[Review] TWICE make comfortable evolution with “Fancy”

The month of April has been unusually slow for K-pop releases, punctuated only by new music from some of the industry’s leading acts. BLACKPINK and BTS have already delivered their comebacks (to varying degrees of musical success), and now it’s time for Twice. I’ve always enjoyed Twice’s music, but it rarely finds its way to the top of my personal play list. However, over the past few weeks I’ve felt a surprising pull towards their discography. After reacquainting myself with their past albums, my anticipation for the release of “Fancy” began to rise. Adding fuel to the fire, the girls have been teasing a slight concept change for the new single, and even enlisted composers Black Eyed Pilseung — the duo responsible for their most celebrated work.

“Fancy” may not arrive as the seismic shift some were hoping for, but it inches closer to more mature sounds. This is most evident during the song’s standout verses, which bop along a stuttering tempo and take great advantage of the group’s unique vocal tones. The prominent synth riff that opens the track gives off a mysterious vibe and draws upon Pilseung’s recent work with A Pink. When the beat kicks in halfway through the opening verse, “Fancy” really begins to catch fire.

If anything, the song is crying out for a more sophisticated chorus. The verses and pre-chorus point towards a completely different track than we end up getting. The central hook retains much of the energy and giddy tone of November’s “Yes Or Yes“. It’s a sticky melody, for sure, and I think it would have benefited from the kind of diva-like performance that vocal powerhouses like Ailee could have delivered. Twice’s vocals are addictive in their own way, but better utilized in a different setting.

Still repeat listens have already cemented this chorus in my head. Like all Twice songs, I’m sure it’ll be rattling around in my memory for some time. In many ways, “Fancy” feels like the first step in a promising transformation. It may not be the strongest song Twice have ever recorded, but it’s just what they need at this moment.

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