TWS, the South Korean boy band, recently made their debut on Jan. 22 with their mini-album “Sparkling Blue,” following the pre-release of their single “Oh Mymy : 7s” on Jan. 2. The PLEDIS Entertainment-backed group is comprised of six members: Dohoon, Shinyu, Youngjae, Kyungmin, Jihoon and Hanjin. The members were officially announced a month before their debut in a series of videos and shorts on the YouTube channel of HYBE LABELS, PLEDIS Entertainment's parent company.
We first meet the members in the video “Prologue ‘Oh Mymy : 7s.’” Here, we get a glimpse into the work and effort the team has put into their debut. For a pre-debut, “Oh Mymy : 7s” is an impressive song. Its lyrics focus on success and getting ready to achieve it, and with the members’ passionate dancing and magnetic personalities accompanying this track, it seems they will one day reach their goals.
In the weeks following the pre-release drop, HYBE uploaded six one-minute member profiles, a highlight melody and the longer “Prologue The Full Story” on their channel. These videos showcased TWS’ passion for the arts and becoming idols, their connection as a group and the work they’ve put into making their debut album. Each video features a picture of the group that reveals itself more clearly each time. Each video adds on top of the last as new details of the group are revealed, highlighting their collective love of dance, rap and song.
The album itself consists of five songs: “plot twist,” “unplugged boy,” “first hooky,” “BFF” and “Oh Mymy : 7s.” The first track, “plot twist,” is the album’s lead single. The music video is goofy in the best and most charismatic way. The song’s lyrics describe the awkwardness and stumbles of first encounters and building the foundation of a strong and lasting relationship. “plot twist” is a truly smart first single for this debut album, as it’s the group’s official greeting to the world. If the members’ charisma shines through in the music video, then their joy practically jumps through the screen during their live performances. The video’s choreography is also a great metaphor for finally making it to the first date after all the nervous butterflies. The song also sets up the expectations we, as listeners, have for TWS. Will they stumble and make it awkward, or will we see the charm in TWS that leads us to stick by their side 24/7?
The second track, “unplugged boy,” builds on the theme of forming a connection with someone after the first introduction. In this song, the boys invite listeners to follow their journey and together help create and amplify the music they are creating.
“first hooky” continues the overall storyline as a cute song about wanting to spend more time with another person. The members sing “I really wanna kick it with ya,” implying they want that “thrilling feeling” that comes from being around someone and strengthening a relationship with someone you cherish. “first hooky” is one of TWS’ grooviest songs, and perhaps the best song on this album. The next track, “BFF,” is about reaching the point in a relationship where you know you will be together forever. It’s not the end of the story but rather the height of a relationship, and TWS is inviting the listeners to join them.
“Oh Mymy : 7s” works great as a final track on the album, as it does not reduce the energy created and sustained in the previous songs. Not only does this track stick with the bouncy and fun rhythm found in the others, but the choreography also shows off TWS’ amazing dance skills. The KBS World TV live performance of “Oh Mymy : 7s” clearly shows that the members are not only talented dancers and singers, but also engaging performers.
Overall, the album has a refreshing vibe. Each track is energetic, and it’s all music that makes you smile and want to dance. Not only are the members insanely talented at translating their personalities on the stage and through their dance in music videos, but they also make you feel their intentions and joy through the music itself, a feat many in the K-pop industry simply cannot do. Similar to BoyNextDoor’s 2023 debut album, “Sparkling Blue” has a youthful and new energy, yet TWS stands apart from others with a charm not very common in the industry.
TWS is a breath of fresh air. Each member stands out from others and they all feel unconstrained and driven. In a recent video for HYBE, Kyungmin stated, “I hope we can show people something that only we can do.”
If TWS’ debut is a greeting to the world, then their name itself is a promise to those who choose to stick by them. TWS stands for “Twenty-Four Seven With Us,” meaning this group promises to be with their fans as much as possible and for as long as possible. And honestly, after “Sparkling Blue,” this commitment seems to be all the more promising.
You can stream TWS’ debut album, “Sparkling Blue” on Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube.