Review

Song Review: ITZY – ICY

Given the pedigree of JYP Entertainment, ITZY were never going to be anything but an instant smash. Still, the girls have exceeded already-high expectations, delivering one of 2019’s only bonafide idol group blockbusters in Dalla Dalla. While much of the Korean charts have been clogged with ballads and r&b this year, ITZY’s unabashedly ballsy K-pop sound has been a welcome fixture within the public consciousness. If Dalla was their coming out party, new single ICY is proof that ITZY is here to stay.

Like their debut, ICY is a song in pieces, and is best evaluated as such. Certain moments work better than others, but the girls’ undeniable charisma helps to pull everything together. The first time through, the track’s unflagging energy is difficult to decipher, pin-balling from one brash element to another. The instrumental is filled to the brim with noise, from layers of percussion to frigid synths to chirpy vocal flourishes. It’s all a little much initially, but the song’s immensity is part of its charm. ITZY’s music has no qualms with going over the top, and that brazenness is important for a rookie group — no matter how successful their agency may be. I just wish ICY found one single musical element as intoxicating as Dalla Dalla’s funky bassline.

My main concern with ICY is the arrangement of the girls’ vocals. They’re often forced to strain towards a higher key than feels comfortable, and this results in a few segments that border on cloying (the octave-scaling bridge, in particular). The song almost needed a more reserved performance to counter the insanity of its instrumental.

Still, ICY’s melodic pre-chorus is a definite standout, adding anthemic heft to a track that largely rests on attitude. In contrast, the chanted hook that follows may seem underwhelming, but I think it works just fine. There’s a funkiness to this chorus that jibes well with the unflagging beat, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it win over listeners in the same way that Dalla Dalla’s more impetuous moments have. Even better is ICY’s extended dance break, which capitalizes on ITZY’s strongest appeal. For such a young group, they offer a compelling shot of performance-oriented energy. With this in mind, ICY’s more frustrating elements are easily overlooked.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

 

21 thoughts on “Song Review: ITZY – ICY

  1. I found it very messy, as if they took all the weaker parts of Dalla Dalla and crammed them into another song. Not convinced

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  2. I feel like my ears are being cleaned when listening to this! After all the disappointing releases this month, this feels like a breath of fresh air! YES, this is the kind of diversity and creativity I want in Kpop. I admit I may have slightly overrated it. If this song were released in a more eventful month then I might’ve rated it 8 instead of 9, but this just goes to show how desperate I was getting. I’ll have to see how much staying power this song has in the coming weeks.

    I did have to get familiar with the song at first, it’s like all over the world but still within the universe if you know what I mean. I feel this a lot with some experimental songs that have been released over the past like The Chaser, I Got A Boy, Ice Cream Cake. When I first hear these songs my first thoughts are “OMG this is way too much. What is this”. However, now I’m still listening to these songs. Just goes to show that creativity with cohesiveness proves to have greater longevity than all that **** I had to deal with this month.

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  3. Hmm.. ..this song.

    This one will take a few listens. There’s a phrase “greater than the sum of its parts”, but this songs “parts are greater than its sum”. The new trend of ‘kitchen sink’ing disparate elements into a single song looks like it’s here to stay. Songs like SNSD “IGAB”, Weki Meki “I Don’t Like Your Boyfriend”, and (more recently) Jeon Somi “Birthday” are more examples of this ‘wave of the future’.

    Maybe it’s a millennial thing? Attention spans seem to be shorter these days. I think modern youths would go into a coma if they had to listen to Rush “2112” (20:33 minutes) or Pink Floyd “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” (26 minutes). Also.. ..GET OFF MY LAWN YOU YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPERS!

    As far as this song, “ICY”? Yeah, I can see this slotting in with “Dalla Dalla”. ITZY seems to be trying to tap into that “angry and irreverent spirit characteristic of youth” by supplying another supporting track of teen angst. First they’re “different”, now they’re “cool”; next they’ll be “~insert trendy thing to be~”.

    “ICY” will eventually make my playlists; even if I have to drag it across the finish line.

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    • But of course, before the era of 20 minute songs, there was the era of 2:30 or 3:00 songs. The Beach Boys greatest hits oeuvre seems to average 2:15. Early Beatles barely crack 3:00.

      I have often wondered what “Good Vibrations” would be like if it were not a “pocket symphony” but twice or thrice the length. ha hah hah, that’s a joke, Brian Wilson would never have finished a longer version. And it would have cost the equivalent of the GDP of, like, Denmark.

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  4. My first thought when hearing this song was it sounded like it was written by written by committee. So I just looked it up – 8 people are listed as composers! ICY’s not nearly as solid a song as Dalla, but it gets the job done. I’m trying to like it more.

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  5. I do wish it had that same upbeat catchy chorus Dalla Dalla had, but I still think it’s a fun song and it’s daring, which cannot be said about most of the rest of kpop at the moment.

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  6. Tbh it felt a bit messy to me. My personal favourite part was the prechorus, but it did feel a bit all over the place. It is quite different though to most mainstream kpop which I am very happy about.

    There is a group called Z Girls who just released their first comeback today. I haven’t seen anyone review it, so I think you should check them out!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It sounds like they are actually having actual fun. Or actually pretending to have actual fun.
    The vocal doesn’t bother me (I know, shocking) because it is a pop vocal and I don’t see any ambition to Masked Singer or Immortal Songs. Also, I would rather listen to this lower pitch vocal with one or two excursions into unwise territory, than a super-aegyo vocal line. I can’t really do aegyo.

    Actually the part that really annoys me in the “They keep talking, I keep walking” line. One of the times when I wish more of it were in Korean.

    That said, imho this is the hottest song in kpop in a couple months. (Besides Taemin, which is technically jpop, and not on iTunes dammit)

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  8. This song had a lot of potential for me, but it kind of fell flat somehow. The hooks are all really catchy, as day’s later im still humming the “i see that I’m icy”, “icy but I’m fire”, and the “blah blah” chorus… however that’s all I remember to the song after multiple listens.

    I usually like weirdly structured kpop songs that are off the wall and that everyone hates (lol i even liked zzb even tho everyone seems to dislike it) but i can’t hope on the icy train

    Also I can’t say i see the energy every sees on this track. Only Yeji and Yuna are serving energy and look like they’re selling me the song. Everyone brings up itzy’s vocals, but I don’t mind them much tbh

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  13. I’m a huge fan of ITZY and I think they have a lot of potential to become as popular as their sister group,TWICE. Not only because they came from the so called big 3 company but because they are great performers and have a strong stage presence for a rookie group. Plus, they’re very charming and fun to watch on variety shows ( like most JYP groups) so even if their music is not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s hard to ignore this group. I think Icy and Dalla Dalla are catchy songs and they’re not as bad as other people are claiming but compared to these two, I prefer Cherry on Top and It’s summer.

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