Twice albums have become so omnipresent that even a normal hiatus feels endless. It’s only been a few months since the group made their return with Better, but it seems as if they’ve been gone for years. Apparently, we can look forward to a new Korean comeback in June. Until then, we have the Japanese Kura Kura, which takes disco imagery and wraps it in a more typical K/J-pop sound.
Twice’s Japanese discography has blossomed into something special, starting with 2019’s aptly-titled Breakthrough. Their cutesier songs seem to have been passed down to rookies NiziU, allowing Twice to tackle more nuanced material. Kura Kura skirts the line between these two styles, marrying a bubblegum melody to propulsive percussion. It’s not the disco slamdown I was hoping for, but fits nicely alongside most of the songs on their most recent Japanese full-length.
In comparison to its sprightly chorus, Kura Kura’s verses are a disappointment. I’ve never been a fan of dance songs that pull back so much during these segments. The minimal electro pulse does the track no favors, stalling energy without supplying a dynamic melody to make up for the dip in tempo. Kura Kura’s hook is stronger, but still fails to capture the feverish joy a dance song like this should inspire. In fact, the track opens with its strongest element – a catchy refrain that will later become a stomping post-chorus. Twice sound divine here, recalling the sugar-sweet bliss that characterized much of Girls’ Generation’s discography. Alas, this only makes me long for an entire song filled with this bright, uplifting sound.