Song Review: IZ*ONE – Suki to Iwasetai

In a first for the Produce series, girl group IZ*ONE will be promoting actively in both Korea and Japan. As jaded as I’ve become with these survival series, I’ve got to admit that this is a pretty shrewd business decision. The girls have already made a strong mark in Korea with La Vie en Rose (though I think I’m the only listener in the world who thought the song was just *okay*) , but their charms seem even better suited to Japan. And unlike most Korean groups who move into J-pop, IZ*ONE have fully embraced the sound and style of the culture with Suki to Iwasetai (‘好きと言わせたい).

If you’ve heard any notable J-pop girl group release of the past few years, you’ll have an idea of how Suki sounds. Swelling instrumentation, layered vocals and a sense of grandness all contribute to that uniquely Japanese sound. The song strongly recalls work by the popular 46 groups (especially Nogizaka), which is not at all what I had expected from an act spawned from a Korean survival show. After all, only three of IZ*ONE’s twelve members hail from Japan. The fact that its Korean trainees could adapt to such a specific sound is quite impressive.

As far as the song goes, Suki impresses with its euphoric chorus and lush instrumental. A catchy piano line opens the track, setting the stage for the dramatic flourishes that are yet to come. The surging pre-chorus borrows from K-pop’s EDM obsession, but the robust chorus brings a classic pop touch. Individually, the vocals aren’t particularly galvanizing, but like so much J-pop, they’re layered together to forge an ear-catching sonic palette. Wall-of-sound harmonies are omnipresent, and give the track a lilting sense of ephemeral power. That description is a bit of an oxymoron, but it’s the best way to describe this type of song. Its balance between delicate and dynamic is skillfully harnessed by an engaging song structure that knows what it’s doing.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.75



10 thoughts on “Song Review: IZ*ONE – Suki to Iwasetai

  1. It’s been a joint project from the beginning… IZ*ONE is represented by AKS in Japan, which also (and only) represents all the 48 groups in Japan :). It’s also produced and written by Akimoto Yasushi, who does almost all of 48’s music (he was also involved with the Japanese songs on Color*IZ), so it’s not surprising that their music and MVs sound and look similar. It seems IZ*ONE will have very different sounds for their Korean and Japanese releases. It would be interesting if they found sort of a hybrid between the two to make things a bit more fresh.


  2. Your definitely not the only person who thought it was just ok 🙂
    I also thought it was too. It’s not bad, but it isn’t extraordinary either. Suki surprised me a bit, I already like the nogizaka46 sound and I think it worked well with Izone.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Haha yeah I also only thought that LVeR was ‘OK’. This song took me a couple of listens to decide whether I liked it or not, but I do (+ I love their coats!).


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  10. this is the main reason why suki to iwasetai is much better than the rest of iz*one’s japanese singles; even if it has some of the same issues as those songs (jarring mixing and not the best vocal performances), the song counters them with a strong chorus and melody and a lush instrumental, and the song has a more specific sound it wants to target. plus it’s catchy as fuck.


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