JYP Entertainment’s Twice, stylized TWICE, released their newest Korean song “Scientist” on Nov. 11. This song, the first single from the nine-member girl group’s new album “Formula of Love: O+T=＜3,” is about how love should come naturally instead of being treated like a science. It was relatively successful, reaching 16 million views within the first 24 hours.
As is customary for most modern singles, a new music video accompanied the song’s release. The song’s accompanying music video fits its tone well, featuring the members in a science lab running various experiments before destroying them. The video’s aesthetics are a mixture of cleanliness and chaos, shifting from a feminine-looking, futuristic and clean lab to a darker, destroyed one as the members engage in activities like unplugging the equipment and throwing papers at each other. Through their music video, TWICE shows that people can be more carefree when it comes to love. The contrasting notes of the music video show the message their song encourages — love is something that should come naturally and not be overanalyzed.
The K-pop music industry differs from its Western counterpart in how and where songs are promoted. In this case, they are promoted through “music shows” that are broadcast on television with live performances and voting segments. These shows present live performances from top artists singing their latest singles, giving K-pop artists the opportunity to show their fans and the rest of the audience everything they’ve been preparing for months. In order to appeal to a greater audience, many artists choose to feature different stage outfits and sets — creating a sense of anticipation for every performance. For instance, TWICE’s “Scientist” performance on the show MBC featured outfits that were colored with a mixture of dark pink and black, while their outfit color scheme in the music video consisted mostly of whites, reds and lighter pinks. However, the group also used more Western methods to promote the song as well. For instance, they recorded an exclusive performance of the song for MTV Italy’s “Fresh Out” show.
Because of the fast-paced nature of the K-pop scene, many groups look for ways to help themselves stand out in comparison to other groups. It is refreshing to see groups like TWICE able to maintain their signature bubbly image while other groups embrace edgier concepts. The song’s message — embracing awkwardness when it comes to love and not treating it as a calculated science — is inspiring, as it subverts the complex plans seen in most fictionalized romance for a more natural approach. It shows that people do not need convoluted plans to fall in love with one another; they can just rely on their natural instincts when finding romance. This idea is further emphasized with lyrics such as “[t]he more you sit there thinking, it’s a minus,” implying that people should trust their gut instincts more when it comes to their romantic decisions because over-contemplating decisions will result in failure.
The group also released two teaser videos to promote the song. They emphasized the music video’s duality, as the first teaser showed the members dancing in the lab and the end of the video, where they perform on a blue and white stage in the clouds. Meanwhile, the second teaser featured the members destroying the lab and the chaos that ensued. This is a very common release pattern that many K-pop groups use. Their companies will first release a single’s premiere date, then begin to release music video teasers and song teasers. Through this process, fans of particular groups anticipate the group’s return and prepare for various ways that they can support their artists. This goes to show the unifying nature between K-pop groups and their fanbase. Artists look forward to meeting their fans, and fans are excited to see all of the hard work that artists put in for their newest songs.
Compared to their more recent singles, such as “Alcohol-Free,” “Perfect World” and “The Feels,” “Scientist” evokes more innocence; the music video makes heavy use of a pure-looking pink, and the members’ outfits, while ranging from formal wear to revealing outfits, mostly stick to a simplistic appearance. It feels as if TWICE is trying to go back to their roots as a sweet and bubbly girl group. Because so many girl groups are opting for an edgier concept or changing their identities to mirror trending concepts, it is nice to see a group return to their roots. In addition, the song’s message of relying on gut instinct, while inspiring and somewhat unique, also seems slightly immature. It seems like through this song, TWICE is encouraging a more “innocent” approach to love, which gets harder to do with age. While “Scientist” relays a good message, its more innocent approach to love is easier said than done.
Bailey Kanthatham is an Entertainment Contributing Writer for the fall 2021 quarter. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Clotilda Haeun Yi is a second year biological sciences student. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org