The competition for Korea’s girl group song of summer is incredibly tight this year, with almost every big name throwing their hat in the ring. TWICE has an edge based on their name recognition and chart success alone, even if they’re not strictly known for summery material. I still maintain that last year’s album track “24/7“ would have made an excellent summer single, but sadly that was not meant to be. In its place, we have the bouncy EDM pop of “Dance The Night Away“.
Written by the team that gave us Red Velvet’s “Peekaboo“ last November, “Dance The Night Away” doesn’t immediately conform to the TWICE formula. This is refreshing, and I appreciate any attempt to break from what is becoming an increasingly stale sound. But, it’s no secret that TWICE are currently being stretched thin. Between their constant comebacks in both Korea and Japan, there’s barely time to establish a unique musical identity. This same concern undercuts “Dance The Night Away”. As fun as the song is, it feels like one simple idea stretched to its limit.
“Dance The Night Away”‘s most memorable aspect is its effervescent chorus, which hits its mark despite the fact that it feels under-produced and overly repetitive. Its straightforward hook invites sing-alongs, and will likely rattle around many listeners’ heads for the remainder of summer. However, the song’s uninspired arrangement doesn’t give TWICE the opportunity to display their obvious star power. “Dance The Night Away” feels scrubbed clean of its quirkiness, resulting in a track that sounds like part of a Disney Channel movie musical. It’s good fun, but TWICE is currently the biggest girl group in K-pop. More and more, their music is struggling to match up to that title.