When K-pop girl group Twice debuted in 2015, they shot to fame right away. Now in 2021, after years of hits, they’ve released their third LP, Formula of Love: O+T=<3, which offers a snapshot of where they are in their career.
With a title referring to how their career has been bolstered by their bond with their fandom Once, and can be read as “Formula of Love: Once plus Twice equals love”, the 16-track release explores a variety of dance-pop styles as Twice sing about different elements of love.
Formula of Love: O+T=<3 arrived just a few days before the K-pop group announced they would be returning to international touring in 2022 with five dates in the United States in February, which will follow several shows in South Korea at the end of December.
The album is fronted by the single Scientist, a bass-driven synth-pop song, which declares there is no actual reason to approach romance in a formulaic, scientific sense despite the album’s name.
The rest of the tracks explore a wide range of emotions relating to love, and different types of love, with regrets over past romance put front and centre in Cruel, self-love getting a big anthem in Icon, and one for coffee lovers around the world: an ode to caffeine, Espresso.
The album also puts the spotlight on the skills of smaller groups within Twice, breaking the nine-member team into trios for Push & Pull featuring Jihyo, Sana and Dahyun, while Nayeon, Momo and Chaeyoung team up on Hello and Jeongyeon, Mina and Tzuu come together on 1, 3, 2.
Throughout it all, Twice’s third full-length album is a groovy, bouncy addition that feels true to the group while still trying new things.
Formula of Love follows the October release of Twice’s all-English song The Feels, and this album continues that train of movement.
Despite it technically being Twice’s third Korean LP (they’ve also released a series of Japanese LPs, which are considered a separate discography) it features three tracks sung entirely in English: the whimsical Moonlight and saccharine Candy along with the aforementioned Icon.
In the past, Twice have only done one-off English songs, never dedicating a sizeable portion of an album to the language. But in a recent interview, the members of the band revealed they decided to release the English songs to appeal to their growing international audience, which they have acquired after success in South Korea, Japan and other Asian countries.