Review

Song Review: ITZY – Wannabe

ITZY haven’t made a comeback since last summer, but their presence has definitely been felt within the K-pop industry during that hiatus. So many girl groups are taking influence from their bold, colorful sound and style, down to aping the unconventional structures of hits like Dalla Dalla and ICY. But like most imitations, a copy rarely trumps the real thing. New single Wannabe arrives with huge anticipation, reuniting the girls with Dalla Dalla composers Galactika. And, the comeback is everything you’d expect.

Predictability can be a bad thing, but in this case I’m delighted that ITZY have established such a strong brand for themselves. Most of Wannabe plays like Dalla Dalla Pt. 2, but there’s no shame in aping one of the best tracks of 2019. After a moody music box introduction, Wannabe pulses with a catwalk strut that drips attitude. ITZY’s performance offers the kind of bright, bratty tone so loved by girl groups these days, but avoids the temptation to dip into aegyo chirpiness. This has been an essential element in keeping ITZY’s raucous style palatable and unique. There’s an unexpected grittiness to Ryujin’s opening lines, and it works.

Like Dalla Dalla, Wannabe grafts a sugary, melodic chorus onto edgier verses. This contrast works to the song’s advantage, though I do wish the second verse rap break wasn’t quite as long. However, Wannabe’s chorus proves to be one of the year’s most instant. After only one listen, I could easily recall the entire melody. Even better is the guitar-fueled, anthemic post-chorus hook. I love how JYP isn’t scared to bring rock elements into the group’s music. They fit so well with the overall vibe and really give the instrumental added heft. The song grows more powerful as it goes on, culminating in a breathless, stuffed-to-the-brim dance break. Wannabe’s final minute feels like ITZY’s full potential unleashed, and it’s incredibly compelling. When it comes to this particular style of girl group pep, no other act is doing it better.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 9

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

15 thoughts on “Song Review: ITZY – Wannabe

  1. The guitar on the refrain sold me instantly on the song, any buried treasure here? Personally enjoyed Nobody like You and I don’t wanna dance

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  2. Very happy that ITZY continues to stick to their signature sound. There’s something about their performance that makes them stand out among all other girl groups trying on the girl crush concept (even if some of them do it well, like LOONA). The guitar elements really won me over, along with the dance break. Agree on that second verse rap break though, it’s my least favourite part of the song, but that won’t stop me from downloading it!

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  3. NOBODY LIKE YOU is an amazing track. if you’re here for the guitar/rock elements you’ll love it. I almost wish it could have been the title track, although that would have been a huge shift in style for them, and I do like their signature sound.

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  4. This is honestly the first Itzy song I’ve liked on the get go. Its so good and so catchy! The only problem I had with it was the vocals. Maybe it was how I was listening to it but they sounded kinda strained in the begining. Idk. Anyways I love the song keep doing your thing Itzy!

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  5. I like it and it is definitely going into my playlists. Everyone appears to be gushing over “Nobody Like You” and it’s a good song (especially if you’re an Avril Lavigne fan), but “You Make Me” is my buried treasure. Overall, “IT’z ME” is a solid release with a decent amount of diversity; but that also means people will be cherry picking individual tracks over others.

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    • Gonna go for ‘Ting Ting Ting’ as the buried treasure. Love the “runway” beat. Should have had vocals for the chorus because the chanting gets a bit grating over time. I expected to like ‘Nobody Like You’ but weirdly I can’t get into it.

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      • Yeah, the masculine chanting is what killed “Ting Ting Ting” for me. In my mind, I picture a bunch of burly Bavarian mountain men waving their steins in the air chanting to this song because they don’t know the lyrics. If not for the external voices, I may have felt different about it.

        …and yeah, “You Make Me” has a slower pace than the rest of the album, but that’s probably why I gravitated to it. That, and parts of the mix remind me a little of Red Velvet. As far as the pacing, given how awash K-pop has become with the current wave of girl crush, I’m inclined to lean to the milder side.. ..for now, anyways.

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  6. I particularly love the long break after the 2nd chorus, and totally hope it can become a trend! Basically I love instrumentals (an refrained instrus such as the one in this break), so it totally works for me

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  7. Still not that into Itzy. They have a serious case of doing semi-decent choruses and trash verses (Except for Icy, there’s no saving that one) which makes the songs really hard to get into for me. Didn’t particularly like the album either, the better ones were Wannabe and Nobody Like You but nothing particularly good.

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  8. This song absolutely slaps. I love the rap break, which is even surprising to me but the pullback when Ryujin says “aw yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah” is so addictive, I have it stuck in my head all the time. The long break after the second verse was jarring and unexpected but I found that it grew on me and had me hyped.

    I think the only thing that confused me were the vocals which are spectacular but wow, I did not know Yeji had a voice like that. It sounds less fierce (compared to ICY or DALLA DALLA) but more saccharine, if that makes sense? Either way, ITZY is a force to be reckoned with and I am excited for what the future has in store.

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  9. My ranking for all the songs in ‘It’z Me’:
    1. ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’
    This song has what ‘Ting Ting Ting’ lacks. A melodic hook and I love the pounding beat and how it makes me feel like I’m at a wild party. It also has a post-chorus hook which I absolutely appreciate in songs. Lastly, the sound they use in the pre-chorus.
    2. ‘That’s A No-No’
    Would have been number one, but they did that trap break in the second verse with a rap which was an absolute no-no for me. But hey! It least had a chorus.
    3. ‘Wannabe’
    I can’t seem to get into the song, despite this clicking with TheBiasList. The song sounds way too similar to many other songs I’ve heard. I found myself singing ‘No’ by CLC at the first verse, ‘Roller Coaster’ at the chorus etc. I prefer ‘Icy’ as like I said earlier it had a consistent energy which made me love it. But all in all still a good track.
    4. ‘Ting Ting Ting’
    It has a certain bounce that makes very easy to bop along too, like ‘Icy’. I also really love the male vocals in the instrumental hook which gives this an anthemic feel.
    5. ‘Nobody Like You’
    Too slow for my liking. It should have been at the speed of typical DAY6 songs like ‘I Wait’ or ‘Sweet Chaos’. But honour points for making me feel nostalgic.
    6. ’24 Hours’
    The sung verses might be grating but to me I think it’s rather cute. I also feel like I’m being challenged to a street fight and songs that can trigger my active imagination aren’t too bad.
    7. ‘You Make Me’.
    *Sigh* This one’s really average. Nothing much to say about it. *shrugs and sends comment*

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