The world-renowned K-pop group TWICE returned for a third time this year with their newest extended play Feel Special on Monday. Fans and listeners can expect six new songs along with a Korean version of their last Japanese single, “Breakthrough.” The EP, or mini-album as the group puts it, includes the title-track “Feel Special” and features “Rainbow,” “Get Loud,” “Trick It,” “Love Foolish” and “21:29,” which was written and composed by various artists from around the world.
TWICE was formed in 2015 through a reality competition show for female pop groups called SIXTEEN and has continued to maintain its popularity among a wide range of audiences since its debut. Composed of Korean, Japanese and a Taiwanese member, the nine-person group has garnered much attention after winning awards and topping the charts, with their 2017 album Twicetagram peaking at number one on the US World Albums (Billboard) chart for a week and their 2018 song “What is Love” winning Song of the Year and Best Female Group Dance Performance at the 20th Mnet Asian Music Awards.
With this brand new EP, TWICE’s transformation over the past few years has never been more evident. Since the latter half of 2018, the group has slowly been deviating away from its initial feel and message, moving from girlier and cuter songs of teenage love to albums tackling mature topics such as anxiety and loneliness. As the lead single of this mini album, “Feel Special” is their most mature song yet, addressing issues surrounding 22 year-old Japanese American member Myoui Mina’s withdrawal from performances earlier this year. Posted on the official fansite’s forums back in July, the group’s label JYP Entertainment announced that Mina was suffering from “sudden extreme anxiety and insecurity” when on stage. The song’s lyrics thus attempt to portray her process of recovery, shedding light on how she is learning to cope with her emotions and thanking the amount of support she is receiving from her fellow members and fans.
The music video for the lead single features stunning visuals and outfits, with sharp, clean choreography from the dancers. Despite being more somber than previous releases, TWICE never stops to catch eyes with their colorful performances and entertaining videos.
The other titles in this mini album also show the group’s developing maturity, with “21:29” being written by the members themselves; in this particular song, their catchy tunes are accompanied by lyrics discussing feelings of loss and ways in which people deal with them. Overall, this new release has definitely shown the growth of individual members and the group as a whole as they continue to uphold their status as one of the favorite pop groups of nations around the globe.
As for performances and promotions, the first showcase has already been broadcasted on the popular South Korean streaming app V Live. Even though she was involved in the production of the album, Mina will still, unfortunately, be unable to partake in public appearances for ‘Feel Special,’ prolonging her absence from the stage.
JYP Entertainment has also announced that Park Jihyo, the 22 year-old leader of the group, will be unable to perform properly as well during the early showcases, stating that “Jihyo sustained a neck injury during rehearsals where she had to be taken to a hospital. As a result, she will be unable to dance and instead will perform seated.”
In spite of these setbacks, TWICE will have a jam-packed schedule for the rest of 2019, performing their second world tour of the year from October to December and dropping their next Japanese album &TWICE on Nov. 20.
Select statements from JYP Entertainment were translated by Daniel Hur.
Brian Lu is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]