Song Review: Nayeon (Twice) – Pop!

Im Nayeon - Pop!Seven years into Twice’s career and the usual solo/sub-unit promotions are almost nowhere to be found. JYP Entertainment tends to be more group-focused with its idol acts, but even Twice’s albums didn’t bear unit tracks until very recently. Because of this, Nayeon’s solo debut almost feels belated. With any luck, it’ll be the first of many releases from Twice members because Pop was worth the long wait.

I’m happy to see Nayeon opt for such a splashy sound for her debut. Pop is big, bold and exciting all way through. These might sound like foregone conclusions for a pop song, but they haven’t been all that easy to find during K-pop’s 2022. Exuberant brass pulls no punches, driving most of the instrumental with glee. The vocal arrangement is equally loud and proud, layering Nayeon’s vocals to satisfying effect. She sounds every bit the solo superstar here, and that conviction is infectious.

Truthfully, I wish Pop placed even more confidence in its bountiful hooks. The song is perfectly solid without all the “pop! pop!” repetitions. They feel designed for TikTok challenges, and are easily the least interesting element the track has going for it. I’m much more enamored with the resounding chorus, which rushes forward on pure sugary bliss. Nayeon sounds especially great here, as Pop blooms into something more robust than its onomatopoeia title might suggest. The verses carry similar energy, punctuated by stabs of brass that reappear later for a fun countdown bridge. Overall, Pop is an exclamation point of a debut track, launching Nayeon’s solo career with a rousing start.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9

26 thoughts on “Song Review: Nayeon (Twice) – Pop!

  1. i’m so happy and satisfied with this debut. personally i would rate it a 9, i only wish it was longer. the whole album was really good too, but the felix feature seemed a bit unnecessary imo.


  2. Finally solo debuts wooo 😭 I’ve been waiting since forever, and I’m so excited to think of what must be to come!

    I was pleasantly surprised with the full song! I didn’t know what to think of the song from the “pop! pop!” repetitions in the teasers, but the verses and the chorus are so fun and exhilarating! I’m not the biggest fan of the bridge though, but we’ll see how it grows on me. The song is also 2:48….sigh what can we do. Overall though, it’s a great debut (also the MV is so pretty)!

    The mini is super solid too! Can I just appreciate that we get 7 whole songs in a debut mini for her solo debut? An absolute miracle in today’s kpop landscape…No Problem was the one I was most anticipating coming in and its a bop but goddamn there is a severe lack of Felix – one of my biggest pet peeves for features is when the feature just has a single verse and then is basically not present for the rest of the song. Love Countdown’s my other favourite, though again I quite like the whole mini!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I didn’t listen to the teaser for the whole mini album but I’m really enjoying it after the first few listens. A really great summer release every song is bright and infectious. I quite like the fact that the two feats are short lived, it’s a solo album after all. No problem would have been another good choice for a single but pop is great.


  4. No words can describe how much I’m addicted to her debut. This just sounds SO fun. Although my only complaint about the song is that it’s way too short, and those 2 minutes and 48 seconds were quite not enough to enjoy Nayeon’s fabulous performance.
    Rating is about right.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Whoa, when the rap and stacked unison parts hit, it’s apparent to me how vital Nayeon’s voice is to Twice’s group vocal sound. So much so that it makes me think that when we think we’re hearing a “Twice” unison moment, it’s probably just stacks of Nayeon and Jihyo.

    I love this. If anything, it reminds me of how incredible Red Velvet’s 2014-19 run was since the song has many of those Kenzie-isms. The “pop pop pop” part is not bad, but it gets a little annoying.
    I’m glad there’s an actual chorus in there because the teasers had me fearful!

    I like it a lot. Nayeon is one of those magnetic, charismatic gems in k-pop, so I’m happy to watch her shine solo mode.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol I noticed that too! It happens in other songs on the album too. It makes you realize just how much these use Nayeon’s vocals as backing for the other girls and group parts, even raps. If it weren’t for Jihyo’s distinctive voice missing, it would be hard to tell they aren’t full group tracks for casual listeners.


  6. This is definitely way better than I thought it would be based on the audio teaser. I think my only complaints lie with some of the song choices… I wish the intro/first verse was a bit longer. We move into the chorus so fast, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing on its own, but in a song under 3 minutes that repeats the chorus and hook A LOT? They could have added a little extra meat there. The rap could have been done away with too. It makes it feel a little too cutesy and a little too on brand for 2016 – 2018 Twice and off brand for a 2022 Nayeon to really fit. I was worried I wouldn’t be a fan of a whole song’s worth of Nayeon’s vocals, but not only did she deliver, her delivery is probably my favorite part. She looks and sounds like a solo star (almost like a “wholesome Hyuna,” so I can see why Korea loves her) and, thankfully, got a whole album to do it on (I’m mighty sick of singles or a title track and B-side as debuts). I guess the question will be if she continues as one or if this is just an olive branch from JYP to get her to renew or a last ditch effort to make money from her.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh wow! She manages to stay true to TWICE’s roots while also putting her personal stamp on the song. The song takes you from the start and never loosens its grip. What a classy and beautiful song. It’s gorgeous, cheerful bubblegum pop with retro and big band hints. The only negative for me it’s a bit too short.

    The entire album is very pleasant. I can feel she was really emotionally involved.


  8. Nayeon said ‘bubble pop for the 2020s!’ lol

    I need to listen to the mini but it’s really a fun track and video. Definitely a refreshing way to debut

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel like I’m the only one who didn’t absolutely love this. It’s very catchy and fun, but there’s something about the vocals (the mixing?) that sounds a bit grating making it hard to listen to. Luckily, I really like the b-sides off the album which have a more chill K-R&B vibe!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I honestly wasn’t expecting much , especially since isn’t a twice member who I focus on a lot. However, I love the song, it’s confident and straight forward enough. Hearing nayeon sing a bit lower than usual was a great treat as well.

    I really like the red, Light blue scene in the video-so gorgeous. something about it feels a lil jpop, I think nayeon ‘s nasality adds to that a bit.

    A total winner, I hope we get more of this


  11. It kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for some thunderous or super catchy break that would catapult it as a classic, especially after that subtle change in Nayeon’s voice when she just said “I want to make you mine” which is so pleasant to hear, but that time did not come. Anyway I really enjoyed it and Nayeon’s stage presence was better than I expected. 8.5/10


  12. I like this song just fine, but I’m way more impressed with “No Problem” and it’s not just my skz bias talking… (Felix is hardly in it, after all). I REALLY love that track. To me it’s very much like a Carly Rae Jepsen song and I could easily see it playing on American pop radio. Love it!!


  13. Very good + song elevated by Nayeon selling the shit out of it. It is also set a good 5 or 10 bpm faster than anyone else would which adds a imperative bang to the energy level.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I am starting to like it more. At first I wasn’t a huge fan but then it started sounding like what second or third gen kpop sounded like and I liked the similarity of like you said a bright and poppy sound. Her voice is just that so it works with her voice very well. I’ll probably listen to it for two or three weeks and give it a rest. That is if it ever goes on Spotify but I’m not hurting to listen to it unfortunately. I’m excited to see which other twice members debut as soloists. I’d love to see Chaeryeong, Mina, & Momo do some solo work!


  15. I’m so happy for Nayeon. This is such a good song and ep. I could probably nitpick some things that could be better but honestly it doesn’t really matter. I love this song and its just implanted itself into my brain. I’m gonna play it a million times regardless. I’m so glad this ep is doing so well and I can’t wait to see what the other members do. I hope we get to hear stuff from them too.


  16. Is this the song of this summer? If not, it’s a serious contender for me! I thought the song was good at first but her music show performances really sold it for me. I also really liked the song she did with Felix. Great solo debut!


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