Prepared to take on the music scene with their young, relatable nature, Pledis Entertainment’s new group, TWS, has presented their enthusiasm through an endearing debut. After being introduced to the world through their captivating pre-debut single, “Oh Mymy: 7s,” TWS finally made their official debut on January 22 with their mini album, Sparkling Blue.
Composed of five songs, the boys of TWS, Shinyu, Dohoon, Youngjae, Hanjin, Jihoon, and Kyungmin, showcase their friendship and youthfulness throughout this concise album. Each song connects to these themes, relaying various experiences many tweens and teens can relate to, such as the desire to fit in with others and trying to maintain strong, meaningful friendships.
The title track and opener, “plot twist,” is a bubbly pop number where the members make a formal introduction to the K-Pop world. The song’s English title differs from the Korean version, with the Korean title translating to “The first meeting didn’t go as planned.” Both titles describe this song effectively by encompassing the essence of its narrative.
Considering this album is many listeners’ first encounter with TWS’ music, they speak about how daunting it can be to make a positive first impression.
Transporting listeners back in time with its early 2000s retro-pop and electronic elements, the song depicts the mixture of emotions TWS feels about embarking on their new journey as newcomers to K-Pop. Although they feel pressure to be well received, considering there are many other young talented groups emerging, the plot twist comes when they realize they feel the same and have encountered others who understand and share their nervousness.
With “plot twist” and “Oh Mymy: 7s” making it clear TWS is targeting a tween and teen demographic, the anxious feeling of wanting to be accepted by others is something many young people can connect to, even if they are not working in entertainment. Their sincere confession on “plot twist” allows listeners to realize they are not much different.
Moving onto the next song, “Unplugged Boy,” keeps up with the uptempo spunk present in “plot twist.” This song about togetherness is performed entirely in English. Accompanied by multidimensional instrumentation filled with drums, chimes, and guitar, the boys sing about wanting to face challenges alongside one another while focusing on their music. Mainly pulling on the theme of friendship, the lyrics, and stellar vocal delivery ensure listeners can see that they are a united front as friends and groupmates.
“First Hooky” is an infectious song with an extremely catchy chorus. It displays the members’ chemistry well with various elements of vocal layering, especially in its pre-chorus and chorus. The boys express their desire to “kick it” with someone, describing everything they hope to spend the day doing, including chatting and enjoying outdoor scenery.
Near the end of the mini album came “BFF.” Clear from its title, this endearing pop song is about long-lasting friendship. They cleverly incorporate their slogan, “twenty for seven with us,” into this song, noting how they want to remain together 24/7.
Whistling their way into the song over the subtle ripple of ocean waves, the instrumentation swiftly amplifies as guitar and drums are added, and Shinyu rapidly kicks off the song.
Pulling from a similar essence as “plot twist,” the crafting of “BFF” gives it an old-school pop sound with groovy horns, chimes, drums, and bass. The brief switch-up prior to the bridge, including stomps and drums, served as a clever change, keeping listeners intrigued about what would come next. The bridge gradually takes listeners back into the uptempo pace of the earlier verses and chorus.
The album concludes with their pre-debut single, “Oh Mymy: 7s,” keeping with the lively feel of the project. With its hyperactive and dance-worthy energy, “Oh Mymy: 7s” closes out Sparkling Blue on a more optimistic note than its opening, with the members confident in a bright future ahead.
Throughout Sparkling Blue, TWS’ lighthearted debut shows their talents by coupling their youthful, boy-next-door imagery with energetic pop music anyone can enjoy.