TWICE - FANCY

 
 

 

It’s been almost six months since we last heard from TWICE, the longest downtime that I think the group has had in-between comebacks in a long time. Regardless, 2018 was a mixed bag of music from the group in my opinion, and so I was hesitant about this latest return. JYP has tricked us all before with TWICE going for a more mature style, so I wasn’t ready to believe it when I heard and saw the teasers, either. Still, though, I was hoping that they would actually pull the trigger and go full out this time around, so I went in with just those hopes in mind.

The Song

Let me be the first to say that I’ve been one of the people out there that’s been a proponent of TWICE getting a concept and general sound change for a while now. I’ve been one of those people that have said they’ve been stuck doing the cutesy thing for a little too long, and while it obviously plays to their base and does well for them, I’d personally rather see them break away from their mold and do something new and exciting for themselves. Well today is the day that I can finally say.. they did it! Kind of.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that they didn’t do exactly that this time around. However, the pre-chorus and chorus fell back a bit on this, veering from the otherwise more matured styling of vocals that we were getting in the verses and instead giving us the more typical TWICE aegyo-baked pitches played against Jihyo’s more powerful ones. It’s probably one of my only complaints when it comes to the vocals for this track. Mina finally sounded more confident, Momo got to tune her pitch down a tad, and generally speaking, we got to hear some greatness ring out from Jeongyeon, and line distribution was fairly satisfactory overall.

All of that said, though, that doesn’t mean I don’t have more complaints about some vocals here. First and foremost, I wonder if I’m the only person in the world getting a bit tired of Sana’s vocal aegyo. I have no doubt that she can utilize her voice in a way that doesn’t only play to a cuter sound. It sucks that almost every part of a song that I dislike the most is constantly coming from the same member being told to sing in a specific way. My other complaint falls more on what I’d consider to be the production side of things. What is going on with the vocals throughout this song? There’s some bizarre clipping of auto-tune every now and again, and it’s really hard to tell if it’s intentional or not. I’m really not a big fan of auto-tune anyway, so I suppose for me intention doesn’t particularly matter, but it definitely served as a distraction and detraction in my opinion. The last thing I have to mention is that I’m really not a fan of Chaeyoung’s post-chorus “Fancy!” part. It really didn’t add anything other than a wince of cringe.

Alright, enough of my talking about what all I disliked. Because believe it or not, overall I’d rate this song positively. There’s definitely a step away from the constant barrage of cuteness here, and I do appreciate that. The song has a pretty clear distinction from all of TWICE’s previous title tracks, though I’d say they’ve veered into this more disco club styling in a few of their b-sides before. Still, it’s great to see them pull it to the front of their album this time around. The energy of this track is vibrant while retaining that matured style which is a hard balance for sure, so that’s something I can’t help but give some props to.

So, wrapping this up - I liked the song enough. It’s a good step for TWICE. It’s not anything to write home about in my opinion, but it’s a song that works as the start down their new path, and hopefully we’ll get to see them explore this side of themselves more so they can flesh it out. Even apart from that, I’d say that this is their best release since “What is Love?” at the bare minimum, and that’s got an appeal of its own, too.

The Video

Alright, let’s start this off the only way I know how. Wow, the girls looked amazing! I think that the mature look definitely suits the girls well, and it adds a nice level of sophistication to the general vibe going on. Sadly, though, I’m not sure that the weird backdrops for some of this video really match up with that. Like.. I really don’t get what the heck is going on in terms of the sets. Are they stuck in one of those graphics cards that flash rainbow lights for absolutely no reason?

Jokes aside, there actually wasn’t too much to analyze in this video. This whole video seems to mostly be nonsense instead of plot with some bits of cool imagery thrown in. The imagery, though, did have some cool ideas that I think we can go over. I think the most obvious thing to talk about is the whole room of roses that Jeongyeon is in. Fairly obvious that this is symbolic of TWICE finally blossoming fully and ties into why they’re going into a new musical direction. Less obvious, though, is some of the other imagery present.

For instance, when Dahyun is laying down and paperclips are flying away from her. At first I thought it was some more nonsensical stuff, but upon further thought, I think it might actually mean something. In my interpretation, the paperclips are sort of representative of the bind between TWICE and their music. While that sounds weird, when you think about how they’re moving away from the cute concept, I think it makes more sense. They’re pulling off the paper clips so that they aren’t tied to just that one style anymore.

We also see that Sana’s in more of a painted room that starts to melt away, Momo is swinging from an upside down city skyline, and Tzuyu is holding onto balloons that look like planets. All of these, once again, are visual representations of TWICE pulling away from their previous music style. The room melting is TWICE’s music starting to blend together so they can use it to paint something new, and the city is upside down because they’re flipping their music entirely. The multiple planets are sort of like multiple genres that Tzuyu’s holding onto while there are other planets throughout the galaxy that they might add to the collection later. These are all less blunt in nature, but I dig that there’s a cohesive theme between all of them.

The last thing I wanted to touch on was the choreography. I think that from what was shown in the video, this is also a step away from the cuter styles of their past. There’s some really cool formations that pop and catch the eye, and I definitely think I could spot the chorus part of this song out in terms of its silhouette. It was fun and I think it matched the music really well, too, so good on the choreographer for this one.

All in all, the video was serviceable. I wish that there was just a little more to grasp onto after it was over, but hey, I don’t mind having a video that’s just a fun watch, either. (Oh, and the TWICE roller coaster callback was cute, too.)

Conclusion

“FANCY” is a successful breakaway from TWICE’s previous music and concepts, introducing a newer, sleeker, and dare I say it, sexier styling to their image and sound while still managing to retain some of the cuter, energetic bits that the group is known for. It’s not a song that I would say is hard-hitting or entirely memorable even, but this is a clear point for TWICE’s careers where they are diverging from the norms and standards that they set for themselves. If you’re a fan of TWICE you’ll love this, and if you’re not a fan of TWICE, you still might enjoy this. If you dig energetic mixtures of sassy and classy clashed up against spry and cutesy styles, this might be an absolute home run for you.

(Random Note: Sorry for the thumbnail. There were no great groupshots of all the members, so I just opted for a cool shot from the MV!)