[Review] TWICE’s English-language “MOONLIGHT SUNRISE” mostly gets you there

TWICE have always had surprisingly quality English-language releases that stood out in a sea of similarly-minded attempts by others that are awkward at best. I Can’t Stop Me and Cry For Me both deserved more promotion from JYP Entertainment and more hype from fans, and while not my favorite, The Feels is at least an above-average pop song. Now comes “MOONLIGHT SUNRISE“, a pre-release English track that we still don’t know what it comes before exactly.

In a lot of respects, “MOONLIGHT SUNRISE” continues their crossover legitimacy, as it has some of the least awkward (dare I say, even clever at times) and most successful English lyrics from a Korean group. The flirty pre-chorus in particular stands out, as does the the tongue-in-cheek delivery of “ay, come with me, don’t think twice” line. A pleasant surprise.

It was also nice to hear the foundation of the song leaned heavily on Atlanta bass, which lends it a bouncy energy. If club beats are going to take over for trap in K-pop, then I for one welcome our new overlords with open arms. That said, a lot of the goodwill is undercut by the chorus, which definitely takes the foot off the gas. The assured vocal up to that point shifts to an almost whiny “moonlight, sunrise, baby come be my starlight” hook that gets incredibly repetitive on repeated listens. It’s not helped by the fact that I could only think of the vastly superior “My Boo” hook in the lead-up.

Granted, “comparison is the thief of joy”, as the saying goes. However, it’s difficult to not have that ditty in your mind when this chorus tries to hit a lot of the same notes.

Still, “MOONLIGHT SUNRISE” does a lot right and TWICE continues to have some of the most legit-sounding English releases without ever seeming to get much credit for it, which is certainly a shame and I hope whatever this is supposed to come before continues them down the same path.

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