Song Review: Twice – Signal

It’s not smart to mess with a winning formula, especially when that formula is responsible for a rise as meteoric as Twice’s. The girls’ mega-successful sound was built by producers Black Eyed Pilseung, but now we’re on the second single in a row without their aid. While February’s Knock Knock felt like a real departure from their past work, Signal pulls back to that initial formula, courtesy of producer (and agency head) Park Jinyoung. Aside from the obvious JYP Entertainment connection, it’s a pairing that makes sense from a musical standpoint. After all, last year’s Jinyoung-penned Very Very Very could have easily been a Twice track.

Signal opens with its most grating moment — an oft-repeated sing-talk refrain that would have been more effective if used sparingly. The song’s first thirty seconds are disorienting and a little aimless, but once the first verse kicks in Signal develops a sense of direction. The melody continues the clipped, kewpie doll type delivery that has epitomized most of the group’s iconic moments thus far. It’s effective, if not particularly surprising. Better is the airy chorus, which balances Twice’s penchant for simplified, earworm hooks with a bouncy pop refrain that feels fresh and perfectly suited for summer.

Though Signal has its messy moments, they’re tied together with solid production that understands how to utilize the group’s specific talents. Twice will never be a powerhouse vocal act, but their tones blend well together, with each member skirting past the other to deliver a quick piece of ear candy before yielding the spotlight to another. It’s assembly-line pop at its most efficient. Yes, there are elements that don’t quite click, but it all flies by so briskly that it’s hard not to get swept up in the playful fun of it all. And with Korea’s Twice obsession at its peak, we’re likely to get swept up for months to come.

 Hooks  8
 Production  8
 Longevity 8
 Bias  8

11 thoughts on “Song Review: Twice – Signal

  1. You were generous. Among the amazing things about this comeback are how many aspects were screwed up. I agree, when the song gets to the chorus it is much improved, but the rest is terrible. The songs on the album, except for the last one, are nearly as bad.

    The song is undance-able. But even so, the choreo is even worse than Knock, Knock. Knock, Knock is a much better song than this one and they combined this one with an M/V that’s 1980’s bad (note to producers; never include a costume I can buy for $20 at WM). The cuts in the video and use of the superpowers appear amateurish.

    And all this for a group I adore (I own every physical).

    The strength of Twice is the group dynamic. They’re a happy group, fans have fun with them. The energy of the Cheer Up comeback showcase was unbelievable. They came out and did 2 songs from their debut and then performed every song from the new album (or nearly every song). It was the moment they became the number 1 GG. Today’s showcase was fun, but only because of the group dynamic, you could tell they hate the song and the dance, and they only performed 1 new song.

    It’s becoming a valid question whether JYPE can handle a number 1 group. They’re only 1/5th the size of SM or YG. Maybe the Twice phenomenom is too big for them to handle. Loen and some others have deep pockets but have shown no willingness to spend. SM and YG have set-backs from time to time, but they don’t make obvious mistakes, they know what to do. JYP had 3 huge hits in a row with Black-eyed Pilseung, then what? They wanted to be paid, maybe?

    JYP is lucky that the new SM girl group isn’t about to debut, especially if the rumors are true that Hayeon is part of that group (I doubt it). SNSD did the impossible, they remained the number 1 group from 2009-2015, it may be a long time before we see another group dominate for that period of time. Twice could, if JYP doesn’t screw it up. Someday, Twice will be able to tell JYP what they like and don’t like. Hopefully, they excersize that power soon.


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