[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
1. I CAN'T STOP ME
2. HELL IN HEAVEN
3. UP NO MORE
4. DO WHAT WE LIKE
5. BRING IT BACK
8. GO HARD
9. SHOT CLOCK
10. HANDLE IT
11. DEPEND ON YOU
12. SAY SOMETHING
13. BEHIND THE MASK
2020 has been the year of TWICE comebacks, and this time they've graced us with a whopping 13 new songs on their 2nd ever full-length album release, Eyes Wide Open. The group has chosen "I Can't Stop Me" as their city pop-inspired title track. With a synth-laden instrumental and retro feel, "I Can't Stop Me" utilizes the mainstream trend of funky nostalgia well.
Overall, the album is an attempted maturation of TWICE's sound and concept- it's obvious both in concept visuals and album production. Immediately after their anthem title track, "HELL IN HEAVEN," brings a signature JYP girl group sound with tropical house and breathy vocal delivery to boot. The spoken, "Take me to your paradise" line is an amazing hook with a catchy club beat that isn't expected from TWICE. "UP NO MORE" follows this cool appeal with a suave beat and harmonies delicately interlaced. Production is a huge improvement on this comeback compared to "More & More," and it shows!
"DO WHAT WE LIKE" has a very early 2010s electronic sound that's nostalgic in nature. The song isn't my favorite, but it isn't offensive in any way. In fact, I can see the appeal, but personally, I find this song blends into the background against the songs up until this point. In contrast, "BRING IT BACK" is the most experimentally intriguing song on this album. We can tangibly hear TWICE having an attempt at a more mature sound. The "I'll bring it back" lyric, in particular, is the song's focal point with a hugely drawn-out instrumental drop that's interlaced with heavy autotune and drumkit samples.
"BELIEVER" is more R&B in nature, so you'd assume that the song will follow that sound throughout, but much to my dismay, the song falls into a safe tempo and again feels a bit underwhelming. The tracklist order didn't save this song, as after being so stimulated by "BRING IT BACK," I felt "BELIEVER" to almost feel mundane. In contrast, the next song, "QUEEN," felt a lot more sassy and powerful than many of TWICE's feminine or cute concepts immediately. However, the chorus is a bit loud and mixed in such a way that makes the shouted lyrics punch a little too hard.
"GO HARD" and "SHOT CLOCK" both surprised me because both songs felt so much like ITZY's signature sound. The characteristic chanting style and delivery and the type of beat and vibe were characteristic ITZY to me rather than TWICE. "HANDLE IT" is a downtempo track with a guitar melody carrying throughout. This was a successful attempt at maturing TWICE sound. Perhaps they needed to strip down to minimal basics to redevelop their sounds. "DEPEND ON YOU" is another sweet midtempo song that functions a bit more like a ballad than the songs up until this point. I like the track a lot, as the chorus has an interesting vocal filter that I find quite alluring.
"SAY SOMETHING" is the disco TWICE we've been yearning for! I knew we wouldn't get a full-length TWICE album without some sort of element of funk and soul interwoven. I love the pure disco inspiration of the song, and it may be my favorite song of the release as it's a nostalgic homage to disco greats like Kim Nam Mi. The album wraps up with "BEHIND THE MASK," a song that truly does feel like a proper conclusion to the album. The song makes a huge statement in message and feeling and is a great choice to tie up the album nicely with a glittery bow. Jihyo, in particular on "BEHIND THE MASK," is giving the vocals her all.
Though we aren't getting Jeongyeon for TWICE promotions this time around, we do get her for the MV! In "I CAN'T STOP ME," the lovely TWICE members are seen trading their quirky charisma in for a sophisticated elegance. Though the MV doesn't have a huge interconnection between scenes, I feel that the overall floral blooms work as a great motif for their growth as artists.
I'm not crazy about their styling, as at times TWICE can feel disjointed with their outfits, but their energy and choreography are definitely rookie groups ought to strive for. With odd scenes from TWICE sitting at a table looking at themselves in different clothing or a motorcycle revving, the MV surely didn't disappoint in intrigue.
MV Score: 6.67
Album Score: 8.3