(This article was written back in early May but it’s been collecting dust in my drafts so I decided to post it now)
It’s official. One of my favorite girl groups IZ*ONE has officially disbanded. Earlier this year, one of my favorite boy groups GOT7 disbanded and I just started to get more into their music and accurately match the face to the name. But I guess because I have followed IZ*ONE for 2 years it seems more personal this time. It hurts just as much as Hitomi being physically dragged unintentionally (or intentionally) by Hyewon. Also, why can’t we have another Produce show that’s produced ethically and legally this time? I haven’t been able to watch the whole thing but it seems very promising. Plus the websites I’ve attempted to watch Produce shows on flooded my laptop with porn ads once I tried to download it so… I’ll stick to watching the short 2-5 minute clips on YouTube. But it hurts nonetheless and I just wanted to share my personal rankings on the title tracks they released in no particular order. I’ll just focus on their Korean title tracks as their Japanese tracks haven’t really been doing it for me. And I already rated their Pepsi CF song (which was rated at a 8.5/10).
Song 1: Secret Story of the Swan (2020)
Standout Member(s): Chaeyeon, Yena and Chaewon
Even if this is one of their most bombastic songs, it’s one of their weakest singles. The song is really strong but kind of reduces in energy once we get into the chorus. I really enjoyed the second chorus rap but it did unfortunately give the song an awkward transition between the second verse (or what I think sounds like a long pre-chorus. Or maybe the second half of the second chorus?). But otherwise this is a decent song. Honestly it kind of skipped over my head as I thought it was maybe a b-side promotion or something because at that time, I had a strange belief, that there was no way they could make two comebacks within 4 months? I’m not sure why but I guess I had a worry that it would sound too rushed or something?
I’d rate it a…
Song 2: La Vie En Rose (2018)
Standout Member(s): Wonyoung, Yena, Eunbi, Yuri and Yujin
This song was originally meant for CLC and GOSH am I glad that it went over to IZ*ONE. This song was made for them and they fit this concept a lot more naturally compared to CLC. La Vie En Rose was quite the grower on me. At first, I was like “this song is so excruciatingly basic why is everyone raving over it so much?”. But then, I got headphones and sort of understood where the hype was coming from. Again, the song is really strong except when it comes to the chorus where the energy fizzes out.
Strong debut song.. I’d rate it a…
Song 3: Violeta (2019)
Stand-out Member(s): Sakura, Minju and Hyewon
I remember the first time this came out I was hooked! I even showed my mom and my sibling who are more tolerant towards pop or kpop compared to my dad who really doesn’t vibe with it at all. I rarely show my family the music videos for the songs I like and I was like “Isn’t this one of the most incredible things you’ve ever seen and heard?!” and they were pretty stone faced as I was just grinning away while we watched the video. They said the song was fine and that the music video was pretty. That was it. I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t share the same feelings about it like I did.
But this is one of their best songs to date and one of the best songs 2019 kpop had to offer.
I’d give Violeta a…
Song 4: Panorama (2020)
Favorite B-Side: Mise-en-Scene
Standout Member(s): All of Them (They all killed it!)
It’s a shame that this was the last mini album they released because I was really looking forward to another full album because BLOOM*IZ was pretty strong (and I’ve been considering buying it as well but I don’t know how the whole buying an album thing in the kpop realm goes. Like I don’t have a DVD player to play it on and some people just buy them for the photocard, mini poster and picture book.) Besides from that, this is a strong song except where it feels super claustrophobic at the chorus (again with the damn chorus!). It’s like it has no space to breathe and it’s just stuffed with as much “IZ*ONE-ness” as possible (especially at this part). But I still enjoy it a lot.
Also I saw somewhere (I couldn’t find where but I just heard somewhere) that Wonyoung said that the ending wasn’t supposed to be that squeaky? It was slightly deeper than what it turned out to be and honestly it’s a shame that it had to end with strained voices.
Panorama gets a…
Song 5: D-D-Dance (2021)
Stand-out Member(s): Eunbi, Yena, Yujin, Hitomi, Yuri, Chaeyeon and Chaewon (Wow that’s a lot. Might as well just have added everyone…)
This song has a mix of strong and weak points which really hurts my brain because they could easily be fixed. Producer Full8loom who’s made many great songs before (like Stray Kid’s Pacemaker and WJSN’s Luckitty-cat) so it’s disappointing that this is one of their weakest tracks. I enjoy it quite a bit but it could have so much more energy or personality pumped into it.
This song gets a…
Song 6: Fiesta (2020)
Stand-out Member(s): They all killed it once again!
Now, I’ve saved the best for last. I feel like one of the reasons why this is the highest ranked IZ*ONE song for me is that the chorus bursts with energy instead of sizzling out like the other ones. Fiesta is very effective in carrying its energy throughout the whole song and it’s kind of a shame that not a lot of producers realize that. Sometimes a song dropping into a more chilled chorus can be really effective but in this case it would have been so disappointing if it did. This song also kind of has a special memory attached to it. Fiesta is one of the songs I remember listening to while I went to school early in the morning before going into quarantine. Going to school so early is something I definitely don’t miss but I do kind of miss listening to music while going down the highway as the sun rises.
This gets a…
All of these girls seem super super sweet, I really regret getting to know them AFTER they disbanded (just like with GOT7). Recently, I’ve just been watching a crap-ton of variety shows they were on and I was thoroughly entertained. Yena is definitely made for variety shows as I found her the most outgoing and hilarious. And her friendship with Chaewon is so so cute. However, there was one specific member that not a lot of WIZ*ONE’s or non-fans liked that I noticed. Hyewon. This girl was constantly shat on during IZ*ONE’s career. “Hyewon can’t dance”, “Hyewon barely gets any lines”, “Hyewon is just there to look pretty and creepily stare into the camera”, “Why is Hyewon even there if she’s just a visual and doesn’t do anything?”. The poor girl did not get a break. To be honest she did train for 9 months and she was probably trying as hard as she could to succeed. I even noticed that she was an ‘F’ rank in the beginning of Produce 48 and made her way up to debuting! That’s impressive as you have to show a lot of determination and perseverance to drastically change over the course of the show. She also so unapologetically nonchalant and seems like someone you could casually hang out with.
The Post-Produce 101 Situation:
WJSN, Weki Meki, DIA, gugudan and PRISTIN are some of the groups that former I.O.I members went to after disbanding, so I’m extremely curious to see where the IZ*ONE members will go. Yujin and Wonyoung are apart of the same company (Starship Entertainment) so maybe they’ll debut in Cravity’s sister group? Most notably, people have speculated if Yena will join Everglow which is something I doubt since new members in an already successful debuted group doesn’t sit well with quite a few fans. Just look at Red Velvet. Some fans still give Yeri hate solely for joining the group later than expected. Eunbi and Chaewon are apart of Woollim so maybe they will be in a future girl group or debut as soloists? I think that’s what I’m anticipating most and I can’t wait to see the solo careers or groups they may or may not debut in.
Additionally, as if this couldn’t get any more worse, a reunion hasn’t been agree upon as each of their companies couldn’t come to a conclusion which makes me wonder why? Could they not come to a conclusion because of intersecting schedules? Is it because maybe some members don’t want to have a reunion and just go their separate ways? I’m really curious about what happened since there are no concrete details yet
Anyways, thanks for reading!
Youtube Things: Here is the latest YouTube video with a MUCH better thumbnail 😀