The next album to be reviewed on the blog is TWICE’s BETWEEN 1&2, which is the group’s 11th mini-album since their debut in 2014. It was released at the end of August and is lead by the title track Talk that Talk. The release follows a few key milestones and comebacks, including the full group’s contract renewals with JYP Entertainment, Nayeon’s solo debut with POP! and a string of a few Japanese releases. It is also the group’s first release since last year’s SCIENTIST and Formula of Love: O+T=<3.
The name of the album, BETWEEN 1&2, feels quite fitting for the groupc, given the news that it comes about from the recent news that the all members of TWICE had renewed their contracts with JYP Entertainment. It possibly signifies that the group is currently about to embark on a second stage of their careers, with the first stage being the seven years that have just past. Others have speculated the album’s title refers to the bond that TWICE (i.e. 2) shares with their fandom, ONCEs (i.e., 1). Whatever the meaning, it is definitely something special for the group. As for the mini-album, I felt like it was somewhat of a mix bag. Some really good songs and less memorable songs. Give BETWEEN 1&2 a listen below and let me know if you agree or not.
1. Talk that Talk (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review of Talk that Talk. (9.5/10)
2. Queen of Hearts – The second track on the album is an all-English track, delving into the pop-punk side of music. I love the instrumental for Queen of Hearts, especially for the chorus, which went for a rock-like head-bang type of feel. The members handled the vocals quite well, overall, exuding a whole lot of confidence. Those high notes, whilst felt screechy at first, ended up being a highlight that I look forward to each time I play Queen of Hearts. However, I wished they went harder for the chorus, just to better complement the instrumentation. (9/10)
3. Basics – Basics is a little basic for my liking. It goes for a dance pop vibe, which I am completely fine about. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get much out of the track, as compared to the songs on this mini-album. I did like the more retro touch given by the synths at the start of the song and the beat when it came to the chorus. But the rest of the song, vocals and rapping felt plain to me. It is still a pleasant number, just not memorable enough. (6.5/10)
4. Trouble – Trouble is a very upbeat track, diving into the dance pop genre. This time around, however, the instrumental had a super lively and dynamic disco-like beat to it that made it so riveting and enjoyable to listen to. The choruses had a slightly explosive atmosphere to it, while the hooks made the song quite addictive and standout for me. The vocal work was solid. When it comes to the raps, Trouble takes me back a few years thanks the trap instrumental backing. It does detract from the momentum of the rest of Trouble, but I still enjoyed it. (8/10)
5. Brave – Brave tones down the mini-album once again with a less punchy track. But that doesn’t mean the song is a bad one. I actually quite enjoyed Brave. It opts for the synthpop genre and features a consistent set of vocals. It is still upbeat, but I would imagine a more delicate routine to accompany Brave and its vocals. Though it is still powerful enough to leave an impression, especially during the chorus. I really liked the percussion in the bridge, just because it adds some oomph to the song and gives the end a more fulfilling finish. (8.5/10)
6. Gone – The synth strings that begin Gone and are present during the verses are quite intriguing. It alludes to the electropop genre that the chorus deep dives and the song falls into. I do think this backing to the chorus was a bit much and at points overwhelmed the vocals. I kind of wished it was toned back slightly, just so the members are not competing with the instrumentation as much. However, I really liked the members’ use of lower tones throughout the single. (7/10)
7. When We Were Kids – Finishing off the mini-album is When We Were Kids, which falls into ballad territory. Despite the ballad label I have given the song, we are not talking about slow or classical instrumentation. The instrumentation features a paced beat that pulses along in the background, while the vocals were dreamy and invokes a nostalgic tone to come to life. I love the harmonies when the title is repeated. Overall, When We Were Kids felt fitting as the final song on an album that is between two segments of their career. (9/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10