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Review: Itzy further defines themselves with new EP "IT'z ICY"

Itzy

Itzy, a rookie Kpop group including Chaeryeon, Ryujin, Yeji, Lia and Yuna, release the new EP "IT'z ICY." 

A group’s first comeback can be exciting and nerve racking for fans. With a record breaking debut, Itzy had high expectations to meet. For the most part, they matched the hype. The 2019 Rookies of the Year came back with the extended play “IT’z ICY” building on their signature sound while also exploring new styles of music.

Itzy’s title track “ICY” isn’t as in-your-face as their debut song, but it only serves to make the song unique from its predecessor, taking the listener on a totally different experience. The opening hypes up the audience up and Chaeryeong’s softer, sweeter voice gives a small break before Ryujin gives a charismatic rap, bringing the song’s intensity back up. Lia and Yeji’s high notes hit throughout the pre-chorus, keeping the mood up and building up into the chorus. The chorus is short, quickly going into Lia and Yuna’s second verse. Their melodic voices transition to Ryujin’s deeper toned rap before going back to a midrange of Yeji’s voice. The vibrate beat with quick changes in intensity and tone make for a playful rollercoaster of a song.

For new groups like Itzy, fans are still figuring out what to expect from their b-side tracks. With “CHERRY,” the girls show a different side of their style. The low synthetic beat coupled with a popping sound lay the foundation for a different vibe. Ryujin’s voice still oozes confidence but the slow and low tone of her voice are unexpected, yet create a laid back feel of the song. Chaeryeong and Yeji bring the excitement back up with a higher tone and faster delivery of the lyrics. Lia slows things down with her softer voice on the pre-chorus. The first chorus is Yuna’s time to shine, her usually sweet voice takes a darker feel with a lower tone, adding to the songs intense but chill vibe. Even with breakdowns that cause the song to reach for an electric dance gene, the girls voices keep the song grounded.

With exploring different sounds comes with the risk that sometimes it doesn’t work. That’s the case with “IT’z SUMMER.” The glass clinking accent paired with a deep slow clap beat doesn’t match the girls’ upbeat voices. Unlike in “CHERRY,” where it was the groups’ vocals as the focus point, the heavy beat almost drowns out Chaeryeong and Lia’s voices, causing a clash between the two. Lia’s high note in the pre-chorus is lost in a revving beat that transitions to a disappointing anticlimax of the chorus going back to the original beat and the group chanting the lyrics. The group’s shouting chant as the song goes to the last chorus just doesn’t sound pleasing and seems out of place in the song after the more delicate vocals.

The last two songs on the album are remixes from the group’s first EP. Remixes can make the song better or ruin an already good song. For “Dalla Dalla (Dallask remix)” the remix doesn’t do anything for the song. The beat is sped up and different effects are added to create a more bass and beat heavy rhythm. It causes the girls’ voices to be lost in the noise, causing the lyrics to lose the impact they originally had, especially in Yeji’s iconic line in the second verse. The Imad Royal remix for “WANT IT?” is an improvement. The blasting brass at the opening and softer whimsical beat in the first verse lets the girls’ voices come through better.

Like any second release, especially after the massive success of their debut, Itzy had a lot to prove. “IT’z ICY” helps define the groups’ color as well as showing fans a different side that should be explored in the future.

entertainment.ed@ocolly.com