Review

Song Review: IZ*ONE – Panorama

With their contracts expiring next spring, IZ*ONE have delivered three Korean comebacks this year. They’ve been active in Japan as well, but I think it’s best to just brush that single under the rug. Instead, we have Panorama – a track that harnesses the energetic IZ*ONE sound we’ve all come to know. It slots nicely within their discography, and slightly improves upon this spring’s polarizing Secret Story of the Swan. Yet as a whole, the song is an exhausting listen.

Panorama bounds forward on a propulsive dance beat, melded with aggressive synths and sprightly bass. There’s a lot going on in this instrumental, giving it plenty of momentum. And, there are a few moments of brilliance. I love the wash of synths that takes over the post-chorus refrain. But with so much stuffed into the production, Panorama needed one iconic riff to really cut through and distinguish itself. The song tends to thud when it should dance – an issue I often have with many harder-edged boy group tracks. To be clear, Panorama is no “harder-edged boy group track.” But, it harbors some of the same setbacks in its own way.

Just as a strong instrumental hook might have benefited the song, a killer melody is vital here. The closest we get is the chirpy “panorama” hook, and most listeners will probably come away with that phrase ratting around in their head. But in between, there’s far too much aimless sing-talk, and it’s all performed in a loud, strained manner. This, along with the overstuffed instrumental, forges a track that’s bombastic in the most frustrating way. Panorama certainly isn’t bad, but it could do with more focus and some judicious editing.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.5

27 thoughts on “Song Review: IZ*ONE – Panorama

  1. This is right about the time when I get excoriated for not knowing the difference between IzOne and Everglow. This sounds to me like an Everglow song on helium. (Have at me.)

    This is aegyo meets girl crush with extra helium. Girl crush set 20bp too fast – on analog, so it all speeds up. The 15 second teaser of the Panorama line from the chorus is about the perfect length for me. The rest of it is fine but not my style.

    I know we don’t often comment on visuals, but here, my god these girls are twigs.

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  2. I’m a wizone so I will definitely be biased but I love this song haha. I do agree with you that how hard hitting it is can harm its longetivity, but for now I enjoy the hooks and the ending a lot.

    The rest of the album are okay, O Sole Mio and Island are my picks. The last track with the korean name reminds me of an Animal Crossing New Horizons soundtrack, for some reason.

    I STILL want them to make Violeta 2.0 or Suki to Iwasetai 2.0 though…it seems after they got out of the flower trilogy their work quality seems to go down a little. There’s still time left so I can hope, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For me, ‘Panorama’ sounds like a party-like, forgettable ‘Fiesta’ (at least the chorus and post-chorus) and I would take the latter anytime. Despite really loving the group, a consistent problem I`m having with their songs this year is that the instruments in the three comebacks have completely overpowered their voice, a problem with the sound mixing. Even in “loud” songs released this year the vocals almost come through the instrumentals. It’s almost as if IZ*ONE is trying to hide their vocals.

    And, although we don’t really discuss choreo here, I love the bits recalling to their former choreos, it’s really fun and the choreo as a whole is one of my favorites group dances that take formation and group choreos as part of the performance instead of everyone dancing the same thing in their ow little square.

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  4. I actually really like this and think that this is their second-best song after Violeta, but despite that, I don’t think I’d be constantly hitting the repeat button. One of my problems with izone songs is that some of the vocals are too chirpy and too aegyo-ey for my taste, and Hitomi’s vocals definitely clash a little in this song for me. But Yujin and Chaewon sound fantastic.

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  5. I’m curious which of the b-sides you’ll pick from their album. Panorama is nice and will get a few listens, but both Mise-en Scene and Sequence will dominate my listening time for a while.

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  6. I will echo a few others here and say I disagree, I really like this song! (I know I also said I liked Beware, but really I liked the experience of seeing a surprise IZONE video pop up in my youtube recs when I wasn’t expecting it. I haven’t replayed it since, but that goes for all their Japanese work– yes, including Suki to Iwasetai.)

    I really enjoy the unrelenting energy of Panorama. It is similar to Fiesta in a lot of ways (everpresent tuba samples and the thumping bass?) but I still vastly prefer Fiesta– actually my song of the year according to Apple Music. So those are some mighty big shoes to fill. I think it’s a huge improvement from SSOTS, which was their only title track that didn’t gel with me.

    In terms of my own personal taste at least, the La Vie En Rose/Violeta/Fiesta trilogy would be really difficult to top. Even the b-side material from those albums was top-notch. Fiesta’s exuberance also felt earned because it was their comeback after we thought for months that we might never hear from them again (RIP X1 NO I’M NOT STILL BITTER). And it dropped in February so they managed to get it in under the wire before everything shut down worldwide. It was just perfect timing in many ways.

    If you end up doing BT, Sequence might interest you as it’s their foray into the retro trend.

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  7. Will you be shocked if you knew that the producers behind this song are the ones from WJSN’s As You Wish?
    My thoughts on this song is pretty biased, literally the love child of Violeta and Fiesta – leaning towards Fiesta as we get a melody in the chorus (as opposed to a beat drop). So that means this review is basically what you commented on Fiesta (they sing-talk and not actually sing, despite the instrumental being brisk and interesting)
    My favorite b-side is Island, that intro kinda feels J-poppy (???) and it’s catchy. The album is very diverse though, so I actually feel there’s a buried treasure for this mini album release – there’s something for everyone.

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  8. Could you explain what you mean by “sing-talk”? I’m surprised this got so low, I found this one to have an amazing melody. Easily my favourite Korean title from them.

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    • Yep! I can’t speak for everyone, but for me it means: vaguely melody lines that don’t have much range or a consistent structure – kind of like if you were having a conversation but singing all of your words instead of saying them. It’s not an approach I tend to like because it doesn’t feel memorable or impactful imo.

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      • I see how their lines might come off that way. The first parts of the verses were pretty unmemorable, took me several listens to be able to recall them. The chorus is killer though, much better than swan swan swan.

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  9. Just listened to Panorama and bits of it remind me of some of my favourite songs, in a good way of course!

    Intro instrumental:

    “Like a Panorama”:

    Similar in vibe:

    On another note, I really love the comeback! This is the second time this year our opinions of a song have differed, I personally would give it an 8.5/10. Hopefully it might become a riser for you.

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    • Now I have to listen to the X1 song!
      The Nonstop comparison is accurate, since the producers are also the ones that made Rococo from their last mini (+ as I said above under a diff name, WJSN As You Wish) which literally gives Nonstop vibes.

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  10. Not liking this. Forgettable and i’m not gonna replay this song. I like violetta and fiesta better. This is just another disappointment from izone.

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  11. For me, there’s no song of theirs that could EVER too Fiesta as their best work – yes over Violeta, as it was that song but with Adrenaline, and lord KNOWS over Swan! – but this is a nice sequel of sorts to that. I’m sure we’ll get some sort of ballad finale deal like with IOI before they’re over but at least the last official comeback is high energy and fun!

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  12. It sounds like it would be uncomfortable to sing, and it’s even more uncomfortable to listen to it. It is so high pitched in some parts it doesn’t even sound good, no matter if the person singing is actually a good singer.

    Liked by 1 person

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