Review

Song Review: Twice – The Feels

Twice - The FeelsThough they’re undoubtedly one of K-pop’s most popular acts, the idea of Twice expanding into the Western market has always felt a little iffy to me. For whatever reason, international fans tend to flock toward darker, edgier concepts. Twice’s music is often bubblegum in execution, which may reinforce negative K-pop stereotypes held by more skeptical listeners. But, the group has already seen massive success in Japan (where bubblegum is certainly not a liability!), so it’s only natural they’d get around to an English-language single eventually.

Going into my first listen of The Feels, I tried to imagine this was some new girl group I’d never heard of – that I was an insulated pop fan who had no real interest in K-pop. With that mindset, I’d likely enjoy a cursory view of the music video before moving on to other things. I doubt I’d have much curiosity about the group, apart from wondering which Disney Channel original movie the song may have stumbled out of.

Of course, most of us come to The Feels with a years-long history of Twice singles. There’s no reason for this song to be performed in English (“the feels” sounds like some unfortunate disease), and I doubt it’s going to win over any new converts. But, it’s a solid Twice track that blends their past with their present and wraps it in a retro bow. The melody has a nice vamp and is strongest when it jettisons the cutesy affectations and goes for the pop jugular. This is most successful during the chorus, which opts for a series of ebullient refrains. It feels like diving into a vat of cotton candy – a heady sugar rush. However, I prefer my sugar with some bite, and I wish The Feels delivered some of the icy cool that made I Can’t Stop Me such a treat last year.

The song’s trendy bassline sets things off on the right foot, forging a sturdy backbone for the verses. The percussion becomes brisker as this segment develops, previewing the explosion of energy that marks the chorus. An injection of synth makes for an exciting centerpiece, though I wish it had been turned up even louder in the mix.

Knowing my taste in pop music, I feel like I should absolutely adore The Feels. It’s a well-written, well-constructed pop song and Twice totally sell it. Yet, much like the English-language BTS tracks, it comes across as too sanitized – a means to and end rather than an expression of what makes this group incredible. But as modern pop products go, I admire The Feels’ unflinching will to embrace a big chorus and buoyant instrumental.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

44 thoughts on “Song Review: Twice – The Feels

  1. i enjoyed the hell out of this track when it premiered. that “boy i know you got the feels” hook lives rent free in my head now, though as with the rest of the english-language kpop songs, i don’t know if its gonna age well.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. I think giving this the same rating as you gave Dynamite is the right call. It’s fun and catchy and energising in the same way that Dynamite is. But it’s also hollow and superficial and glitzy in the same way that, uh, Dynamite is. (With the odd proviso that there may actually be more rapping in The Feels than in Dynamite.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It may just be my ONCE heart speaking, but from first listen I absolutely loved it! The whole song just makes me incredibly happy, and when that great chorus and post-chorus hits, I just can’t help beaming. The girls’ vocals all sound really good too, maybe due to the song being in a lower-than-kpop-too-high range. It helps that the song being in English doesn’t really feel all that important to me – with the pretty good pronunciation, lyrics that make sense, and the song still feeling like a “Twice song”, if I wasn’t paying too much attention I feel like I could forget the song was in English. Whereas on the other hand, I can’t ignore that when it comes to BTS’ three English singles, which sound too different from their other stuff.

    On a more stan-related note, THIRD FULL ALBUM IN NOVEMBER??! I’m so excited ahhh! And as a Chaeyoung bias, I’m loving how much she shines here.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I like the original and the 2 remixes. The song is a mix of retro and pop. The girls deliver the lines with confidence, a bit of flirt, and a light touch. MV is also a fun mix of youthful energy and queen of the high school hallway vibe; fun and colorful. I am glad TWICE didn’t go with sexy and girl crush. The song fits TWICE’s image and concept well. I can see young girls and their mother dancing to it 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  5. IMO only the chorus sounds fun. I really don’t vibe with chaeyoung’s lines this time around (🤔)
    But it does sound like a twice song. I might even forget that this is in English.

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  6. reminds me a bit of CLC’s I Need U which was also in English, but I think that song is better. Nonetheless, this song was tons of fun, I hope their November comeback will be even better.

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  7. For a song that is supposed to be for the westren market and the American top 40, it does fulfill it’s purpose.

    I think it’s a fine song, though I’m more interested in how it does on the American charts (Say people would say that 𝘐’𝘮 𝘴𝘰 𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴)

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    • Also curious on how it fares on the American charts…I feel like I have no gauge whatsoever on how this will play out. Their albums have been placing consistently higher and higher on the Billboard 200 for the last few comebacks, but that’s not a good comparison to getting a single onto the Hot 100. I could see it getting Twice their first ever entry into the Hot 100, and then fading out, but of course there could also be a lucky break – see the way Loona’s Star managed to actually secure some radio play in the US and stay there for a decent amount of time.

      We’ll see! I don’t think I’ll care too much how it does in the West, and I don’t really think JYPE and Twice care too much either – JYPE’s got SKZ and Itzy in particular to target the West, and Twice still is one of the most popular groups in the industry either way. A few interviews/shows aimed towards the US per comeback is how I see it playing out for Twice’s promotion in the West for the rest of their career.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Agreed. I’m personally interested because of the reason that Jyp have other groups that target the west, not just twice. It’s just a weird decision to have twice promoting in the west for me. Then again, they have been releasing English version of title tracks (I think it’s only icsm though)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I like the song quite a lot. It’s a polished track with a really catchy melody and a nice vibe. I would give it an 8.5/10 [9,8,8,9].

    I have a question tho. I’m really bad at picking up autotune but that wobble in Nayeon’s high note at 2:47 just feels kinda awkward. Is that autotune or just natural voice? If it’s autotuned, it’s badly done IMO. If it’s her voice, idk…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Honestly them singing in English just makes it sound like most of them can’t sing. I would’ve liked it better if the song was in Korean because they could’ve expressed themselves better. I hate that companies keep trying to break into the American market without actually knowing what Americans would be into. the song definitely has its moments but I won’t be relistening to it

    Liked by 1 person

      • well that’s cool… twice isn’t my favorite groups but their recent singles have stayed in my listening rotation for quite a while. Another great single is big possibility

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  10. I’m addicted to it. That being said I am a huge fan of TWICE. I totally prefer bubblegum over dark and edgy, I mean, how can one like songs like How You Like That and Kill This Love over TT, Likey, Fancy, I Can’t Stop Me or The Feels?! I was really afraid I wouldn’t like this song but I just love it. I do agree with you a song like I Can’t Stop Me probably would have made a bigger impact but I hope they will get what they deserve. TWICE is a great group and the mentioned singles all have a massive amount of views so I think they kinda already made their worldwide breakthrough a long time ago. My heart is bleading a bit because Jeongyeon is missing in several parts of the song AND on the poster in the end 😦 I really hate that. I get she is injured but at least include her in another way instead of her just nog being there.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It makes the roller rink playlist easily. As a half-assed Twice listener it’s no Can’t Stop Me, but it’s also not Alcohol-Free. It has some snap to it. I like it a lot. It’s better than any BTS English track, and some MX ones.

    My thought is that this sound will hit hard in Europe, non-straight America, Britain, and Australia. The American general public wails on YT comments about the lack of danceable pop, but generally does next to nothing (for both good and bad reasons) to seek it out. But put this in a kid’s cartoon, and it’ll be a smash. The next “Happy”. I’m more than OK with that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hah, today you are me. “Half-assed Twice listener” sums me up about right. I’m mildly irritated that my first playlisted track of the month is in English, but I’ll get over it. Whoever’s doing the belt and ad libs on the chorus hooked me in.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. honestly I’ve tuned out following Twice, heavily, after More & More.
    I will always hold heavy love for them since they were the group that really pulled me back into K-pop and were the gateway to my deep dive.

    The chorus is close to one of my favorite Twice choruses, but otherwise similar to AB6ix’s Cherry, I’m pretty ready to move on from this sound. I think this is a really good take on the approach.

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  13. Funny enough on first listen I didn’t even notice it was in English. Pretty solid but not particularly inspiring song. Middle tier Twice.

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  14. people comparing this to the atrocities bts have put into the world these past couple years??? clean your ears.. this is cute and fun! lyrics are dated as hell tho

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Lol, you just had to link to PTD, didn’t you? Trying to break 400 comments? Related side note – three months later and I still haven’t actually listened to PTD all the way through.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Also, how come the Japanese gets total bangers like “Perfect World” and the US gets serviceable but unremarkable? My feelings are ever so slightly hurt!

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  17. Whereas I see where people find a difference in lyrical quality between Dynamite and other BTS tracks, I really don’t see that problem with this song! The Feels fits in really well with their discography (Don’t pretend their latest Japanese singles are the only ones – BDZ, Candy Pop, Brand New Girl, One More Time exist. They’re on-par) I loved it and have been singing along in my car.
    Also, the feels is a real term! Not in proper English of course, but for years I’ve heard people online say “feels”. Just for those wondering lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, BTS have this “we are real self-made artists making music about our real feelings” backstory/image, whereas Twice have only ever branded themselves as cute girls singing fun pop music, so I feel like it’s not as much of a leap for them…

      Liked by 3 people

      • This is a very good observation! It makes sense for Twice, it feels more like ‘selling out’ for a group who started with a self-made concept. The shift in style (hip-hop like, concept-driven to super upbeat/simple) was also greater for BTS.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. I quite like this one. The bassline is really funky and it’s interesting to hear them tackle an all-English single. Chaeyoung’s English rap stands out to me as especially good. There’s a part in this song where she has a very cool Doja Cat-esque cadence.

    My criticism has to do with the lyric. “All the feels” was a meme like… 7 years ago, or something. It feels outdated, certainly something that was written by an older person trying to be hip. Like, it stopped being normal to say that ages ago. It sounds awkwardly shoehorned into the song as well: “Igotallthefeels fo sho” kind of crammed into that very short moment…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I love this song so much that I didn’ t even realize it was fully English until you stated it. It’ s well-written, so much so that there was no lyric that made me actively realize ‘ah yes, this is a K-pop English language song’. Yes, it’ s kind of generic, but the production is fleshed out enough and there is just enough variation to not make it boring and empty to me.

    I love that the song is composed in such a comfortable vocal range. No excess squealing and straining here. The girls sound really good!

    Obligatory note on sudden disappearance: Hi, I’ve missed you all! My masters’ degree and re-emerging social life have swallowed me whole and will probably continue to do so. Sometimes a kpop song peaks my interest strongly enough that I will ignore my deadlines to check out Nick’ s review and all your thoughts!

    Like

  20. It has been released more than a week ago and I just really love it. It’s just so catchy and I love the retro disco vibe. The background vocals during the last chorus are gorgeous and Jeongyeon delivers the last chorus with glorious vocals. I love the fact TWICE just sticks to their concept, even when entering another market. I enjoy this so much more than the soulless songs some groups put on the market just to target western audiences. As much as I love Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa (especially Jisoo), many of their songs are just that. I want real Kpop and TWICE is the premier group to deliver just that. New ITZY and Aespa releases feel like soulless western pop too. Greetings from a Dutch Kpop fan for years now 😉

    Like

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