Over the past few years, the Korean wave has seemed to slow in Japan. That’s begun to change as some of k-pop’s biggest acts make an overseas push. Twice is certainly leading the pack, enjoying instant success with October’s One More Time. And that’s really no surprise. Both their sound and image are perfectly positioned to appeal to the j-pop market. JYP Entertainment has shown an ability to foster this kind of international dominance, boosting 2PM to the point where they sell more in Japan than their homeland. I wouldn’t be surprised if Twice replicates this pattern — and that’s saying something given their ubiquity in Korea.
The words Candy Pop are a perfect description of Twice’s appeal. At times, their material feels more like a series of addictive earworms than cohesive songs, and that’s given them a unique crossover appeal. But for those hoping the girls would venture towards a more sophisticated direction (a desire that seems to be growing with each comeback), Candy Pop may feel more like a musical toothache. Its percussive, sing-song style feels much more in keeping with the group’s past work than One More Time did, but misses the bite that only producers Black Eyed Pilseung have seemed able to deliver for them.
In its place is a cut-and-paste of Twice’s greatest hits, grafted to a saccharine hook that keeps just shy of becoming irritating. The instrumental has a nice bounce to it (though I could do without the cloying “sweety, sweety” opening), but we’ve heard it before. The track needs an element — any element — that might set it apart from the rest of their work. The creativity that’s present in Candy Pop‘s charming music video seems to be absent from the actual song. But hey, if it ain’t broke… don’t fix it. I’m sure they’ll sell gangbusters as usual, even with a track that goes out of its way not to expand the idea of what Twice can be.