Song Review: ITZY – Dalla Dalla

In a year already flush with debuts, JYP Entertainment’s ITZY are easily the highest profile yet. Not only do they hail from one of the big three agencies, but several of its five members have already made their name on variety shows like MIXNINE and The Fan. With agency peers Twice leading the girl group charge, ITZY promises to offer an edgier alternative. As debuts go, Dalla Dalla (달라달라) may be a little all-over-the-place. But, it does a good job offering a sampler of what we can expect from the girls’ future.

At many points, Dalla Dalla feels like several songs in one. The electro strut of its verses recalls imperial-era 2NE1, driven by a shot of attitude in bratty, sing-talk style. From here, the track moves into poppier territory, anchored by a surprisingly bright chorus. Though not completely out of the blue, this section flips expectations as the synths amp up and the tone becomes much happier than the opening verse seemed to promise. This mood is built upon by a chanted post-chorus hook that quickly becomes Dalla’s catchiest moment.

From here, things get a bit messy. Second verse hip-hop breaks are nothing new in K-pop, but Dalla’s extended plunge into heavier territory really shifts the momentum. In fact, this entire segment between choruses refuses to follow any expected structure. I’m not sure how well it works, but I admire the chutzpah. Things get back on track for the dramatic bridge, which brings back the chanted elements for a standout build to the final chorus. In the end, Dalla Dalla lacks the kind of through-line to make it an instant classic, but its energy is pretty infectious. It feels like the aural equivalent of being slapped around, and that may not be a bad thing. After all, debuts are meant to stand out. Dalla may overexert itself, but it certainly grabs attention.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9


26 thoughts on “Song Review: ITZY – Dalla Dalla

  1. imo this debut was everything, and definitely one of my faves of the past couple years. you really can’t compare the sound of this song as a whole to that of any other girl group (except maybe weki meki), so they definitely accomplished that goal. I normally don’t like trap breakdowns either, but in this case it was by far my favorite moment of the song, probably bc the dance break that accompanies it in the mv is so fierce. When I heard it (the breakdown) in the second teaser, I was immediately intrigued. After listening to the full song, I wish it or a moment like it was included after every chorus. The chorus is pretty good, and the post chorus, like you mentioned, is appropriately catchy. The bridge is energetic and gives a little structure to what otherwise would be kind of a messy ending. The lyrics, about being different but fully sure of yourself and not conforming to the standard’s of others (similar to CLC’s No), fit with the eccentricity of the song and the concept really well. The MV is flashy and in-your-face, and both the fashion and dancing are accentuated and expertly crafted. there’s something special about seeing a group come out of the gate so strongly.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Song Review: ITZY – Dalla Dalla — The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion – Kyeota's World of iKONic Once's

  3. I thought I would hate this song but I realized that they did what they came to do. They stood out even if it was in a “hot mess” way to some. Someone said to me that they took Weki Meki’s style and did it better. They really captured the style of teen crush that JYP was aiming for. Chorus reminded me of Cherry Bullet’s Q&A which also reminds me of many other songs. Also I have claimed Yeji as my adopted daughter so the fact that she was everywhere up in this bitch made my happy. I see a lot of potential in these girls. I’ll probably regurgitate this for my end of month round up.


  4. The song is very messy and had several weak points in the production. The lyrics in english could definitely be better. There are parts I like: for example the chorus. But its like the song is not trying to be coherent at all- trying to be too many things at once.
    I think its a cool idea to debut with something This crazy that it grabs everyone’s attention, but if this is the music direction they will be taking, then its not my cup of tea. I like noise, but not bad noise. This is interesting, but honestly, in the end its just bad music (to me).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The song is messy and the vocals are sung in a lazy pop-punk-ish way ala Avril Lavigne (I must be one of the minority who thinks that the girls act like bratty teenagers, if that’s the ‘concept’ they are having, no thanks). I guess I’m beginning to be really too old for Kpop. It is, in my opinion, one of the worst debut tracks in recent years.

    Liked by 1 person

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