[Review] Twice’s “Ooh-Ahh” starts off fantastically, ends up nice

TwiceGroupOohAhh

After one reality show and some pretty good teasers and hype, JYP Entertainment’s latest venture, TWICE, has debuted with its music video for “Ooh-Ahh.” While it is not shocking to see that the nine-member group features a bunch of very pretty and very young faces — which shouldn’t be surprising considering that JYP said that the reason the group is called TWICE is “the members will be wowing their fans through their ears, and twice through their eyes” — there is a polish to TWICE’s debut that is both welcoming and slightly underwhelming at the same time.

“Ooh-Ahh” is perfectly disposable dance pop music that is quite befitting for a rookie group like TWICE. The production on the members’ voices ensures that the vocals sound incredibly consistent across the board, while the faster-paced but light tempo of the instrumentals doesn’t require the members of TWICE to break out any really meaty notes. Even the obligatory “rap” break is performed more like a cheer at homecoming. The beat is relentlessly sunny, but the use of percussion, bass, and rich synth keys doesn’t really develop into anything noteworthy. Thanks to the very controlled production, the vocals, while brisk and never lacking for energy, have a sameness about them that begins to bleed together after awhile.

“Ooh-Ahh” is a perfect representation of very enjoyable teen dance pop. However, due to the fact that it’s more or less a perfect representation of teen dance pop, “Ooh-Ahh” lacks a signature flair that would take it from enjoyable to memorable.

The video shows much more promise but it ends up not quite living up to its wonderful beginnings. The high school zombie concept is timely (holy shit, it’s Halloween season already) and smart, as it allows the charisma and liveliness of TWICE to stand out more effectively than if they were to simply dance in front of a set. Using the undead as a personality comparison may be the lowest bar that a K-pop group could possibly hurdle, but it does give the video some dynamism in its set shots that more traditional dance-in-a-box videos lack.

“Ooh-Ahh” also kicks off its debut efforts with an effective faux-single shot that pans from dilapidated (but oh so colorful) room to room in a way that is engaging and clear. The video becomes much less interesting when TWICE leaves the confines of The High School Of The Walking Dead for the roof top and school bus sets, which are shot in a cookie cutter way that the first couple minutes of “Ooh-Ahh” manages to avoid. TWICE’s brilliant smiles and adorably fierce choreography carry “Ooh-Ahh”, but the video does dip from impressively enjoyable to pleasant by the time the outro-takes roll.

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As far as debuts go, TWICE’s “Ooh-Ahh” is pretty damn solid. The song may be a bit on the generic side, but it would be asking a lot of a rookie group to debut with a singularly bold concept — considering that TWICE is JYP’s first girl group since miss A, one can’t really fault them for erring on the conservative side here — and the end product is perfectly respectable on its own. The video vacillates between real promise and boilerplate stuff, but the members look great and the video thankfully stays away from anything too aegyo-like or cringe-worthy.

“Ooh-Ahh” falls short of being spectacular, but it’s more than good enough to warrant paying attention to the sequel down the line.

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