5 out of 5 stars
A perfect piece of music doesn’t exist, but it is hard to say that TWICE’s newest album is not absolute perfection.
K-Pop girl group TWICE released their third full album “Formula of Love: O+T=<3” on Nov. 12. Not really knowing what to expect with the new direction the group is going in, this album came as a pleasant surprise.
The title track “Scientist” fares as one of the weaker songs on the album, which is surprising for a lead single. The title track should have been a different song.
The low synth beats combined with bass were unique and pleasant. Though the song lacked in the chorus, as there was no special feeling that distinguished it from the rest of the song, everything surrounding the chorus was strong.
TWICE always has spectacular raps with amazing lyrics. In “Scientist,” Dahyun rapping “you gotta crush on me, you’re gonna fall for me” stood out lyrically because of the smooth transition into the bridge.
The retro feel to all of the b-sides made this album what it is: a seamless genre blend taking the listener to the sonic wonderlands of disco, reggae, and R&B.
“Moonlight” transported the listener to a 70s disco with synths in the background and drum beats that elevated the song, making it difficult to not want to get up and dance.
TWICE swearing is something fans were not expecting, but with the reggae-influenced song “Icon” they let it all out. Momo rapping “Damn, I got it, I’m iconic” made the song and Chaeyoung’s rapping made this one of my favorite songs off of the album, with the lyric “Gimme all my props ’cause, baby, I’m a hustler” saving my 2021.
The slow disco beats of “Cruel” were a nice calm down from the intense rap in the previous song. Experimenting with falsetto made it a pleasant listen too. Blasting this in my car was the best decision I have ever made, the synth truly rocked my body.
“Real You” was not a standout song, mirroring “Moonlight” but with higher vocal range and upbeat synths.
“F.I.L.A (Fall In Love Again)” is when the album solidified itself as something special, transporting the listener to feel like they’re at Studio 54. Strong bass beats in the song bring the listeners to their feet.
I was locked in a trance when I heard the preview of “Last Waltz,” and luckily, I was when hearing the full song too. This song took a traditional waltz beat and turned it on its head. The use of a harp with the low synth beats was mesmerizing. The chorus simply being “dun dun dun dun dun dun dun” to the tune of the waltz was so inventive.
“Espresso” was the definition of modernizing a traditional sound. The song was filled with loud modern R&B vibes, and I was obsessed with every second of it. The lyrics “e-s-p-r-e-s-s-o that’s who I am” and “drip, more intеnsely drop, dizzyingly” were my favorite lyrics of the song. This song is one of my top three from the album.
Calming down with a more relaxed R&B song, I was taken by surprise by how much I enjoyed “Rewind.” I hate comparing, but this song reminded me a lot of the Red Velvet song “Hello Sunset,” with similar harmonizing vocals and bass beats.
“Cactus” is my favorite song on the album, without a single question. This may be the weirdest comparison I will ever make in a review, but I was transported back to when I was at Bible camp — this song felt like actual worship.
The gentle guitar paired with their soft voices and a lovely build-up was pleasant. Learning that this song was about Jihyo’s actual cactus that died made it so much better. It feels like such an emotional love song, but in reality, it’s just about a dying plant.
“If you find me first, you’ll hug me again, I’ll be fine” ending the song is what broke me. This was such a nice, unexpected song. Surprisingly it still fits the vibe of the album, which makes it even better.
Following these ten songs that had all the members in them, the next three songs were a departure from the traditional TWICE sound. Separating the nine members into groups of three created an amazing opportunity for the members to showcase talents that they may not be able to express when they are together as a full group.
The first sub-unit had members Jihyo, Sana, and Dahyun with the song “Push and Pull.” This song got us back to the upbeat disco vibes of the album, and it was my favorite song of the sub-units. Jihyo rarely raps, so hearing her rap was a shock.
The song “Hello” consisted of the sub-unit with Nayeon, Momo, and Chaeyoung. From this grouping, I knew this entire song was going to be heavily inspired by modern rap. This did Nayeon, the lead vocalist of the group, a disservice. Hearing her rap with two of the group’s rappers seemed odd. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the song a lot, with the lyric “ig I’m litty yeah” making me feel like a bad bitch.
Reggae-inspired “1,3,2” featured the members Jeongyeon, Mina, and Tzuyu. This was a relaxing yet upbeat song. All of their voices blended together so well, and the next time I am on a beach this song will definitely be played. My favorite lyric from the song, “follow, follow, follow, follow your tempo” is an earworm that I have been struggling to get out of my head — the way they sing it is addicting.
Ending the album were the songs “Candy” and “The Feels.” Both songs were released prior to the album, so many already knew them. However, they are very nice songs to round a perfect album out.
I love this album; it will be on replay for the rest of the year. TWICE gets better with every new release, and I am so happy that I get to hear this amazing music every day. I highly recommend this album to everyone, even if you are not an avid K-Pop listener like myself.