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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

TWICE “Ready To Be” on top once more

Provided by Gilbert Flores/PMC

  Despite being eight-year K-pop veterans, the nine-member girl group TWICE has proven that they still have something new to bring to their discography with their twelfth mini album “Ready To Be,” released on March 10. Although there are a few clumsy moments and unnecessary additions, the album “Ready To Be” shows that even though TWICE is easing into a more mature sound, they are still able to do what they do best- make catchy and enjoyable music. 

   The album opens strong with its lead single “Set Me Free,” which combines a retro sound with a futuristic style. With rather short verses, it seems like the song is eager to get to its chorus- which is a smart choice, as it is easily the best part of the song, with elegant string riffs that punctuate the melody. 

   Unfortunately, the abrupt rap in the bridge of “Set Me Free” slows down the pace of the song and feels lackluster. While the members’ voices are still pleasant to listen to, the flow of the rap throws off the momentum of the song.

   The album’s second track and pre-release single, “Moonlight Sunrise,” is a simple but catchy song that is sung entirely in English. Both sonically and lyrically, it is a drastic shift in tone from their first English single “The Feels.” Where “The Feels” was a sweet and bright confession of love, “Moonlight Sunrise” is bold, with a commanding beat and a surprisingly smooth rap.

   “Got the Thrills,” the first B-side of the album, has a sound that sharply contrasts with the previous tracks. Its bright synths and fresh vocals that gush about falling in love hearken back to TWICE’s previous 2022 release “Talk That Talk.”

   The thrum of an electric guitar rolls beneath the melody of “Blame It On Me,” where the members sing to an ex-lover with bold and assertive vocals. While fun, the song feels repetitive, filling the post-chorus, bridge, and outro with the same onomatopoeias.  

   Yet all the previous B-sides pale in comparison to the track that follows them. The Latin-inspired “Wallflower” is the real gem of the album, with a subtle earworm chorus and smooth vocal performances from all the members. While “Moonlight Sunrise” and “Set Me Free” display TWICE’s more mature side in pop rhythms, “Wallflower” is a successful exploration of that darker style with a slower sound.

   “Crazy Stupid Love” is the penultimate track where the members sing about breaking apart from a toxic romance. A songwriting contribution from member Dahyun adds a feeling of raw sincerity to the song’s empowering message.

   The album closes with an English version of “Set Me Free,” which feels like a pointless addition to an album that already has an excellent English track- “Moonlight Sunrise.” Creating new English lyrics to fit into the existing melody made for Korean lyrics is like trying to fit a round peg into a square hole- it just results in awkward verses.

   However, unneeded English tracks aside, “Ready To Be” is a testament to TWICE’s dedication to maturing their sound and adapting their message to their own experiences. As TWICE continues to rise in popularity not only in America but globally, with successful performances on shows like Jimmy Fallon and a stadium world tour planned for June, “Ready To Be” only shows more promise for their future releases.

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