The nine-member K-pop girl group TWICE has been around for over half a decade, navigated sweeping stylistic changes, and maintained a reliable discography every step of the way. In the first three years of their careers, they released bubbly singles that worked in tandem with their cutesy and jagged demeanor: energetic group vocals, light and airy production, genre leap that matched the a lot moods of young love. The hit of 2019 “Fancy“signaled their evolution to a more mature image, and follow-up singles, including the indebted scorcher of Dua Lipa”I can not stop“- confirmed that they could thrive in this new era (2019’s Feel special and 2020 Eyes wide open are their most electrifying releases). TWICE continue their hot streak on Taste of love, offering further proof that they stand head and shoulders above most of their contemporaries.
This excellence is not immediately evident in the first single “Alcohol-Free”, an unhurried bossa nova song produced by JYP, aka the head of the label Jin-young Park. At first glance, the drunken love lyrics feel unnecessarily tied to a metaphor for sobriety, a particular gesture for a band losing their youthful side. But in the context of their work so far, “Alcohol-Free” is a milestone: TWICE now shamelessly sings about love without the anxieties that underlined the previous singles. On early career highlights ”TT“and”Likey“, the rhythms that landed between freestyle and Atlanta bass suggested that TWICE was forcing itself past the sadness and hesitation. Here, any bounce or buoyancy points to heaven; the joyous atmosphere is totally, remarkably content.
Taste of love overflows with those moments of clear and magnetic trust. One of the strongest tracks, “First Time” is spacious and patient at the same time. Both of these qualities are crucial, as they keep the voice the focal point, and Nayeon and Jihyo’s statements of fulfilling romance sell their deep satisfaction. Jade Thirlwall has co-writing credit, and it serves as an illuminating comparison point: Little Mix has captured the spirit of K-pop better than any other western girl group, but on this mini album, TWICE seems more confident when it comes to avoiding maximalist exhilaration for more subtle evocations. ‘Conversation’ most elegantly presents their less is more approach: the verses are backed up by little more than frothy synth bubbles, but when the chorus arrives, an imposing bassline reveals the sensuality and emphasis of each. line. TWICE doesn’t need to be bothered to broadcast its emotions; the production is doing enough to fill the canvas.
TWICE’s devotion to the breeze on Taste of love cements it as one of K-pop’s best summer albums. It also makes their search for love more fun than ever. “Scandal” has whispered vocals, sparse piano strokes, and an alluring bassline – they’ve never sounded so poised. On “Baby Blue Love”, relaxed disco grooves anchor their desire to dance with someone. The song is less about infatuation, however, than savoring summer party highs – its fast strings provide a modest yet luxurious climax. “SOS” pushes their current life even further: TWICE asks a lover to save them, but they sing with such a low-key calm that it’s obvious they don’t care about anything long-term – for now, it is about playful memory -making. The shimmering synth blips reflect their light calls, closing the album on a soft, pleasant and utterly carefree note. TWICE makes it all so easy. And with Taste of love, they convince you that the search for summer sensations is the most important and the most irresistible task to accomplish.
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