Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
I’ve gotta say, I’m fully embracing this subtle Twice transformation. As expected, Fancy has grown on me day by day, but the entire mini album is also very solid. I love that its shift in sound feels natural for the group, and not simply a cash grab toward edgier trends. Fancy You is pure pop through and through, but it has a more sophisticated sheen than some of Twice’s past material.
Most of the album tracks are of similar quality, but I want to mention Hot because I think the song is such a good fit for the girls. Like it or not, the most polarizing aspect of most Twice singles tend to be the vocals. When used correctly, they’re quirky and instantly identifiable. But sometimes the group’s mix of sugary sweet tones verges on cloying.
Hot largely focuses on its instrumental, but that doesn’t mean that the girls themselves are outshone. The song opens with a heavily synthesized vocal bassline reminiscent of Motown or, more recently, Uptown Funk. This carries through much of the first verse, which offers an airy melody that never strains too hard. Freed from the need to inject an overexcited sense of energy, the girls sound utterly assured. This carries through to the knockout chorus, which relies heavily on an electro instrumental drop. I’m usually not one for these kind of hooks, but the production here is perfectly realized — multi-layered and insanely catchy. Twice wrings far more than you’d expect from a refrain that essentially amounts to “hot hot hot whoo woo,” but their light, layered vocals turn out to be the icing on this addictive cake.