Any new group from the big three immediately commands a whole lot of attention, and with it comes incredible scrutiny. It is even harder when the new group is following an incredibly successful senior. ITZY is JYP’s newest girl group, and they are set to distinguish themselves from their seniors, TWICE, who have already taken up the mantle of Nation’s Girl group. The group is made up of Chaeryeong (who appeared on Sixteen along with Twice members), Yeji, Ryujin, Lia and Yuna. How will these five girls create a color of their own that will set them apart from JYP’s former trailblazing girl groups? And how will they make their mark on the already saturated market?
Release date: February 11, 2019
- ‘Dalla Dalla’
- ‘Want It?’
Total runtime: 00:07:06
Recommended for: Those who like fun and bubbly songs, with a little bit of sass and a whole lot of musical twists and turns.
NOT Recommended for: Those wishing for a more cohesive track; ‘Dalla Dalla’ switches around from verse to verse and might be a little jarring for some.
‘Dalla Dalla’ is described as a funko-pop song with a teen-crush concept. I appreciate that we do not have to look far to see these inspirations. The track finds its footing very quickly and by the time the chorus rolls in, it has already properly established its melody. The song switches from straight-up pop to funko-pop pretty frequently. This does not harm it at all. Instead, it showcases the producer’s daring initiative. The song manages to keep the listener engaged throughout.
The rap break is quite good, even though I’m not particularly impressed by the girls’ rapping abilities. However, the trap beats in Yeji’s rap make it a bit better than Chaeryeong’s and Yuna’s. The chorus is one of the catchiest I’ve heard in recent years, It’s fun and uncomplicated. The hook is not too on-the-nose and blends well with the rest of the song. I do wish the vocal line was a bit stronger but the girls have a chance to improve as time goes on. The bridge could also have been better. The talk-rapping here does not work so well. The choreography and amazing sets save it but I imagine my patience will run thin while listening to the audio only.
Last year, I praised Mamamoo’s ‘Starry Night’ for reveling in its simplicity and it’s beautiful depiction of nature. ‘Dalla Dalla’ is the opposite of Mamamoo’s single but it is also very aesthetically pleasing. Instead of showing beauty in simplicity, ‘Dalla Dalla’ instead chooses to bask in an over-the-top explosion of colors and settings. There are a lot of props here, but each one is better than the last. For such a bold track the director of the video did a superb job in allowing the girls to showcase their charisma amidst a popping and bold backdrop. The choreography and the styling also benefits from the beautifully designed sets. The video is nothing groundbreaking, but its individual pieces work so well together to create one of the best girl group music videos in recent years.
I liked this track more that I expected to. It is bright and colorful, and does a great job of introducing us to the five girls and properly showing their different personalities.
‘Want It?’ combines elements of pop and rock into a sound that is reminiscent of Avril Lavgine and perhaps the earlier songs of AJ and Aly Michalka. The song struggles to get back to its roots as it switches from the verses to the chorus, unlike ‘Dalla Dalla’ which seems to have found it’s ground and stuck to it despite many twists and turns. Sure there are some experimental efforts here, but they do not work as well as they do in the lead single; it is easy to tell why ‘Dalla Dalla’ made the cut and not ‘Want It?’
I am not a fan of the verses. I do not like it when K-pop groups add talk-rapping to songs where unnecessary, and it is even worse when the rap is not particularly good. This is a nitpick and not something egregious, but it’s still noticeable. Which left me wondering, why? Surely they could have found a way to make this track more interesting. I wish they added more vocals because the girls are capable. The difference between the rap here and in ‘Dalla Dalla’ is that the latter had a rather unusual and interesting rap break, which actually added to the overall enjoyment of the song. The production helped too. ‘Want It?’ does not have that and that really brings down the overall product.
The chorus is actually catchy but the shrillness of the vocals is a bit unsettling. Rock is actually a really interesting genre as it can give one a chance to showcase their vocal prowess. The songwriter might have increased the pitch for ‘Want It?’, but it did not work as well as they would have hoped.
The vocals might be the most disappointing thing about this track. The songwriting does the girls no favors, as it calls for talk-rapping, which is not very pleasant to listen to, but the sung parts leave much to be desired. We are yet to see if ITZY has a vocalist capable of competing with some of the third generation powerhouses (like Wendy, Chen, Yuju, Seungkwan, and so forth), but I was at least hoping for someone average. Sadly, this song does nothing to show off what these girls can do. It is especially difficult when one wants to try and distinguish the girls voices as a way of learning who-is-who, but there is little to no chance.
To some, ‘Want It?’ may come off as unnecessary noise. The track suffers from lackluster writing, despite a somewhat interesting backing track. The vocals in the chorus also sound a bit shrill, but they don’t completely ruin the listening experience.
This is a very strong debut. The music video is the best for a girl group debut in years, and it helps that the girls pack a lot of charisma. The choreography is appropriately intense, but it is also easy to follow and has a lot of interesting movements so there are no dull moments. I do wish that they were stronger vocally, but there is much time for improvement. For now, I will be keeping an eye on these already impressive girls.
- Yeji; all the girls have incredile charisma such that any one of them could fulfull the position of center, but Yeji has incredible stage presence. The girl is a performer and a half!
- The music video is so colorful and revels in its over-the-top nature, but it works!
- The choreography is one of the best from a JYP girl group in many years. ITZY reminds me of Miss A in a way.
- 'Dalla Dalla' production is really interesting. They managed to sneak in different sounds but it was not disjointed as one might expect. The different parts flowed well together.
- 'Dalla Dalla' might not be the most experimental track out there, but one must appreciate the work that was put into trying out different sounds. It is bold and colorful, both in visuals and audio.
- 'Want It?' feels anti-climactic as a follow up to 'Dalla Dalla'. It has a lot going on, but it somehow manages to be almost boring in structure and execution. The girls really do they best that they can with it, but they deserved better.