Twice – ‘Ready To Be’ review: Fearlessly straight and forthright with K-pop’s stadium-filling girl group

As the nine-member group continue to refine their mature sound, they bring layers of confidence to their songs

“I want it all and I’m never going to settle / Even if it’s all just a fantasy.” These are the opening lines of the English version of ‘Set Me Free’, sung with confidence by Twice’s frontman Jihyo. In them, she shares a downright bold claim and one that clarifies the girl group’s stance on their 12th mini-album ‘Ready To Be’ – they are in complete control and can’t let anything, or anyone, doesn’t, ready to kick. Fit their vision to the curb.

It’s a force that’s been brewing in Twice’s lyrical world for some time. Back in 2020, ‘More and More’ found the women declaring: “I know I want it / I ain’t trying to please you anymore.” Although other recent title tracks like ‘Feel Special’ and ‘Alcohol-Free’ have put the power in someone else’s hands (“You Make Me Feel Special”, “I’m Drunk in You,” he sang on each, respectively.) , ‘Ready To Be’ puts the nine members of the JYP group in the driving seat.

The dazzling Miami bass-pop of “Moonlight Sunrise” — their second original English-language song — is perhaps the strongest example of Twice’s growing directness. “Baby, I really don’t mean to rush / But I really need your touch / If I’m gonna make it through the night,” Nayeon and Mina share coolly before dropping the invitation: “Come have a shot Take me, I got it.

Clearly, TWICE is in no mood to be timid. Tzuyu reinforces that sentiment on the Latin-style ballad “Wallflower,” which could have been a blast, but instead keeps things in a hypnotic silence. Instead of embracing the shyness of the song’s title, the singer drops a confrontational dare: “What do you think of me? / Look into my eyes.” Later, Momo and Dahyun tease: “Are you shy? I wonder why,” he thinks. “Come a little closer.”

The group may be fully embracing their upfront side on this release, but that doesn’t mean they’re just using it to draw people into their lives. On ‘Crazy Stupid Love,’ it’s the opposite story. “After brief but intense encounters and excitement / I’m tired of your worthless lies,” explains Dahyun, who co-wrote the track. “I’ve been through a lot with this crazy stupid love,” the group later sings, shrugging off an old flame and moving on to better things.

In recent years, Twice has also been changing their sound, smoothing out the euphoric fervor and enthusiasm that filled their music since their 2016 debut into a more refined form. As they’ve blossomed into something more elegant, that giddy exuberance remains in their undertones but is layered with more refined sounds. Often, women have turned to retro styles to pull it off and ‘Ready To Be’ is no different.

Here, however, they tread new ground. They’ve already proven they can do disco and do it well, so ‘Set Me Free’ takes a new approach, shifting into a retro-futuristic zone, fueled by a squelchy synth bassline and The dramatic string is driven by the slash. ‘Got the Thrills’ is bubbling, sunkissed euphoria captured in a Balearic dance-pop bottle – blessed but not quite as memorable. ‘Blame It On Me’ – another Dahyun co-writing – completely switches gears, zooming into dive bar rock riffs. “You’re so into me, you’re so into me,” sings Chaeyong, his lyrical stutter echoing his accompanying guitar.

Any moment of development is prone to faltering occasionally and for all of TWICE’s impressive development, there are some awkward junctures in ‘Ready To Be’. Dahyun’s slo-mo rap on “Set Me Free” sounds clumsy and clumsy, falling out with the rest of the track in a way that gives away the momentum. On ‘Got the Thrills’, Tzuyu picked out the word “tremolo” to fit the song’s melody, but it seems like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

In TWICE’s bigger picture, ‘Ready To Be’ transcends these blips and helps solidify the sound the group has claimed as their own. As they keep at it – and their adventurous attitude – even more, expect them to become increasingly inventive and unstoppable.


Release date: 
March 10, 2023

Record label: JYP Entertainment

Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here



Most Popular