TWICE comes back strong with their third album

‘Formula of Love: O+T=<3’ review


TWICE members pose together cutely for their album shoot. Featured Left to right is Dahyun, Jihyo, Nayeon, JeongYeon, Tzuyu, Sana, Momo, Mina and Chaeyoung. Photo from @JYPNation on Twitter

Samantha Stokes, Co-Managing Editor

K-pop group TWICE has finally released their long awaited album “Formula of Love: O+T=<3.” The album consists of 15 original songs, and a remix of “SCIENTIST” made by R3HAB. The album was released worldwide on Nov. 12, 2021 and fans skyrocketed it to sixth place on the Worldwide iTunes Albums Chart. 

Ahead of the album’s release, TWICE released their smash single “The Feels,” complete with a music video featuring cute choreography and concept. The song was quickly picked up by k-pop fans on TikTok who showcased their dance skills to the choreography. Since “The Feels” was completely in English, it did particularly well in the US compared to their other singles in the past, becoming their first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at number 83). The song has addictive vocals, and I instantly fell in love with the song. It raised my expectations even higher for the rest of the album!

When consuming the album as a whole, the tracks were rather hit-and-miss in my opinion. The first two tracks, “SCIENTIST” and “MOONLIGHT” were lackluster and seemed generic in terms of melody. The R3HAB remix of “MOONLIGHT” was a bit more interesting, but still had that forgettable quality to it. That being said, the third and fourth songs, “ICON” and “CRUEL,” were some of my favorite songs on the album. While the songs are also pretty simple, the way that the girls sang their lines had more emotion and sass. The choruses were also easy to pick up and get stuck in your head. 

“REAL YOU,” the fifth track on the album, was also a rather forgettable song. It seems that a lot of the songs, like this one, seemed to have been written as a general bubblegum k-pop song, not specifically for TWICE. It lacks the personality that other songs do. 

Once again, the album isn’t lackluster for long; the next two tracks are my two ultimate favorites on the entire album, and possibly my favorite of their entire discography. “F.I.L.A. (Fall In Love Again)” features a disco beat and impressive falsetto vocals. The song itself has a personality, and gives me the imagery of a love story in a roller rink. The disco theme is very popular right now in the US and South Korea, and TWICE did a great job of following this theme but making it a good standalone piece. 

The seventh track, “LAST WALTZ” is an absolutely captivating piece. Its melody is very interesting and sounds almost orchestral. The group’s vocals are absolutely stunning, with many harmonies and acapella-esque sound effects. This song also creates imagery using melodies and lyrics, and I imagine this song playing at a masquerade ball. Overall, this track is my favorite on the album.

“ESPRESSO,” the album’s eighth track, is a song that is full of sass as well. Although it is not my absolute favorite, it is still a song that will find its way to my playlists. The lyrics use plays on coffee terms to show how they act like a pick-me-up to their listeners, much like a cup of espresso. Overall, the song is super cute and cheeky, and I would recommend a listen. 

The ninth and 10th tracks are the only songs on the album that are titled in Korean. “알고 싶지 않아” and “선인장,” meaning “Rewind” and “Cactus,” are both slower songs and bring a more serious tone to the album as compared to the other dance songs. While they will not be songs I will be specifically searching for, they would be good additions to a slower playlist.

The 11th, 12th and 13th tracks of the album were all made in subunits of the group, meaning that the members split up into small groups to make songs. “PUSH & PULL” is the first subunit song, featuring Jihyo, the lead vocalist of the group; Sana, who is a sub vocalist and Dahyun, who is the lead rapper as well as a vocalist. The song is very upbeat and bubblegum styled. 

The second subunit consists of Nayeon (lead vocalist) , Momo (sub rapper and vocalist) and Chaeyoung (main rapper and vocalist), and together they made “HELLO.” This song is a very unexpected genre for the girls, with a hip-hop beat and cheeky boasts. I particularly liked this subunit song and hope to see a cool choreography for it since this group contains a lot of the dancers in the group. 

The final subunit song is titled “1, 3, 2” and features Lead Vocalist Jeongyeon, Sub Vocalist Tzuyu and Sub Vocalist Mina. This song is really upbeat and easy to get stuck in your head. It also has a lot of personality behind it, with each of them providing strong vocals.

The last song (with the exception of “The Feels” and “SCIENTIST (R3HAB remix)”) is titled “Candy,” and is just as sweet as the name implies. It is completely in English, and sounds like something straight out of a teenage love story. It is extremely cute and uses a good mix of repetition and new (and very mushy) lyrics. It is not a song I would listen to every day, but most definitely something that I would listen to when in a “love song” mood.

Overall, this album was worth the listen, and even the songs that I would generally pass up were still good songs. The songs that I preferred were the ones that had a bit more sass and intricacy in the vocals and melody. There are quite a few songs that will be added to my daily playlists, and a few songs that I have been listening to non-stop since their release. Overall, I would give this album a solid seven out of ten, meaning that I really like it, but there were still places they could have improved on. A lot of the tracks that the girls had a hand in writing felt more meaningful in my opinion, and I would love to hear more self-written and produced songs from them in the future!

If you would like to give a listen to “Formula of Love: O+T=<3,” TWICE’s album is available on every streaming platform.

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