Song Review: Twice – Fanfare

As Twice’s 2019 material matured, that sense of sophistication bled over to their Japanese discography as well. Both Breakthrough and Fake & True represented quantum leaps in quality when stacked against past J-pop releases. I had hope that this streak would continue, but new single Fanfare pulls them back a little.

This is despite the addition of a marching band instrumental, which is always a welcome feature for a pop song (just ask After School!). Fanfare opens with full bombast, delivering a robust instrumental that could have replicated the spectacle of a good year-end performance in the form of a pop song. Instead, Fanfare reverts to a more typical Japanese Twice track, which happens to feature a drumline and lots of brass in the background. This is a shame, as the song had the opportunity to become something really immense and unprecedented within their discography.

Ultimately, the track is let down by a melody that could best be described as “irritating.” J-pop occasionally collapses into this kind of frantic energy, and Fanfare often feels like a song being played two speeds too fast. Its chorus is a real ear-shredder, and quickly becomes more shouty than pleasant. I’m all for assaultive production, but there’s just too much going on here, and not enough nuance. By the time we reach the end, I feel like I’ve been pummeled into the pavement, holding up a white flag in the hopes that the girls will just take their marching band and go bother someone else.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

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8 thoughts on “Song Review: Twice – Fanfare

  1. “By the time we reach the end, I feel like I’ve been pummeled into the pavement, holding up a white flag in the hopes that the girls will just take their marching band and go bother someone else.”

    I couldn’t have said it better. The song has no high’s or low’s but just this very long and permanent megawatt energy. It reminds a bit of Wake Me Up in that sense. I like the bridge because we get some variety in the instrumental with a few synths, but overall, I just wish it could have a bit more of up’s and down’s.


  2. .

    And this dear children is the definition of a “noisy” song. I tried various earbuds, on my computer and ipods and phone, and oof doof my ears are assaulted.

    OK I am swearing under my breath. My heart lifted when I saw the words “marching band” and “Fanfare”, and then the song did a bait and switch on us. Nearly none of this is actual marching band or actual horns. Its all synth crap. Noisy synth crap.

    If it weren’t so noisy I may have been able to listen to it long enough to consider it “fun”.

    Japan actually does have high school marching bands, and there is this one which is nearly all girls, the Kyoto Tachibana. They played the Rose Parade and Disneyland a few years ago. ‘ Very interesting fresh take on marching band choreo. Also a surprising mix of instruments (so many clarinets and flutes!) for a marching band compared to a US-one.


  3. Even as a ONCE I have to say that this song almost gave me headaches. Such noisy songs are only very rarely appealing to me e. g. “OOPSIE (My Bad)”.


  4. I feel like Twice peaked in 2019 at least music quality wise and then in 2020 JYP just gave them some trendy songs that don’t really sound like them at all. Both their Korean and Japanese releases feel so generic, like it could’ve been given to any other girl group with a bubbly concept. Really disappointed. But, then again, that’s how I’ve felt with 95% of the tracks released this year in the industry. Probably one of the worst years for Kpop regarding its music quality, I don’t see any of the songs released at this point standing the test of time.


    • Gonna be honest I think 2020 kpop is much better than 2019 at least aside from TWICE. Music is more fun and less in-your-face girl crush. It’s not meant to be an orchestra piece but something fun that is enjoyable or touching- what kpop is best for. This song may not be as good as their 2019 Japanese releases but it’s much better than their old tracks. I feel like people just generally hate TWICE’s cute side when honestly it has more longevity than stuff like Breakthrough


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