TWICE’s “Taste of Love” Captures the Thrill and Sensuality of Summer Love
TWICE’s recent comeback is all about chance encounters, living without inhibitions, and chasing summer nights all under the hot weather. For their tenth EP, girl group TWICE released their summer-themed mini-album, Taste of Love. Coming at only six tracks, the Taste of Love is no more, no less, as it indulges in the breezy serendipity of summer love.
Through the years, we slowly saw TWICE experiment with mature themes and sounds, making them an unstoppable force as they explored new eras. But Taste of Love is a little more minimalist and unhurried in that regard. Most of the production is simplistic and understated to give off a refreshing summer vibe—another step towards TWICE trying new things. First impression-wise, you’d think the group was going back to their bubbly sound from their early days, but the summer EP takes the playful energy and puts it in a more grown-up light.
Starting off with Alcohol-Free, the Bossa nova-inspired track serves as the lead single and compares falling in love to getting drunk. Alcohol-Free is laid back and melodic in its approach but still keeps it playful for a dreamy atmosphere. It’s not a song that showcases a lot of vocal prowess but instead goes for smooth, honeyed vocals that envelopes listeners to paradise.
As Alcohol-Free depicts a playful love, tracks such as First Time and Conversation are more sensual in their depiction. Bass-reliant First Time is R&B in its most stripped-down as it makes way for outstanding vocals. Here, we see TWICE’s growth in vocal color and delivery with some fun chant additions in the bridge. While in Conversation, we get even more bass lines as it commands the entire song. The whole vibe is alluring and sultry as it talks of lovers that don’t need words to express their feelings.
Meanwhile, Scandal and Baby Blue Love is reminiscent of Eyes Wide Open as it goes back to the retro 80s soundscapes—a bit of the Future Nostalgia flair. Like its namesake, Scandal is scandalous in meaning as it touches on dangerous nights with a special someone. It’s the most powerful and hard-hitting track from the EP, but between the whispered low alto delivery and funky guitar riffs, there's a bit of a mystery behind it all. Baby Blue Love is all about the disco groove but a little more easygoing with hints of City Pop. The song completely flows through its beat as it’s all about letting loose and having fun.
Ending with SOS, the nu-disco track goes heavy-handed on the synth and City Pop vibes with a few elegant touches of vocal layering. While Baby Blue Love was on the fun side, SOS is chic and cool in its delivery as it gives off the feeling of driving through a tunnel that leads to the city. This "tunnel song" type of track relishes moments and moves carefree as it closes the album.
While Taste of Love is not top-shelf material in TWICE's discography, the airy hazy vibes of it all still serve for a pretty solid EP. The theme is cohesive, the listing is concise, and the songs are varied enough in sound. Taste of Love is a great step in the next direction as TWICE goes for more sophisticated concepts. And it's always great to note the girl's participation in the creative process that we can only hope to continue.