Twice built incredible momentum throughout 2019. I mean, they were already the biggest K-pop girl group on the planet, but they managed to successfully mature their sound and evolve in unexpected ways. Both of last year’s albums were super solid, and ushered in a new era for the girls. That goodwill makes new single More & More all the more disappointing. Twice’s music hasn’t sounded this basic since Dance the Night Away, and at least that song harnessed some goofy, upbeat energy.
Written by an army of foreign songwriters, More & More succumbs to the kind of tropical trends I thought K-pop had long since left behind. But judging by Oh My Girl’s massive success with Nonstop, there’s still an appetite for this style in Korea. And honestly, tropical pop can be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, More & More is a confusing bore, anchored by a lifeless beat drop so generic that it almost feels like stock music.
The song opens with a promising verse, building a mysterious atmosphere while drawing upon the girls’ vocals in a way we haven’t heard much in their title tracks. Then we hit the pre-chorus, and it’s too repetitive for its own good. This kind of repetition is automatically catchy, but not in a satisfying way. Perhaps I’d feel more excited if the “more and more” chant culminated in a blockbuster chorus, but instead it plunges into a largely instrumental hook characterized by warped synth squiggles. It’s hardly a galvanizing centerpiece – especially for a group of Twice’s caliber. Worse yet, More & More stumbles in its second verse as the energy drains for a sluggish arrangement that further muddles the song’s appeal. A climactic, dubstep-influenced dance break attempts to inject some interest, but it’s hard to salvage something so inert. I don’t know what JYP Entertainment was thinking with this one.
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