Bubbly “Knock Knock” Basic, Charming

February 27, 2017 | 1032 Visits

JYP Entertainment’s chart-dominating girl group TWICE returned with “Knock Knock” on February 19, 2017. Since its release, “Knock Knock” received 60 perfect all-kills, and the MV became the fastest K-Pop MV to 30 million views on YouTube. With another hit on their hands, TWICE cannot be stopped even though they have many antis and naysayers who call them “flops” and “untalented artists.” Meanwhile, TWICE get the last laugh as they quickly become a chart-dominating, worldwide-recognized super group.

Accolades aside, looking at “Knock Knock” objectively, the song isn’t as strong as TWICE’s debut runaway hit “Like Ooh Ahh” and follow-up track “Cheer Up,” but it is stronger than “TT.” “TT” showed that as a long as a group is cute and likeable and the song is catchy, sugary, and poppy, a hit can happen even if there’s no substance. Meanwhile, while “Knock Knock” comes across as basic and nothing that special despite its growing accolades, it’s a nice song with a high replay quality… lyrics aside, of course.

Lyrically, the song is a typical throwaway pop song. The lyrics are fluffy and airy as the girls sing about wanting a potential love interest to notice them. The actual song content is spliced heavily with “knock knocks” (which is repeated 131 times throughout the track), so an actual story doesn’t exist. This is where “Knock Knock” fails because it is more focused on being cute and bubbly than substantial. With the lyrics, it’s nothing special and doesn’t stand up to other basic pop songs that exist in the K-Pop or global industry. The reason “Knock Knock” is a runaway hit is due to execution and the charm TWICE exudes.

However, what makes “Knock Knock” enjoyable is that it’s repetitive without being obnoxious. Each verse is blooming with adorable charm that highlights TWICE’s strengths as the new “it” group. The track is youthful and effervescent that oozes with bubblegum poppiness that could be sickeningly cloying if executed wrong or if it’s too over-the-top. Here, TWICE balance sweetness with maturity to make the song an effortless hit. The bouncy beat and overall arrangement strengthens the song even further and masks the lack of substance contained within the lyrics, so it is essentially selling its strongpoints. For the song, TWICE are good performers because they sell the song just by being themselves. Their joy and individual color shines brighter than the weaknesses.

With that said, the MV is a bit of a letdown. “Knock Knock” is a continuation of “TT,” yet it comes across as a standard sleepover MV with no plot other than “look at how cute this group is.” There are pillow fights, snowball fights, and cute shenanigans with a cameo by JYP (but sadly no “JYP” whisper), and a picture book featuring the fantasy characters from “TT” drops by, but there’s nothing coherent that shows “Knock Knock” is a continuation of “TT.” The house is the same, but that’s about it. Throw in how “TT” takes place during Halloween and “Knock Knock” is in winter, and you have a non-linear story that’s unclear and jumbled.

Story aside, the video is a visual treat. The outfit changes, glitchy filming, and fun elements match perfectly with the mood the song creates. Each girl is adorable with bright smiles and non-obnoxious aegyo. While Tzuyu is often the most talked about member thanks to her stunning visuals, the “Knock Knock” era belongs to Dahyun because she is ridiculously charming with a smile that can warm even the coldest, deadest heart. Dahyun steals the show with ease, but she does have close competition with the equally charming Nayeon.

Another standout for the MV is Jeongyeon. Usually, Jeongyeon comes across as insipid, and facially, she almost does once again in this MV. However, her iciness thaws nicely as the MV progresses to show a lighter side to her usual stonewall appearance. Jeongyeon often looks like she takes everything seriously while aiming for perfection, which is nice to see her let loose.

The dance portions for the song are also cute and match the music nicely. The way the group executes dance with their actions helps to make “Knock Knock” a win.

Overall, “Knock Knock” is a delightful song despite weak lyrics. Execution-wise, TWICE sell it and the MV beautifully. It is better than “TT” but not on par with “Like Ooh Ahh” and “Cheer Up,” but it is a winner in its own right.

 

Scores 

MV: 6/10

Lyrics: 3/10

Overall Song: 8/10

Total: 5.67/10

 

—-Joelle Halon

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