On August 26, TWICE released their eleventh mini album Between 1&2, led by title track “Talk That Talk.”
The group’s first Korean comeback of the year, Between 1&2 comes on the heels of a US tour, two Los Angeles stadium concerts, fourth Japanese studio album Celebrate, and the group center Nayeon’s successful solo debut, “POP!.” The mini contains seven tracks exploring themes of love, relationships, and self-confidence. With dance pop, rock, and retro influences, Between 1&2 shows TWICE’s growth as artists and performers, highlighting strong vocal and songwriting abilities.
Talk That Talk
Title track “Talk That Talk” highlights everything TWICE does best. It’s an upbeat, synth pop song with a bright chorus and catchy (if not slightly difficult) hand choreo that spells out L-O-V-E.
Like many of TWICE’s titles, the song’s theme is centered around love. But unlike earlier songs that describe schoolgirl crushes and dreams of falling in love, this song gives TWICE more agency. With lyrics like “Tell me what you want/Tell me what you need” and “Don’t wanna waste time with the push-and-pull,” TWICE tell their partner that they want more from the relationship, and they don’t want to be played around with. “The simple words “I love you”/That’s all I want to hear” they sing.
The music video hops on the Y2K trend that’s been popping up in K-pop recently, but with a spy-tinged spin. In teasers, the members were split into trios–Nayeon, Jeongyeon, and Dahyun as the “Pathfinder” team; Sana, Jihyo, and Chaeyoung as the “Archive” team; and Momo, Mina and Tzuyu as “Cryptography.”
While the music video features standard Y2K imagery: floppy discs, walkie talkies, and web 1.0 frames, it also shows the girls in holsters, harnesses, and carrying weapons.
A clear departure from their previous comeback “Scientist,” which was more in line with previous bubble-gum pink releases, “Talk That Talk” shows a stronger concept for TWICE, with members in bolder red and black or blue and lacy outfits.
Between ONCE and TWICE
TWICE never shy away from showing their love for their dedicated fanbase, ONCE, and Between 1&2 is no different. The trailers and teasers for the comeback featured different dates and numbers that are significant to the group and their fans, like the date of their first concert, or the hex codes of members’ signature colors.
The music video also included Easter eggs for ONCEs to find, including their debut date and the date of their first music show win.
The lyrics of “Talk That Talk” also had little nods to previous TWICE songs, with lyrics referencing 2018’s “Yes or Yes,” the Sana, Jihyo, and Dahyun sub-unit song “Push and Pull,” and Twicecoaster: Lane 1 b-side “1 To 10”
The music video even ended on a QR code which, when scanned, led fans to the Instagram post where TWICE’s fandom was first given its name: ONCE.
Watch Them Rule the World
Alongside the title track, Between 1&2 features six other songs. Opening with the title, Between 1&2 takes a turn away from synth pop into pop rock with English song “Queen of Hearts,” a confident anthem featuring TWICE singing “Watch me go, watch me go rule the world.”
Then follows “Basics,” a dance-y track about a couple getting to know more about each other and “Trouble,” a powerful dance song about the tension between a couple dangerously attracted to one another.
“Brave,” the fifth track, is another ode to ONCE, with Dahyun saying that the message is about how ONCE gives TWICE confidence and courage. Next is “Gone,” a darker, dramatic song in line with previous releases like “Cry for Me” and “Last Waltz” about losing respect for a fickle-minded person.
The album closes out with the sentimental and nostalgic “When We Were Kids,” written thinking of memories from their trainee days and early days as a group.
TWICE are no strangers to songwriting, having credits on over 45 of TWICE’s songs, most notably “21:29” and “Celebrate,” which were written in collaboration with all nine members. In particular, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, Jihyo, and Nayeon have shown interest in songwriting, having penned some of ONCE’s favorite b-sides like “Cruel,” “Strawberry,” “Up No More,” and “Baby Blue Love.” Jihyo has also taken a step into composing, having composed Formula of Love b-side “Cactus” and Between 1&2’s own “Trouble.”
On this mini album, TWICE members Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Jihyo have writing credits on four songs–with Jihyo writing and composing “Trouble,” Chaeyoung writing “Basics,” and Dahyun writing both “Gone” and “When We Were Kids.”
Along with expanding their writing credits, this album shows yet another direction for TWICE. At the top of their game, it would be easy for TWICE to continue their sugar sweet bubblegum concept, or to just continue doing what is trendy and let their fandom keep them up. But TWICE keeps pushing, adding in different genres, trying new aspects of producing the songs, and showing off their constantly improving dance skills and vocals.
This effort definitely pays off for them: even after seven years, the group is continuing to hit more milestones. Between 1&2 became TWICE’s first album to sell one million copies, making them the third girl group with such an achievement, joining fellow global superstars BLACKPINK and aespa. “Talk That Talk” has also become TWICE’s highest ever Spotify debut, proving that the “Nation’s Girl Group” is showing no signs of slowing down.
Breaking the Curse
This year marks TWICE’s seventh year as a group, since 2015’s debut “Like Ooh-Ahh.” Many ONCEs feared it could be the end of TWICE as an iconic group, succumbing to the infamous “seven year curse.”
But fear not–in June, TWICE announced that all nine members had renewed with agency JYP Entertainment, and will continue both as a group and in solo and subunit activities.
And with such a successful year for them between sold-out concerts, Nayeon’s solo debut, and this most recent million-seller album, it’s clear that TWICE still has more to show.
You can listen to Between 1&2 on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube, and follow TWICE on Twitter and Instagram.
For more TWICE, check out our coverage of IM NAYEON here!