With the release of new Japanese single Fanfare, I thought it would be the perfect time to compile my personal ranking of each of Twice’s singles. They are one of the biggest girl groups in Asia after all and have been dubbed ‘The Nations Girl Group’ on multiple occasions. So it seems fitting that they would be the first girl group to be on this feature.
But while they are one of the biggest girl groups of all time, the groups musical output has been very hit or miss for me. Whereas the bottom half of this list is filled with some real stinkers, the upper half of this list is full of some stone cold k-pop classics. My top 5 picks are all very strong examples of modern K-pop. My top 2 especially were basically tied and on any other day could be inverted.
But enough of me babbling, let’s get to the list!
26. Wake Me Up (2018)
A chirpy blast of modern J-pop, Wake Me Up is one of the groups most generic offerings. Rather than do anything with the groups quirky upbeat sound, the track sounds more suited to a children’s tv show than a full fledged Japanese comeback.
25. One More Time (2018)
Much of Twice’s early Japanese work was marred with underwhelming refrains and annoying vocal arrangements. Although it has a catchy electronic backdrop, the overstuffed vocals really let this one down.
24. I Want You Back (2018)
The groups take on one of pop musics most iconic songs was something I wasn’t expecting and in a way these lowered expectations helped its cause. You cant really go wrong with a melody this strong but that engrish …… yeah no.
23. Brand New Girl (2018)
Brand New Girl sounds like it was ripped right out of a mid 2000’s Disney Channel movie and because of that I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt. It was sound that I grew up with and its power pop instrumental hits all the right spots. It’s almost enough for me to look past the generic and forgettable melody.
22. Fanfare (2020)
I didn’t review Fanfare because I didn’t really know what to think of it. But after almost a month of deliberating, I’ve realised that boy is it overstuffed. I can appreciate the marching band instrumental but when you’ve got so many elements battling it out for the spotlight, the end result is just a mess.
21. More & More (2020) (review)
The most important part of a great Twice song is its chorus and that’s mainly why this song felt so underwhelming. More & More‘s sultry verses paint a promising picture but that irritating synth loop for a chorus really lets this one down.
20. Candy Pop (2018)
Unlike More & More, Candy Pop would be nothing without its undeniably catchy chorus. Rather than adhere to the meandering and bland nature of the verses, Candy Pop‘s chorus bounds forward with an addicting pop melody that’s right up there with the groups best work. But in the end it feels more like a rehash of the groups stronger efforts to really stand out.
19. The Best Thing I Ever Did (2018)
One of the few times the girls have gone for a more slow song as a single, The Best Thing I Ever Did is one of those songs that has only gotten better with time. Initially it felt too slow to really stand out but has since gone onto becoming a Christmas staple.
18. Merry & Happy (2017)
The stronger Christmas themed Twice release, Merry & Happy edges out The Best Thing I Ever Did purely because of its more upbeat backdrop. It’s a fun little Christmas single that is just the right amount of joyous and comforting.
17. BDZ (2018)
While its peppy dance pop sound might not fit the serious teasers, BDZ remains one of the catchiest releases of its year. While the bouncy dance beat might not be original in the slightest, the fluffy delivery and equally addicting hook go down easy.
16. Fake & True (2019)
A great evolution of the groups more sophisticated deep house sound, Fake & True built on the groups more mature vocal blend to create an enjoyable blast of pop music. The effortless hook is the most stylish the group have ever sounded. The standout rap break Is just the icing on top.
15. Stay By My Side (2018)
Twice’s most melodically satisfying Japanese single, Stay By My Side is the perfect song to soundtrack a great slice of life anime. Rather than twist their voices with odd vocal effects, the track has one of the groups best and most vocally satisfying builds towards that soaring chorus.
14. Dance The Night Away (2018)
A great summer song, Dance The Night Away was one of 2018’s most enjoyable girl group singles. It has since dropped a little in my eyes but there’s no denying the strength of that buoyant drop chorus.
13. Happy Happy (2019)
Some of my favourite songs are able to convey a sense of nostalgia through an upbeat musical palette. Happy Happy is a great example of this, with its upbeat chorus having much more melodic and emotional heft than first expected. Get rid of those hyper caffeinated cheer leader chants and this would have ranked much higher.
12. Heart Shaker (2018)
Anchored by the massive chorus at its centre, Heart Shaker is one of those songs that’s just filled to the brim with hooks. It’s rhythm guitar laced verses are some of the most enjoyable the groups discography but that catchy as hell hook really brings it home.
11. Cheer Up (2016)
There isn’t much I can say about one of Kpop’s biggest and most iconic songs. Although I didn’t initially love it, utter ubiquity has gone onto firmly cement Cheer Up in my head. No matter your opinion on the song, Kpop wouldn’t be the same without it.
10. Knock Knock (2017)
A bubbly blast of hyper caffeinated pop music, Knock Knock underwhelmed on relase but has gone onto become one of the most durable songs within the groups discography. Some songs just hit the right dopamine centres and Knock Knock is one of those.
9. Like Ooh-Ahh (2015)
While Like Ooh-ahh might be more attitude driven than most of the groups work, it is easily one of the best debut’s of the past few years. It introduced the world to the girls in thrilling fashion with that stomping dance break being one of the strongest moments within the groups discography.
8. Yes Or Yes (2018)
Although I could do without the spoken word intro, the rest of Yes or Yes is a rapid fire collection of instantly memorable hooks that’s bound to get to you eventually. It’s chorus is one of the groups most instantly gratifying.
7. Likey (2017)
One of the most ubiquitous kpop songs of the past few years, Likey is one those songs that uses the power of repetition to craft the catchiest song within a discography of addicting material.
6. What Is Love (2018)
While I didn’t think much of it initially, What Is Love has quietly gone onto become my favourite and most played of Twice’s 2018 singles. In no way does it reinvent the wheel but boy does it go down easy. That multi part chorus is just gold.
5. Signal (2017)
Oooh this one’s gonna be abit controversial. I’ve always been in the minority when it comes to Signal. While most would consider it their least favourite Twice song, it has always been in the upper echelons of their discography for me. It’s one of the their more unique singles and the playful pre-chorus and bouncy hook perfectly showcase that.
4. TT (2016)
Following up the biggest song of your career is always daunting but Twice came charging back with the song the cemented their place as Korea’s biggest girl group. TT perfectly replicated and even improved on Cheer Up‘s virality, tethering it to a more timeless and endlessly replayable arrangement. It’s not one of Kpop’s most instantly iconic songs for nothing.
Breakthrough is bar far the best thing Twice have ever released in Japan. And it’s not even close. The release marked Twice’s full transition into a more mature and aesthetic concept and no song could have done it as well as Breakthrough. The thumping brassy instrumental heavily recalls classics like T-Ara’s Cry Cry but the anthemic layered chorus is Twice at their most powerful.
2. Fancy (2019)
It was the best of both worlds. Fancy marked the beginning of TWICE’s gradual shift into more mature territory, fusing addictive icy synths with a megawatt chorus to give Twice one of their best singles yet. It’s propulsive verses may have revealed a more mature side to group, but the bubbly chorus took everything great about their past hits and fused it into a hooky as hell multi part refrain. It’s honestly tied in merit with my number one pick.
1. Feel Special (2019)
Although Fancy placed higher on my best of 2019 countdown, I’ve come around to seeing Feel Special as the Twice song to beat. It’s the most powerful and resonant title track Twice have ever released and the songs anthemic melody and melancholic groove further prove the girls fit this sound to a tee. The chorus has what I like to call the snowball effect, getting stronger and more pronounced over the course of the track. It’s a characteristic that’s found in some of my favourite songs of all time and Feel Special is very close to joining that list.
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