.  

The dancing is a little lackluster. I don’t feel that it was meant to be much, and we don’t see a lot of it here anyway. What we do see is a little thin, and laced with aegyo. A fair amount of it. I could care less about aegyo either way, though when done really well it’s fun.

The wardrobe was fairly cute. These girls have definitely grown up and JYP is apparently not shy about reminding you of that. That’s likely one of the selling points of the video, and I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy watching them. There’s a definite visual aspect to K-pop and they milk it well. I am glad that they didn’t go over-the-top sexy.

It’s not a bad MV overall. It’s not the best I’ve seen, but hardly the worst, and had some fun effects. And at least there was a slight plot to link the whole thing together. It’s satisfying, if not particularly grandiose. And the twist ending is just the cherry on top.  

SEE ALSO: TWICE members try not to mess up during ‘random play dance’ on ‘Weekly Idol’

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