It’s definitely not an overstatement to say that JYP has put its best foot forward this year, and it’s paying off for the popularity of their newest acts–in particular, their entry to the girl group standings, Twice. Yes indeed, say hello to rising star rookie act number two on this countdown, whose first mini album is a product that many senior acts would give an arm and a leg for. It’s fun, youthful, dynamic, and even carries a little bit of bite to it (even if it is the flawed kind).
Surprisingly enough, I didn’t like Twice’s album much when I first listened to it. I don’t know what it is about the overall production in The Story Begins that makes the fullness of the arrangement fall flat, but added to the fact that the songs weigh each other down by sameness (an affliction also experienced by EXID‘s Ah Yeah), it was enough of a tarnish at the time that I didn’t take well to the album. I guess I could liken the response to eating something heavy-rich that tastes pretty good while leaving you with no desire to eat any more of it.
Nevertheless, by the end of the year, I found that I was debating whether to include b-sides from said while compiling the Top 50, including my personal crack, “다시 해줘.” Hopefully that is evidence enough that The Story Begins might be worth a proper listen if you haven’t given it one already–it really is that interesting.
Ultimately, “Ooh Ahh” is definitely the stand out of the 6 tracks with a bright chorus that would end up in 90% of “Girls’ Night Out” scenes in ‘chick flicks’ (actually, half of The Story Begins is of that brash, loud type), but it’s really the arrangement and its balance of the loud and the delicate (that flute!) along with title track-level production that really puts the rest of the album to shame.