Review

Song Review: Twice – Feel Special

Twice have had a transformative 2019 so far, embracing a more refined sound while maintaining their immense popularity. Fancy has slowly become my most-played title track from the group, eclipsing their iconic 2016 work. Time will tell if new single Feel Special will overtake that spot, but the song makes a great first impression. By opting for a more straightforward club beat and robust chorus, the girls draw on their talents in unforeseen ways.

Part of me thought (and feared) that Twice would forever remain a quirky-cute girl group. The first handful of Twice title tracks had an idiosyncratic appeal, but stuck to a similar template. Now that they’ve begun to branch out with songs like this and Breakthrough, it’s like we’re listening to a completely different group.

The first few moments of Feel Special had me worried. I feel like we’ve heard this chirpy synth loop a million times before. It’s a holdover from K-pop’s endless fascination with tropical house, augmented to fit within a deep house framework. I’d still prefer a more unique texture, but the instrumental is quickly bolstered by a high-energy dance beat that feels commanding and confident. Even when the tempo drops for the half-time pre-chorus, Special maintains its momentum. I could do without the trap-rap bridge, but unfortunately these dalliances come with the territory nowadays.

Thankfully, Feel Special doesn’t climax in some undercooked beat drop. Its chorus proudly waves its anthemic banner, going for the pop music jugular with a full-throated refrain. It doesn’t force itself to be “cute” or “girl crush,” or any other K-pop buzz word. It just is. That may sound like odd praise, but it’s a quality that’s been frustratingly hard to find this year. The verses are less memorable, but they get the job done without needless diversions. The song’s middle section is particularly strong, effortlessly harnessing the energy from its chorus to drive things forward. Between this and Fancy, it feels like Twice have finally become comfortable with their standing as Korea’s biggest girl group. I can’t wait to see what comes next.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

 

9 thoughts on “Song Review: Twice – Feel Special

  1. I don’t think JYP can write songs with drop choruses.

    With the first opening lines I also thought “Oh noes, I have heard this before”. Where it is different is the high level of production polish. Also, they spent a boat load on the video – so many different scenes and costumes!

    As an addition to the Twice body of work, it will do. Its pretty good. (“Pretty Good” could be the next song title!) They are so much in their groove right now, the choruses aren’t completely anchored by Jihyo / Nayeon per usual, but shared around a bit more. I don’t think it will have the staying power of some of their previous songs (I could be wrong here of course), but hey the next release is only a few months away. Even SNSD in their prime had good songs amid the great songs and a few truly great songs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was halfway through my first listen and I was ready to buy the mini-album. I partly agree with MYMAGOOGLE with regard to this songs staying power. It isn’t an hook-laden earwig or meme farm like some of their earlier releases and I’m fine with that. This is a song that will make existing fans happy, but has the potential to bring new fans on board that those earlier releases weren’t able to haul in.

    I think the last few TWICE releases are building the group up as the one true SNSD replacement. Personally, there doesn’t need to be a “reigning queens” title, but there will be one all the same and TWICE is well on their way to earning it.

    Side Note – Off Topic/Not Off Topic: I absolutely love, love, love “21:29” off of this release. I don’t usually add the slower songs from TWICE releases to my playlists because they just seem like filler (most of the time), but “21:29” ticks all the right boxes for me.

    Reference: https://youtu.be/YxltCbBOcYw

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, I thought the trap break halfway through would’ve made you dock more points. Didn’t expect you to rate it so high.

    I’m not in love with the song, but I like the drawn-back(?), classier sound Twice is developing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am so into the new direction TWICE is taking. I absolutely LOVED fancy and breakthrough, and while this one isn’t as great imo, it still cements the idea that TWICE are changing their style. I thought TWICE would have a lot of difficulty breaking out of their old cute and quirky mold, but they’ve actually managed to switch to a more mature concept very smoothly. Here’s to a new era of TWICE.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. When “Fancy” was released, I commented saying to ask me in five months what I thought about the track. Well, it’s been five months… and I can’t imagine a time when I was unsure about the absolute greatness of “Fancy”. Now, I feel essentially the same about “Feel Special,” so I guess you should wait for the end of the year for my inevitably glowing review? Is it even possible for me to dislike a Korean language Twice release at this point? In Teuwaiseu We Trust

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I like this version of TWICE the best. The song feels somewhat comfortable, despite hinting at sadness. And the MV is a beast. It complements the song in a way no track of them has ever done before. And man, the pre-chorus.

    Also, if you’ve listened to the whole EP… let’s just say the one-two hit of TRICK IT and LOVE FOOLISH is the coolest TWICE has ever been.

    Liked by 1 person

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