When one of K-pop’s A-list acts embrace a musical trend, you know it’s officially sunk its teeth into the industry. Synthpop is the sound of the moment, and Twice have tackled the genre with I Can’t Stop Me. This follows similar efforts from Everglow and SoRi, and lands somewhere in the middle of those two tracks. Twice have dipped into the retro style on album b-sides before, but I Can’t Stop Me thrives most when it fully embodies the strengths of its genre.
One of the most exciting (and unexpected) aspects of this trend has been a return to big pop choruses. Over the past few years, they’ve often been pushed aside in favor of beat drops or chant-a-thons, but there’s no discounting the importance of a killer melodic chorus. I Can’t Stop Me comes turbo-charged with a dazzling hook. Its teasers proudly unveiled this element, clearly confident about the song’s centerpiece. And, I Can’t Stop Me has every reason to be confident. The chorus is instantly memorable, harnessing an addictive melody. Its drive perfectly compliments the synthpop instrumental, delivering momentum without resorting to the kind of stale EDM build employed by so many of its peers.
I Can’t Stop Me also sees Twice unveil a sleek performance, dialing down the quirkier side of their vocals for a more sophisticated delivery. They’ve been moving in this direction for some time, but it feels like we’ve reached a moment where they’ve blossomed into their next stage of evolution. I Can’t Stop Me’s only missteps occur during its pre-chorus, when the track slows to incorporate more modern percussion. It feels at odds with the general vibe of the production, and briefly blunts the energy. Luckily, this is a minor gripe, and we’re back inside that potent chorus before we know it.