Review

Buried Treasure: ITZY – Nobody Like You

Most of the time, a k-pop group’s title track is the best song on their album. But, sometimes b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.


In a normal week, this buried treasure probably would have been posted days ago. But, this week has been anything but normal. Living about 90 miles north of the U.S. coronavirus epicenter has changed my routine quite a bit. And like so many others in my state and our world, I’ll essentially by housebound for at least the next six weeks due to school closures and social distancing policies. So, instead of listening to music, I’ve been stocking up on food and supplies and struggling to come to grips with the “new normal” as it exists for the foreseeable future. Above all else, I’ve been focused on how I can keep myself and others healthy during this unprecedented time. I encourage everyone to do the same.

Once I’ve settled into a routine, this new social distancing will likely lead to a greater-than-normal frequency of posts and reviews, which I guess is a small positive. But for now, my mind hasn’t exactly been on K-pop.

With that said, I’d be remiss not to talk a little about ITZY’s new mini album. I haven’t yet listened to the songs as much as I’d like to, but I appreciate how cohesive and upbeat the entire product is. There’s an exciting club feel to many of the tracks, taking advantage of the group’s effortless charisma. It’s funny, then, that my early standout isn’t a dance track at all. Nobody Like You is the kind of punchy power pop you’d expect to hear from a guitar-based band rather than a choreo-focused girl group. Yet, its energy fits ITZY perfectly.

Upon hearing the album teaser, this was actually one of the tracks I wasn’t really looking forward to. Taken in isolation, some of the vocal arrangements felt a little shrill to my ears. But hearing the song as a whole instantly negated those fears. Propelled by an arena-ready guitar riff, Nobody’s verses offer an engaging, sing-talk structure that pulls in just enough melody to work. The pre-chorus is even stronger, as backing vocals emerge to support a lower-toned delivery that draws on the members’ personality. As I anticipated, the chorus veers towards shrill at points, but is improved by its layered arrangement and chugging hook. This takes me right back to the fists-in-the-air sing-along choruses of the One Direction era of early 2010’s pop music. There’s nothing wrong with that!

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

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9 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: ITZY – Nobody Like You

  1. Take care over there! I believe we live in a pretty similar area, so while I’m not there, I’ve gotten an earful from my friends and family about the goings-on. Schools are closing over here in Brazil as well. Definitely important to be cautious, even if you personally likely won’t be affected too badly.

    I get One Direction vibes from this song, too! It’s just straightforward, non-offensive pop, but not so much so that it becomes too forgettable or boring. I have a soft spot for the genre, and they pull it off very well.

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  2. On first listen, I instantly thought this was a cover of some forgotten Avril Lavigne song. To me, there’s a lot of the ‘spirit’ of Lavigne’s body of work threaded into “Nobody Like You”. If you’re someone that remembers that period of music fondly, this song will register well with you. For me, I wasn’t a big Avril Lavigne fan.

    At that period of time, I was going through my New Wave/Punk/Avant-garde/Experimental/Musique Concrète phase. During that period, Avril Lavigne was trying to ride the rim between pop and punk and she didn’t fully click with me from either angle.

    As a song, “Nobody Like You” is good. It’s catchy, passively anthemic, and cleanly gritty (pardon the oxymoron). I have nothing bad to say about. That’s all I got.

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  3. I’m sure Pearl Jam would like to have a word with ITZY about this one. Just have a listen to Even Flow or Jeremy. Or is it culturally acceptable now to steal riffs from 30 year old grunge songs and pass them off as new?

    I love ITZY, but I have to rate this track 1/10 score due to the blatant plagiarism.

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  4. To quote sonny boy just now “can you please turn that off?”
    This Song would be Ok if it were released as a bside in the 00’s, but we are in the 20’s now. My mind went to Avril as well for the verses, and Taylor Swift for the chorus. Both would have had cleverer word play. Maybe it is clever in Korean, but in English translation it is basic.

    Also, the title. I can’t help but hum the better Wonder Girls song of the same name instead.

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      • A beautiful example of dactylic hexameter, punctuated with spondee!

        My Taylor Swift expertise comes only from the ubiquity in the background music at like every every every every, every single store. I was thinking the “we are never ever ever, talk … talk …. talk … like ever” line.

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