My favorite Japanese Twice album 🍭.
Or maybe I should say to date. Because maybe they’ll drop something better for Japan next year, but for now, I stand by what I said.
Visuals this era are still beautiful. We still got that slightly blurry warm filter going on here. It really just continues the vibes of Feel Special, and I love that for us.
Let’s just jump on into the album! I normally do these in order of tracklist order, but since “Breakthrough” released as a single album first in July 2019, and &Twice released in November 2019, I want to talk about “Breakthrough” first, then go in order on the album.
I mentioned in Feel Special that I wasn’t a fan of “Breakthrough” until I heard the Japanese version of it. Then I came around to the song and started listening to it a lot. I still listen to the Japanese version more. It’s the ultimate version for me. And I think this is because of the video for it.
I should specify that I listened to the Japanese version when it released and liked it. But then I think I forgot about it. I just wasn’t listening to Twice as much during this time. Other than when they would pop up on shuffle.
Then when I heard it again on Feel Special, for some reason I didn’t like it that much. But then came back around to it after I saw Twice on their 4th World Tour III and I went on a Twice music binge before and after the show and rediscovered a bunch of music I was sleeping on.
I don’t know if it was the break in between releases, or the fact I was listening to other groups at the time. But I can’t explain why it took all of this for me to decide, “yeah, I like the song” and “yeah, I’ll remember to listen to it,” but it did, lol.
The instrumentals, like I said on Feel Special, feel so distinctly Japanese. If you listen to like Perfume, for example, they have soooo much electronic sounds in their music. Techno, synthpop, if you don’t like house or dance music, this is NOT the group for you, lol. It sounds like music you’d expect to hear, like what people in the 1950s thought the 2000s would be like.
That’s my favorite part of &Twice, it leans in so heavily into the J-pop sound. It’s my second favorite Japanese title track. And it charted pretty well. This is one of three in total Yu Shimoji written songs. The Korean lyrics for “Breakthrough” were written by Olivia Choi.
Other people who worked on this track include Jan Baars, Rajan Muse, and Ronnie Icon. We talked about them already in Feel Special. But you can look at other songs they’ve worked on here.
Fake & True
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I love “Fake & True” so much. From the horns at the beginning, vocal delivery during the chorus and the simplicity of the chorus. It’s so catchy and fun. I love both music videos for “Fake & True” and “Breakthrough” being so choreography focused. “Breakthrough” is literally a performance video.
But the setting for “Fake & True” is so pretty. The vibrant colors and modern take on retro furniture reminds me of Kim Wooseok’s Sugar music video. The colors also match what we saw in “Breakthrough” music video as well.
The styling is super cute. I love the sequins and all black fits. I can’t decide on a favorite group look.
“Stronger” just keeps the party going. The instrumentals again are the first thing that captures my attention. This album is so dancey. I love this high energy sound from Twice.
Yu Shimoji is back. We also have Secret Weapon, Red Anne, and Maxx Song on the track. It’s interesting seeing more JYPE producers and writers in the credits. I plan on writing a fave GOT7 songs article soon. And I’m already seeing people I’ll be talking about in the creation of those songs.
“Changing!” feels like something that would be on a Korean release from the group. I like when a group or artist is able to translate their sound into another language, and it feels natural. The production team truly understands their sound/vibe.
Byeee I forgot there’s a video for this one. Now, this is a throwback to the old Twice sound. I’m glad they included something like this on the album. I’m sure this made someone who loves “Cheer Up” happy, lol.
You can read more about “Happy Happy” as a single here. I don’t really listen to this song much, but it’s not awful. I just don’t have much to say on it, lol.
I do love the styling in the music video. I love when Twice has these more casual looks in their videos.
What You Waiting For
The best b-side on this album. An underrated track. When I first heard this song back in 2020/2021, I was mad. Mad that I wasn’t jamming to this song before. It’s so good.
It also feels like a Korean release. It’s structured similar to “Fake & True” with the chorus being spoiled at the beginning. And there’s a tiny bit of autotune. I like the subtle distortion on this song.
I like it, not enough to have it saved to listen to later. But if it came on the radio or at a store, I wouldn’t be rushing to get away from it.
The robotic delivery of “be ok, everybody be ok” is kinda funny. A little camp even.
Another track that’s fine. I never listen to it 🤷🏾♀️.
How u doin’
“How u doin'” I think I like because there’s a drum or something that reminds me of the bridge in “Cheer Up”. But this is another song I don’t go searching for. Again, if it pops up, and I’m way from the phone or something, I’ll let it play. But more often than not, I’m probably gonna skip it, lol.
Chaeyong is credited in the lyrics, so we love that for her.
The Reason Why
Oooooooo f*** it up with the Anime ending track. Another track I don’t think gets enough love. Twice did the damn thing on this one. What a perfect way to end an amazing album.
I’m not familiar with Namie Armuro’s music, but I’ve seen a lot of photoshoots and red carpet pictures of her on Tumblr, lol. Anyway, Fast Lane is credited on some of her music.
Warner Music and JYPE did a great job getting artists and producers to work on &Twice. This is a great introduction to Twice’s music but in Japanese. Sophomore albums can be tough, but I think they beat the slump with this one.
I’m curious about y’alls take on this album. Is this your introduction to this album? Or do you have a few songs you have on repeat? Let me know in the comments.
Next up is MORE & MORE. That’ll be a short review, but I want to make the other fave Twice songs article as condensed down as possible, lol.