After seven years, the first member from TWICE is finally making her solo debut. The honour goes to TWICE’s NAYEON, who debuted as a solo artist last Friday with the single POP! and the mini-album Im Nayeon. I personally wonder if this solo debut is a backup plan in case TWICE’s contract negotiation falls through (which I hope is not the case). I just find it suspicious that the group is only a few months out of the standard seven year contract, and suddenly one member (so far – I hope there is more solo debuts on the way) make her solo debut. But I guess time will tell. Until then, this is my review for POP!. This is also the first TWICE related release of the year, as well, following the release of Doughnut in Japan and SCIENTIST in Korea.
POP! is an okay track. Since its release, I have listened to it a few times. And while it nice and decent, I am not exactly head over heels for this solo release. As mentioned yesterday, maybe time will help make the song grow on me. But as for now, I am pretty neutral over POP!. I liked the instrumental’s percussive and upbeat underlay, which was a pleasantly consistent element in the instrumental. It brought on a refreshing vibe to the song, undoubtedly fitting for the Summer season that this comeback falls in. The brass in the verse and the electric guitar in the chorus were nice additions to add extra life and colour to the instrumental. Together, they create a relatively simple pop instrumental for the likes of POP!. As for NAYEON’s vocals in POP!, they sound good. But I am not overly excited by her vocals. They felt somewhat plain. Similar comments can be said about the song’s melodies. I just expected something more jumpy or vibrant. We get part of the way there, but it just isn’t enough. Her spoken hook (i.e. the pops) were probably the most exciting part of the song. Though, I do think POP! would have benefited from something more punchy and colourful. The rapping felt unnecessary and adds an overly cute sequence into the song that felt too sugary and saccharine for my taste. Overall, I feel the strong and weak points of POP! cancel each other out, leaving me without much feelings for the song. I neither hate nor like POP!. I am just somewhere in the middle.
The music video fairs better than the song. It is everything you can ask for in a Summer concept music video. Bright, colourful, vibrant. The sets look amazing and fun, as well. I quite like the look of the post-production treatment, as it help adds so much more life visually to the video. On top of that, Nayeon is stunning and looks amazing throughout the video. Her smiles also make the a whole lot of difference to the video, adding more to those bright and vibrant descriptors I have mentioned.
I thought the choreography was great. The small pops that come via the hips and body movements looked fantastic and adds a vibrant and fun element to the routine. I also like how the dancers made the popping come to life following the second chorus when they stand behind Nayeon (and then fan out).
Song – 7/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8/10