TWICE released their 8th mini-album Feel Special in Korea, and it topped all the main charts with its unwavering popularity.
Despite harsh relations between Japan and Korea, the group’s activity in both countries is still going strong. Recently, while releasing mini-albums at a pace of once every six months in Korea, they also released singles and full albums in Japan. Compared to other artists, they made a significant amount of releases and their work was a bit hit. At the same time, they’ve also been doing many live events and TV & radio appearances.
Unfortunately, Mina‘s activities were largely suspended since July, although she has made a special effort to participate when she felt able. According to the official homepage of JYP Entertainment, Mina was quoted as saying, “I suffer from extreme psychological tension and great anxiety about standing on stage.” Shortly after that, it was revealed that she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
As Feel Special was released under such circumstances, it has a slightly different flavor from their previous albums. The nine members, who have always seemed cheerful, look back at their history and confirm their current position.
The title song “Feel Special” was written by J.Y. Park, the founder of TWICE. The lyrics were written based on conversations with the members and are scattered among expressions and words of interest. The verse that goes, “There are one of those days / days when I suddenly feel all alone / when I feel like I don’t belong anywhere / and my head is hanging down” is their straight forward feeling. And, even in such a painful situation, you will find yourself happily singing “I become a very special me”.
The sound of “Feel Special” is different from the group’s other hit songs so far. Their refined appearance may be an extension of their Japanese summer single “Breakthrough”, which also incorporates phrases that make you feel your hopes and dreams. Also, the lack of “cheerleading” shouts that is once of TWICE’s selling points, seems to imply that this is not just a cheer song.
This mini-album contains a lot of member-written works, and all of them are points of interest. Nayeon‘s “Rainbow” speaks enthusiastically about finding a new way to believe in yourself, while “Get Loud” by Jihyo sounds more like a warning for one’s words and actions. “21:29”, which was written by all the members, seems to be a love letter to fans with warm lyrics like “tomorrow, I’ll be there / even if you’re not / that’s okay, I’ll remember you”.
Their new work, “Feel Special” shows a willingness to overcome one’s current state of mind. Furthermore, it emphasizes that TWICE is nine members together—that is the point where this work is decidedly different from their previous album. Putting the group’s popularity in Japan aside, these are the reasons “Feel Special” has been so embraced by Japanese ONCEs.