Song Review: IZ – Memento

It’s been a rough year for us Sweetune fanatics. 2018 gave us several new classics, but all 2019 has offered are a couple of way-below-the-radar boy group tracks, a standout Japanese Hara (RIP) track, and a trio of IZ singles, which don’t sound like Sweetune at all despite being composed by the team. Oh, and there were a couple of solo Lee Jeongmin (ex-Boyfriend) tracks – so forgettable that I didn’t even cover them here.

Anyways, Memento (메멘토) is another Sweetune track that avoids their musical hallmarks. Its opening verse unveils plenty of potential, awash in atmospheric synths and snowballing percussion. As more instrumentation comes in, it seems like we’re building toward something really explosive. Unfortunately, Memento’s chorus is kind of a dirge. It aims for anthemic, but feels too plodding and lockstep to ignite many sparks. This may just be personal preference talking, though. I’ve never really cared for rock songs with upbeat verses and half-tempo choruses. They just come across as too formulaic to me.

Main vocalist Jihoo continues to impress, belting out Memento’s melody with plenty of aplomb. His voice isn’t as distinct as groups like DAY6 or N.Flying, but it’s powerful and rich. I just wish that the song pushed it in more unexpected directions. Memento is “anthemic rock 101,” rising and falling at just the points you’d expect. Fans of this genre will likely find much to love — and given that straightforward radio-rock seems to be an endangered species in much of the world, Memento’s very existence is comforting. But, even a post-chorus guitar solo doesn’t captivate in the way I would’ve hoped. I feel like I’ve heard this song a million times before.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

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


2 thoughts on “Song Review: IZ – Memento

  1. I think it is a well-done by the books anthem. It hits all the standard chord changes such that I could sing along the first time without even trying very hard. If this were the US, it would have a chance of being heard over the air at Target or something. For the Korean market, I have no idea.

    The lead singers voice reminds me of a better trained version of Daesung, which leads me to wish that Gdragon had produced this one to put enough individual character on it and to be less of a straight ahead anthem, like a way way better “Wings”. I don’t think anyone in the kpop scene does arena anthems like GD. (ok, with Teddy, whatever it is Teddy adds though I am not impressed with Teddy’s non-BB songs.)


  2. Okay, so here’s the thing: I pride myself on being a bit more of an idol band connoisseur than the average bear. It’s my niche, band songs consistently top and full out my most played lists, I just generally keep an eye out for them (W24 deserves better, HONEYST deserved better!). Yet, somehow, even with me reading every review on this site since early 2017, I never bothered to check IZ out. Not even once. I’d heard the name, sure, but I even thought they were a senior group, closer to FTISLAND than DAY6. I’m kind of disappointed in myself.

    The song itself does not reinvent the wheel, but it’s solid, with a nice dose of anthemic energy. I’d go to an IZ concert for sure. Bands deserve more international and local spotlight in the Korean music world, and though this will not be the song to do it, I could see how IZ might be one of the bands to.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.