‘Pop’ review: Twice member Nayeon’s debut solo single is a positive K-pop summer anthem

Natasha Ho
  • Song from mini album “IM NAYEON” radiates youth and sunshine and stays away from the ‘girl crush’ aesthetic
  • MV for ‘Pop’ racked up more than 30 million YouTube views in just three days
Natasha Ho |

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A still from the MV for “Pop” by Nayeon. Photo: Captured from YouTube

In the world of K-pop, it is quite common for idols to shine with their own solo releases whilst still being an active member of their group. Still, in its seven years of existence, no member of Twice has released a solo track – until now. Nayeon, the unnie – or oldest member of the group – has just released her debut solo single POP, along with a mini album called “IM NAYEON”.

Here’s a few thoughts we had while watching the MV for POP, which racked up more than 30 million views in just three days.

Youthful summer go!

When the MV starts with a clear blue sky, we can already tell we are looking at this year’s summer anthem. The video features a classic, bright K-pop aesthetic and an ever-present sun shining down on Nayeon. The first few shots of the MV feature the idol wandering around an all-white village that reminds us of Greece, while the next main set is a doughnut shop, once again filled with bright pastel colours that remind us of the pure joy of enjoying something sweet in the midst of summer.

There are a few other amazing sets that radiate youth and sunshine, including the background of the first chorus, which features the same bright blue from the sky in the opening of the MV and allows Nayeon’s red outfit to really, dare we say it, pop!

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Outfits that match the vibe

The outfits not only compliment the feeling of the song, but also Nayeon herself. She wears a total of 14 outfits in the MV, all of them well-styled. The first one featured – which also appears in later scenes – is a matching black and white top, shorts, and boots set. Another stand-out choice is a red spaghetti strap vest accompanied by a short jacket, which perfectly compliments the pastels and whites of the background.

One fan favourite is a butterfly top she wears during the second verse; although it is glittery, it’s not too overwhelming, and it makes her look like a summer fairy ready to enjoy the hot weather.

Nayeon rocks a matching checkered set in her video. Photo: Captured from YouTube

Unexpected fun

Twice is no stranger to criticism, with naysayers calling their signature girlie and youthful style “childish” and “submissive”. It’s why some fans expected to see something different than the typical girl crush aesthetic in Nayeon’s release. But the Twice member stuck to her reputation as one of the most energetic members of the group who always releases an aegyo vibe – meaning she is cute and youthful.

POP was nothing but fun, featuring upbeat snares that make you want to get off your seat and dance, and slight riffs of electric guitars that added to the song’s youthful energy. The instrumental to the chorus is also very dreamy and reminds listeners of feeling the cool summer breeze while dancing on the beach. These additions help Nayeon add her own taste to the song and remind listeners of her personality.

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Staying true to herself

The name of the album, IM NAYEON, it is a playful pun on both her surname “Im” in Korean and the word “I’m” in English, which is the singer’s way of showing the world what her solo act is all about. This MV is filled with her own flavour, from her natural charm to her positivity.

Nayeon has always been one to send warmth to her teammates, whether through her kind words or caring gestures. POP is a blunt but sincere confession of love, just like Nayeon herself, who has always been straightforward and honest in her words and actions. Her powerful vocals shine through the song and prove that she is unaffected by her haters.

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