Next up on the album reviewing block is TWICE’s Taste of Love, the group’s 10th mini-album since debut. This album release features the title track Alcohol-Free, both of which released mid-June of this year. The physical version of the mini-album also features the English version of Cry For Me, a single which TWICE had released at the end of last year and performed for the first time at the 2020 MAMA Awards. I have opted to leave out Cry For Me from this review as I only have access to the digital version. But aside from that, the album still offers 5 new tracks for us to review. And given that this is a Summer release, there are high expectations based on their past Summer releases. So without anymore delays, here is the review for TWICE’s Taste of Love.
1. Alcohol-Free (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Alcohol-Free. (6/10)
2. First Time – I liked how spacious the pop instrumental was and how it wasn’t hefty, despite it still being a substantial piece of music. What I am a bit torn about are the vocals. I really liked the idea of a falsetto delivery for the chorus. I am no vocalist, but it sounds well executed for the most part. But when it came to the ad-libs towards the end of the song, it felt like it was a bit too much falsetto work. While I felt First Time was balanced thanks to the deeper toned members who kept the song grounded, the addition of ad-libs that went further than the falsettos threw the song off balance for me. This is might just be me nitpicking once again, but that was my genuine thoughts on the song. Overall, First Time was decent, but could have been refined more to be even better. (8/10)
3. Scandal – For me, Scandal was the summer track that I didn’t know I needed. I love the boldness of the song, which was alluring and fun. The song starts off with the whispered line ‘Baby we are a scandal. Too hot to handle’, which pretty much sets the tone and theme of the lyrics of the song. It is repeated throughout the song and this repetition no doubts make it the song’s addictive hook. The synth-pop instrumentation with the added bass and the keyboard is so groovy and funky. I also feel that the keyboard sequence was familiar, but I cannot pinpoint where from. My only complaint is Dahyun’s repeat of the line just prior to the final chorus was so hush hush, it was barely audible. But only a minor complaint that barely makes a dent on the song’s appeal. (10/10)
4. Conversation – The funkiness continues on in Conversation. It isn’t as apparent at first, but the chorus definitely concentrates the funkiness into something you can definitely feel. Unfortunately, I don’t hear much else in Conversation to be that appealing other than that funkiness. The melodies were not as profound like the instrumentation or the other songs on the album. And I thought their vocal work was pretty standard. (6/10)
5. Baby Blue Love – Once again, Baby Blue Love continues the groovy theme of this mini-album. But Baby Blue Love features of a disco influence, which is a different form of the energy we got in the previous songs. I like how the album isn’t necessarily putting out the same style and keeping the tracks on the album fresh and unique to one another. Anyhow, back to Baby Blue Love. I feel the vocal work is nailed really well here. It isn’t complicated nor does it add extra technique that feels risky. Simple seems to be what TWICE thrives on. The song also had some good hooks that made it a catchy number to enjoy. I would have liked to hear more rapping and for the song to change it up towards the end to keep it from getting repetitive. (8/10)
6. SOS – Ending the album is SOS. It reminds me of pop queen diva styled synth tracks, like the ones put out by Madonna or Kylie Minogue. It has that elegance and hint of sensuality that TWICE has touched on before in the past. Unfortunately, I do think SOS is less dynamic and energetic as per the previous side tracks. It lacks that drive forward and feels somewhat stagnant. The vocals and rapping was substantial and a fair effort from the group. (7/10)
Overall Album Rating – 7.5/10