Before I begin, let me just throw in a couple of disclaimers here. First of all, I tend to have a bias against holiday releases, as they often sound tacky to me. I also tend to have a bias against cute concepts. I’m more or less capable of putting them aside if they don’t affect song quality, but there’s nothing inherent about cute concepts that I enjoy. All that said, I really can’t stand Lovelyz’ latest title track “Twinkle.” It’s very much a holiday release—it’s not stated anywhere explicitly, but the sound of the title as well as several of the B-sides is distinctly Christmasy. Second, this song is so deeply buried in its cute concept that it can’t breathe. Lovelyz has never strayed far from their cute base in the past, but this just feels like…too much.
“Twinkle” is just cheesy. The lyrics describe longing to hear the sound of a bell, which I assume refers to the mood of the Christmas season, but there are also allusions to a relationship, so it’s vague. The repeating bell riff (can one say that? “Bell riff”?) sounds as if it were plucked out of a Christmas carol, synthesized, and sped up to the manic haste of a video game theme song. That might have had an interesting effect on a different song, but placed into a track that already drips too much cuteness, it becomes cringey. The biggest turn-off of “Twinkle” for me was the prechorus rap part, which really just oversteps the line of the amount of contrived cuteness that should be allowed in music. It’s not that “Twinkle” is devoid of good moments—for example, the long note towards the beginning of the chorus is unexpected and vivid—but the cringe so greatly overwhelms the enjoyable elements that for me, it’s a dud.
Now, the rest of the ladies’ 3rd mini album, “Fall in Lovelyz,” is actually decent. Not every song is worth a listen, but the upbeat, autumn-colored “Just” and the pretty “Fallin’” are both great, compositionally and stylistically. Lovelyz has plenty of vocal talent, and it’s a shame they don’t have more opportunities to show it off with this title track.
TWINKLE: KAYBOP OR KAYFLOP? Flop.
Take a look at Lovelyz’ “Twinkle” MV below: