Twice’s Japanese output has been a mixed bag, representing some of their strongest and weakest material. But, no one can argue with the group’s prolific work ethic. In addition to their nonstop Korean output, the girls will have released three full Japanese albums by the time Perfect World comes out in July. This newest album’s title track is one of Twice’s most daring releases yet, offering a hard-hitting sound in direct contrast to some of their cuter bubblegum singles.
The transformation is successful, even if that might not be immediately apparent. Despite a welcome volley of brass, Perfect World’s first verse and pre-chorus aren’t particularly inspiring. It’s clear that the track will soon unveil its exciting energy, but I wish it had come swinging right out of the gate.
Thankfully, Perfect World’s chorus arrives like a wrecking ball. Electric guitar joins that brassy ornamentation, forging a gritty backbone over which the girls deliver an aggressive rebuke to a scorned lover. What this chorus lacks in melody, it makes up for with punch. It’s gratifying to hear Twice sound so unrestrained. Free from the shackles of affected aegyo, the vocals are commanding and emotive in a way we don’t always hear from them. And though the energy lulls again during Perfect World’s second verse, the arrangement takes a few interesting turns to maintain interest until we return to that chorus. Similarly, the standout bridge enlists an insistent kick, fueling momentum into the song’s climax. There are parts of Perfect World that feel a little rough around the edges, but its overall effect is quite powerful.