[Review] TWICE’s relentlessly upbeat “HAPPY HAPPY” delivers what’s expected

Paired with the more uncharacteristic “Breakthrough“, “HAPPY HAPPY” is one half of a double-sided blitz from TWICE’s upcoming Japanese promotions. The two songs come together to represent contrasting moods for both hot summer days and steamy summer nights. As you might have guessed from its title, “HAPPY HAPPY” is dedicated to fun-in-the-sun excitement, and falls squarely within TWICE’s wheelhouse. As such, it’s not as exciting a release as its edgy counterpart. But, the track is still an improvement over most of TWICE’s J-pop discography.

“HAPPY HAPPY” wastes no time laying out its intentions. A chirpy blast of musical confetti ambushes you immediately. Depending on your mood, this pep explosion will either be a welcome dose of jubilance or an incredibly annoying headache. But, it passes by quickly as “HAPPY HAPPY” propels toward its bouncy verses. The set-up here is generic TWICE. Nothing special, but nothing offensive either.

The chorus is more noteworthy, as it feels tailor-made for summer listening. At its core, the hook has an airy appeal that matches well with the sprightly percussion that underlines it. However, I wish that the producers had stripped this segment of all of the unnecessary TWICE-isms. Not every line needs to be followed by an ultra-energetic affirmation, and the chorus would have come across as more crisp without constant “you! you! you!” interjections.

TWICE have been slowly moving away from this style of arrangement, and I hate to see them dragged back. Regardless, I think fans of the group’s relentlessly upbeat material will be pleased with what “HAPPY HAPPY” has to offer. It’s TWICE-by-the-numbers, but its unflagging optimism wears you down eventually.

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