The rumors are true. JYP’s monster rookies, ITZY, have returned with another single album.
ITZY has endeavored to make a statement this summer. Regardless of how you feel about the music, this much is obvious: the group is carving a very particular niche. And, well, if their entire concept is to be believed, they don’t really care about how you feel. (Except, I imagine JYP kinda does.)
Icy is a clear spiritual successor to Dalla Dalla on several fronts. Firstly, the genre: girl crush pop is alive and well (and quite trendy in 2019, evidently). Secondly, the “story” of sorts: these girls are independent, better than you, and you will deal. Most importantly, the photoshoot for the album was basically Dalla Dalla, but make it blue. You all knew what you were getting.
Let’s get to the songs themselves, shall we?
Release date: June 19, 2019
- It’z Summer
Total Runtime: 00:09:37
Recommended for: Fans of ITZY’s debut, folks looking for a more upbeat version of CLC’s recent releases, bright girl crush fans
NOT Recommended for: Anyone anti-Frankenstein song trend, fans of more traditional girl crush concepts
Track 1: Icy
As previously stated, “Icy” is a sequel to “Dalla Dalla”. Different enough, but structurally and sonically similar enough to be a firm statement for the group. If you don’t like this kind of music, ITZY just won’t be for you; they won’t be straying from this path.
Thankfully, I’m a fan of what “Icy” has to offer. I respect that the particular brand of Frankenstein-y chaos ITZY employs isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to admit it’s at least unique. ITZY is giving you girl crush, but not necessarily in the way that you’ve seen it done before.
Over time, the girl crush concept has morphed into what groups “grow up” into. As such, girl crush is slightly teasing or suggestive in a lot of cases. That’s all well and good, but it’s not right for this particular group. ITZY is playful, but they’re also what I affectionately boil down to… a collective twelve years old. “Icy” is a song for them, more in the vein of CLC’s “No” or “Me” than the countless songs about romance that other groups are more suited to sing.
“Icy” is pretty simple in its tale: these girls are so cool, they’re icy. And I believe it. This is an incredibly confident group, especially for rookies. The song is high energy, even erratic, and they match that note for note. A techno beat is overlaid by acoustics, then claps, then cheers — and on and on. It’s a lot. But it’s a recipe for goodness. This song is fun, even if it’s not all the way together. And it’s an earworm. What else could you possibly want?
Track 2: Cherry
“Cherry” is a bit closer to the beaten girl crush path. It still holds true to ITZY’s entire theme in that it’s about being unapologetically rebellious and true to yourself. But it’s less chaotic, to be sure. Rather, it relies on a steady trap beat, not unlike what could be heard in the background of a (G)I-DLE song, for instance.
This isn’t a slight against the song at all. It’s just a different kind of showing for ITZY, and it’s one I also enjoy.
My primary concern was based on the title alone. Was this going to be a song that was far too inappropriate for a relatively young group? Not the case, thankfully. In fact, “Cherry” is super earnest. The song’s message is to refuse to acquiesce to expectations; you should be special, the world’s “cherry on top”.
It’s a little cheesy, but at least it’s sincere to the demographics of the group while still maintaining a mature, refined beat. This is the kind of b-side I’d like from ITZY from now on. I wasn’t the biggest fan of “Want It?”, mostly because it sounded dated. This sounds current and more accessible than the title tracks the group seems to enjoy going for. It’s a happy medium in an incredibly saturated market and an offering that international fans may find easier to swallow.
Track 3: It’z Summer
This. This is the kind of b-side I don’t want to see from the group. Like “Want It?”, this song is awfully repetitive and seemingly from a different era. The beat isn’t as 2004, to be fair, but it’s bogged down from a ridiculous lack of lyrics.
Someone got paid to write this, friends. I want a job this easy.
Given the wealth of producers and lyricists a company like JYP has at its disposal, this song seems like a complete waste. Unsurprisingly, though, it’s become the definitive b-side of this album because, well, it’s summer. Justice for “Cherry”, honestly.
The spoken bridge is at least somewhat interesting, but it immediately goes into a shouting portion that’s reminiscent of the worst part of “Dalla Dalla”. Will my life ever know peace? I thought we were going to leave that in the past, JYP. I thought we came to an understanding.
With two hits and one dud, I can conclude that the future of this group — and their music — is at least promising. So long as they stray away from their inclinations to bring back genres of music that are long dead (for good reason), I’m excited for what’s to come.
Next stop, an actual mini album. I mean, c’mon. It’s time.
"Icy" has its highs and lows, but more than that, it's carved out ITZY's identity as a group. After two releases, these girls know exactly who they are — and that is no small feat. They are uniquely positioned in the industry at the moment, thanks to the strange tunes and overwhelming confidence, and so I'd venture to say this is only the beginning for them.
- Regardless of how you feel about "Icy", you can certainly say you've never heard a song like it before.
- "Cherry" is true to their concept but more accessible to mainstream audiences, which can only expand the fandom.
- "It'z Summer" is a ghost of b-sides past, and it needs to be stomped out immediately.
- I'm slightly concerned that the group is, to some degree, holding onto played out genres that date them significantly.