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Where EAST meets the Northwest

DARING DIRECTION. South Korean girl group TWICE poses for a photo in Seoul, South Korea. The popular K-pop group known for its catchy lyrics and colorful aesthetics, has released its second full album, a collection that invites listeners into the bandís more daring side. (Kim Oi Mil, JYP Entertainment via AP)

From The Asian Reporter, V30, #12 (November 2, 2020), page 13.

K-pop band TWICE reveals daring side on album

By Juwon Park

The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea ó TWICE, a popular K-pop group known for its catchy lyrics and colorful aesthetics, has released its second full album, a collection that invites listeners into the bandís more daring side.

Eyes Wide Open, released last month, features 13 songs, including the lead single "I Canít Stop Me."

The all-female group, which debuted in 2015 and has achieved success in both Japan and South Korea, sat down with The Associated Press ahead of the release to talk about the project.

Nayeon, one of the bandís nine members, said that "I Canít Stop Me" has a "retro" sound, with lyrics about "not being able to control ourselves crossing the line."

The track sees TWICE explore the boundaries between good and bad, revealing a more daring side of the band ó a departure from its happy-go-lucky style.

When asked to discuss boundaries they wouldnít cross in their personal lives, the group ó which has Japanese, South Korean, and Taiwanese members, all in their early 20s ó didnít elaborate.

"This is a difficult question!" Jihyo said with a cheeky smile.

K-pop bands like TWICE are celebrated for their tightly synchronized dance moves and spotless aesthetics, often enduring years of training on the way to stardom. The demand for perfection never ends ó leaving no room for mistakes, either onstage or off.

Group member Sana said balancing a hectic schedule with onstage perfection wasnít easy when TWICE first started.

"We had so many venues we needed to perform at, but we had very limited time to prepare," she said. "There were lots of moments when weíd practice for three hours twice a day and get on stage right away. So preparing and having to give perfect performances to so many people in such a rushed time weighed on us."

"We couldíve done better and wanted to do better," she added. "It was difficult to go through moments of not having control."

But with half a decade of experience under their belt, the band is now allowed more breathing room.

"We donít try too hard to be perfect," said Tzuyu, the bandís Taiwanese singer. "I think I try to enjoy the moment instead of being so harsh on myself."

As K-pop goes global thanks to bands like BTS and Blackpink, TWICE has its eyes on the U.S. market, planning to release English-language songs in the near future.

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