Song Review: ILY:1 – Twinkle Twinkle

ILY1 - Twinkle TwinkleLast time I wrote about ILY:1, I was delighted to hear a fluffy pop song that hearkened back to the lighter side of girl group music. Que Sera Sera struggled with execution, but its influence from classics like Apink and Lovelyz offered a welcome counterpoint to the popular “girl crush” trend. With new single Twinkle Twinkle (별꽃동화), the group has journeyed even farther in this direction. They’ve teamed up with Oh My Girl’s old production team for a song that sounds like a 2023 version of 2018’s Secret Garden.

I’m not complaining. This is a sound I tend to enjoy and it’s becoming harder to find in K-pop. From its opening synths, Twinkle Twinkle plays like a needed salve. It has that soft, slightly majestic sound that characterized much of Lovelyz’s discography – a high water mark indeed. Like Que Sera Sera, the track suffers a bit from its execution. The vocals aren’t always delivered or mixed perfectly and that stands out in a smooth production like this. To put it bluntly, you can tell when you’re getting a knockoff version of a name brand product.

Still, I’m happy to go along on Twinkle’s ride. Its melodies wash over with a calming effect, unveiling slowly and carefully before bursting into a chorus that harnesses a more propulsive beat. This is a classic Oh My Girl trick and still pays dividends, especially when paired with a crystalline blend of synths and a hook that feels ripped straight from a fairytale. Though the song isn’t perfect (that vocal ad-lib in the verses is way too loud), this is easily ILY:1’s strongest title track yet.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.25

Grade: B


7 thoughts on “Song Review: ILY:1 – Twinkle Twinkle

  1. The brighter sound usually aren’t my preference and only really well-produced songs will catched me (Pop? Pop! or Fallin Light for example). And this time they really did! To me there’s no apparent flaws, it’s arranged very well, I love that the song keeps going from chorus to instrumental break and from bridge to final chorus. The track really moved my heart. I give this 9!

    And lesson learned: I should’ve listened to this track alone before watching the MV because I still can’t really stand their choice of special effects.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha, I was thinking it sounded like old school Oh My Girl, and indeed I was right! Like a knock off of “Closer” or “Secret Garden” era, with breathier softer vocals.

    It is refreshing, in a nostalgic refreshing way. Rating is about right.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I really liked this one! Agree on the old OMG vibes! I always felt ILY songs have this very nice anime song kinda vibe (like with that great Azalea bside)- I just have a feeling they’ll be good at that kind of japanese songs as well. The chorus is really pleasant, a lot of the sounds and the instrumental are just so pretty and bright without being in your face so I liked the overall vibe of the song!

    Their rapper is actually pretty good and I enjoyed her parts in their debut though I honestly do appreciate they did not try to shove in a rap for the sake of it and instead just used her deeper voice at the vocals! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The song is literally a mashup of April/WJSN’s early sound with OMG’s SSFWL. I’m a sucker for this sound, yet I don’t find this song really enjoyable. The synths were too chirpy, which made it difficult to identify the main melody. The verses were also unexpectedly short, I had no idea what was going on till the middle of the first chorus.

    ily:1’s songs have this common issue: The melody is well-written, the structure is well-defined, the arrangement is decent. Yet synth notes are just uncontrolled: they are bouncing around instead of enriching the melody. If producers can get this right, music-wise they are on par with early April/WJSN. My 0.2c.

    (p.s. enjoyed the MV. Reminded me of a bubbly version of Laboum’s ‘Journey to Atlantis’.)


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