Album Review: ‘Ready To Be’

By April Lee

TWICE released their 12th mini album, ‘Ready To Be,’ just in time for their fifth world tour this summer. The band will be performing for filled-stadiums in Australia, Japan, South Korea, the United States, and Canada.

For a nine-member group that debuted in 2016 with a bubbly concept, ‘Ready To Be’ takes on a bold and mature twist. Confidence defines their growth as a group, evidently in their musical choices and lyrics of confession. Yet, TWICE never forgets their signature sparkle of energy. 

“I want it all and I ain’t ever gonna settle/ Even if all of this is just a fantasy.” The opening lines of the single title track ‘Set Me Free,’ boldly sung by leader Jihyo, set the tone for the rest. It is a disco song characterized by a retro-pop bassline. Their daring outlook to “risk it all” is matched by the members belting out their lines in this song. 

‘Moonlight Sunrise’ has a more rounded timbre than ‘Set Me Free,’ which sounds in-your-face. Everything feels dreamy, including Chaeyoung’s sensual, whisper-like rapping. With Miami bass-pop and asymmetrical falsetto, it is their second all-English single that has made the ranks of Billboard Hot 100.

In this album, the Korean B-sides fit right in and deserve equal recognition. ‘Got The Thrills’ plays with syncopated 80’s beats and the cheerful personalities of the members are captured here perfectly. ‘Blame It On Me’ is a rock-pop track with electric guitar and powerful vocals. This song does not fit like a glove, and interestingly, it is the only track where the perspective has turned over to their counterpart. Their charms are not to be blamed by the lover who has fallen for them. ‘Wallflower’ is the most laid back, with a soft groove to it. The lyrics, however, stay on track with the album’s theme, and do not detract from one’s determination to dance the night away together. The final track, ‘Crazy Stupid Love,’ concludes with a snap back to reality, where the girls shrug off a flame. Perhaps, by ending in this manner, TWICE is foreshadowing so that their fans wait in anticipation for their next release. 

Upon their album ‘Ready to Be,’ TWICE has expanded their range of genres and claimed themselves as a group that is capable of doing it all.

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