[Review] TWICE rise above listener fatigue with peppy, mature “Yes Or Yes”

Whenever a group is as active as Twice has been this past year, they run the risk of succumbing to listener fatigue. Between Korean and Japanese releases, the girls’ brand of quirky cute has been omnipresent. I was never predisposed to enjoying this sound in the first place, so a steady stream of it has been kind of exhausting. It’s also hard to keep up the quality when making such frequent comebacks.

That said, Twice’s title tracks have always been solid when working with producers Black Eyed Pilseung. However, when they move onto other collaborators, things become more hit and miss. So with this in mind, suffice to say that my excitement level going into “Yes Or Yes” wasn’t high.

I’m happy to report that “Yes Or Yes” is a pleasant surprise. It’s a well-developed pop song that matches Twice’s unique style to a tee, and it’s the strongest they’ve sounded all year. Its concept is rather odd considering the day and age we live in, and I wish the song’s awful spoken introduction had been deleted entirely. But beyond that bit of tone deafness, we find a pleasingly melodic track that largely avoids coasting on aegyo and catchphrase hooks.

“Yes Or Yes”’s opening verse is one of its strongest segments, melding the clipped delivery of past Twice tracks with a more mature melody. This pattern mostly repeats for the second verse, following a catchy bit of sing-song hip-hop to keep things fresh. The chorus is fleshed out in a way few of their title tracks have attempted, offering a trio of diverse hooks that move from sprawling power notes to a spunky chant before coasting into a playful post-chorus refrain. It’s all supported by a bright instrumental that blends fizzy summertime synths with rhythm guitar and galloping percussion. Twice’s music may never be entirely for me, but for now this skeptic has been won over.

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