While arguably not as overtly public friendly as before, TWICE have musically been as intriguing and competent as ever in the last few years, and with their contract renewal now on the books it should be interesting to see where they go from here. Their first post-renewal single is “Talk That Talk” off their ‘Between 1&2‘ album, and if it’s any indication then their legacy within K-pop is only going to ascend further.
Most everybody talks about liking simple, addictive, bright synth-pop tracks, but not everything actually fits into the mode for me. “Talk That Talk” does. It even fits the retro late-90s/early-00s trend going on in K-pop, so they manage to hit on that note as well. Yet TWICE is also blessed (sometimes a curse) with a groove or calling card that tie together a lot of their tracks and make them identifiable, like the choral background shouting of phrases, so they’ve managed to modernize this well-worn formula with their own signatures and offer something fun that flows incredibly seamlessly throughout.
Built on the back of a sleek synth production with a driving beat, “Talk That Talk” surges forward with a relentless energy that’s hard to shake. The pre-chorus actually takes the register down a notch, which helps lend it a different gear in the build up, before it launches into the chorus. That starts with its hook of “tell me what you want, tell me what you need“, which is already embedding itself in my brain as something memorable and goes hand-in-hand with an addictive melody. Even the “l-o-v-e” section is basically made to go viral, which dates back to even when Brown Eyed Girls did it.
As far as complaints go, perhaps this is nitpicking, but I wish they would go retro in terms of song length as well. This is definitely the kind of song that could’ve used at least four minutes given its simplicity, and doesn’t benefit from cutting off early to recycle plays or whatever.
Regardless, “Talk That Talk” is probably my favorite TWICE title track since the late-2020 back-to-back gems of “I Can’t Stop Me“/”Cry For Me“. While they are different types of songs, they have similar strengths in a flow, melody, and endless replayability that will always lead to pop success. And hopefully “Talk That Talk” is an early indication of their continued maturation and the sustainability of their sound, because along with the contract renewal that’s a lot of promise for the foreseeable future.