Music Review

Twice Formula of Love: O+T=<3 Album Review

It’s also a concert review if you squint.

I had a change of heart on this album. I knew I was going to come back to this album, I just didn’t know when. Back in my November 2021 Best Comebacks and Debuts post, I wasn’t really feelin it. I think it was a mix of me just not liking “Scientist” that much and just being enamored with Kai’s album. I didn’t have much of a reason to go back to Formula of Love: O+T=<3. Now once it got closer to the Twice concert (February 24th 2022), to get me even more hype and ready to dance, I went back to listen to the album.

My usual pre-concert preparation music wise is to listen to the songs I already know I like/love from the artist and listen to those nonstop days before. Then the day of, I’ll keep listening to them the until I’m inside the venue.

Or, at the bare minimum, you have to listen to all their music on the drive to the show. And obviously after the show too. That’s my favorite part because you just got to see these songs live, and have a new appreciation for others. Which is exactly what happened to me with Twice.

I’ve seen Twice live, twice now, lol. The first time at KCON (LA) in 2018. That was basically the Twice and Seventeen show. Twice performed sooo many songs it felt like it was their own show. So I knew we’d get a huge selection of songs for this 2022 American leg of the tour. I just didn’t expect there to be sooo many Formula of Love songs performed.

Like I expected, the unit songs, but the pretty much performed every song except for “F.I.L.A.” and “Cruel”. Atlanta got the first live performance of “Last Waltz” they didn’t have choreo for it, but it was still amazing.

It was an encore song along with “TT”, and “SOS”. Side note, I didn’t feel care for “Alcohol-Free” or the album but after hearing “SOS” live, It also changed my mind. “Alcohol-Free” was much better live, too. Same with “Scientist”. See a pattern, lol?

So going back to my preparation for the concert. Being a Once pretty much since debut, I have a ton of Twice saved on Spotify. So it was more of going back to listen to allll their previous songs and jamming to those. It wasn’t really until like the week or two before, when I started my deep dive back into Twice’s music, I listened to more of Formula of Love.

So by the time I was listening to “Moonlight” in my Uber going to State Farm Arena, I was familiar enough and comfortable to sing these songs at the show. But it didn’t hit me, how excited I was to hear these songs until I was getting closer to the venue. I remember thinking to myself, “man I can’t wait to hear this song live, and this one, and this one…”

Twice had a plane delay between Dallas and Atlanta, so our show ran like two hours late. But that just gave me more time to listen to Formula of Love and other Twice songs I hadn’t listened to in forever. Plus I was still able to get merch, use the bathroom, and get my seat after they finally let us in.

After the show, I rekindled my love of Twice and realized I’ve been sleeping on some of their older songs. And then for the rest of the month going into most of March, I was listening to mostly Twice, in between new music like Kim Wooseok’s album. And now five months after initial release, let’s get into Formula of Love: O+T=<3 why it should have been on my 2021 fave albums list.


Scientist

Now, I said back in the November post that I liked the remix of “Scientist” more. I still stand by that, but I do like the original enough to now have it saved on Spotify.

I just don’t listen to it as much. And she doesn’t sit at the fave title track table at all. But I understand her. This is coming from a girl who loved(s) “Signal” from the jump and thought everyone else was crazy for now seeing the magic, lol.

Plus, the styling in this music video still keeps me up at night. It’s just sooooooo good. This era, I hate to admit it, but I swerved into Nayeon’s lane so hard. When they first revealed the teaser pic with her in the pink halter top, she just looked so stunning. I changed my pfp on Twitter to it immediately. It reminds me of those tweets that are like models are lucky (insert random idol here) chose music.

Then after the concert, that just sealed the deal for me. Nayeon’s my girl now. I still love Sana, she’s just my second fave now. And Momo, I still have a lot of love for her too. Actually Momo was my first fave in Twice, then I swerved over to Jeongyeon for a bit during “Knock Knock”, then Sana around KCON 2018 and now to Nayeon and Chaeyoung a bit too now, lol.

It’s actually good when it’s difficult to pick a fave in the group. For me, that means I’m deeply invested in the group, and it’s just more than music. Unfortunately, that’s not so great for my bank account.


Moonlight

I was sooo freakin hype for this song live. It was my first listen to this song and album after so long that gave me a new perspective. As I’ve gotten older, my memory has lowered in efficiency.

So it doesn’t take much for me to have a first experience with something. A prime example of this is a conversation I had with a close friend talking about Wonho wanting to collaborate with Ateez. I was like ???? Okay. But I literally saw this weeks ago, thought, “oh that’s kinda random,” and kept it moving, not thinking about it again.

My brain is just highly selective with was stays at the front of my mind and what goes deep into storage. So when I heard “Moonlight” for the first time…girl. I felt like I had transcended into a different, better dimension. Why tf didn’t I pick that as my favorite song for the November post? I was temporarily angry with myself.

That was a head ass decision. I don’t usually go back to the post and amend them. I want to keep things as original to how I felt at that point in time. I don’t want to rewrite history because I feel differently now. I can always create a new post revisiting a song or album, with those new thoughts and feelings.

My new/current take on “Moonlight”, because I don’t remember my initial feelings back in November, is that this is one of the best Twice songs they’ve ever recorded. I love this more mature style they’ve been doing since “Fancy”.

That’s my scale I use for now I rank my love for newer Twice songs. “Fancy” is my favorite Twice title track. It’s just so refreshing. I get chills every time. “TT” is my second fave because I just remember rewatching that music video so many times and “1 to 10” one of my favorite b-sides still is on the same album. So I would listen to those back to back.

Anyway, “Moonlight” had this dancey Michael Jackson like vibe to it. You can’t help but dance to it. They put crack in this one.


Icon

Man. Maaaaaaaan. This song. Chef kiss. Twice’s duality gets slept on. We all know Red Velvet are the queen of cool girl and cute concepts. But when JYPE let’s Twice have some fun, they really go all out.

My favorite part of “Icon” other than, “I ain’t going nowhere I’m an icon” and “damn, I got it, I’m iconic” is Chaeyoung saying “ooo I love ha,” in her rap. Everything just leads up to that. It’s just so good. It’s all in English, which just hits even harder. If I could give this song a round of applause, I would. This song is the you know I had to do it to em meme in audio form.


Cruel

So “Cruel” is a song I forgot existed. But it’s sooo good. We love a dance moment like this. There’s a dancey funk vibe to it as well. I’ve started listening to this one more since the concert.


Real You

This whole album has this funk vibe to it in the instrumentals. I don’t really remember previous Twice songs or albums sounding like this in hindsight. “Real You” has a similar pace to “Cruel” and “Moonlight” for the most part.

I remember on my first listen of Formula of Love: O+T=<3 the songs felt similar pace and vibe wise. I think that was part of why I felt meh on this album initially.

It’s good for there to be consistency within an album. But it can get boring quickly. I’m not sure why that was my take on this album because Eyes Wide Open is structured the same way.


F.I.L.A (Fall In Love Again)

This one’s a little bit faster paced. Closer to “Moonlight” if we’re talking about songs on Formula of Love: O+T=<3 that’s gonna get you on the dance floor. Disco. That’s another vibe I get with this song and others on this album. I love it.


Last Waltz

I was gonna riot if they didn’t perform this song live. I love the flow switch up in the bridge and in the chorus. “Last Waltz” is in my top 3 favorite songs off this album. “Moonlight” and “Push & Pull” complete that list. I just love a song where you can bounce to it.


Espresso

At the concert, Twice tried to give a hint to introduce “Espresso”. It was hilarious. Nayeon started off saying, “ummmm ohhh.” Trying to think about how to give a hint, says, “I hate this. But Chaeyoung loves it.” Causing laughter and confusion from us. So then Chaeyoung pretends to drink from what I thought was a tea cup.

Not connecting that they literally have a song called “Espresso” until the instrumentals started, lmao. In between the time Twice was getting ready and the song actually starting, I remember one of the girls next to me saying, “wait, so what song is next?” Then, once the song started, everyone got it and started screaming.

I really like this one, I didn’t on my first listen. I vividly remember giving up half way. Idk why I was such a hater. I just wasn’t in the mood to listen to this album, I think. They really shouldn’t have started the album off with “Scientist”, lol.


Rewind

Oh, man, this song. I keep saying this is, but this song is soooo good. This was another one I was super excited for live. I don’t really care for Twice’s boring ballads. But this one is faster paced. Perfect my a gal like me who loves a midtempo moment.


Cactus

Now, this is the only song on Formula of Love I don’t care for. I’m not going to listen to it or reference. It’s more on the boring ballad side, but it’s good. Just not my style. They actually performed this one before “Rewind” at the concert.


Push & Pull

Oh yeah, now this is my shit. Seeing Twice again live really reminded me how important Mina and Dahyun are to Twice musically. I think it’s easy to think of Jihyo, Nayeon, and Jeongyeon as the vocal queens.

Momo’s voice is so distinct, so you couldn’t ignore her if you wanted to. Chaeyoung’s raps are inescapable, too. But I feel like we don’t put enough respect on Dahyun’s raps and Mina’s vocals outside Japanese songs. She be holdin it down high key. At the concert I was like, “damn, miss Mina is really that girl, huh?”.

I knew the subunit performances would be a blast. Each one lived up to expectations. “Push & Pull” just keeps the same energy as “Moonlight” and I love that for us.


Hello

I don’t really care for this one. But I love the yeehaw agenda. And how can you not dance and sing along to “fanfare hands in the air” parts. There’s just something wrong with you. Let them having their Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj “Feelin Myself” moment.


1,3,2

Is a song. I like it more than “Hello” but I don’t listen to this one either outside of the live performance.


Candy

I love love love this song. I didn’t remember this one either on my revisit of this album. It feels like old Twice, like something that would have been on one of the Twicecoaster albums.


The Feels

I didn’t care for this one when I first heard it. It wasn’t until the concert when I started getting it stuck in my head. It’s grown on me more. I think I like it more than “Scientist” more actually. It’s much more catchy.


Scientist- R3HAB Remix

I still think this is the superior version when it comes to Spotify, audio versions. Although this one would be fun to hear live. I mostly listen to this one in the car though, it hits differently.


I hope y’all enjoyed this deep dive into Formula of Love: O+T=<3. It’s a little bit different from the previous ones because I included a ton of concert anecdotes. I used to do concert reviews, but I like to spend more time experiencing everything rather than trying to make it too analytical.

So I think this was a good mix of sharing what happened at my cities show and how my change of heart motivated me to create this post. I also have a few photo cards from this album/era, but I’m still collecting.

Also, I didn’t set aside proper time to take pictures, lmao. I need to actually get physical copies of this album (I haven’t decided on which version) so I’ll probably just post everything on Twitter and add it to this post at a later time.

Anyway. Tell me your fave song from Formula of Love: O+T=<3. Also, did you see Twice during 4th world tour “lll”? Or maybe you’re gonna catch them during the encore LA shows next month?

Oh, that’s something else I should quickly address. I don’t like to have the set list spoiled before my shows, so I purposely don’t listen to concert playlist people make, but if you’re curious to what was performed minus encore songs, well if you’re reading this you know the Atlanta ones, here’s the list for Seoul, they pretty much followed this for the states too.

You might be able to find an exact list for the US dates, but this is one I found back when I was trying to remember all the songs performed.

Okay, I’m done for real now. See y’all next post!

Ash 🍭

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