Idol band IZ kicked off their career with a series of Sweetune collaborations. Being a huge fan of Sweetune, this obviously caught my eye. But while the pairing resulted in a few good songs, I don’t think it drew upon the strength of either participant. Now, the guys have moved on to self-produced material, forging ahead with a more straightforward rock sound.
A song like Missing U is hard to review. I enjoy it, and I think it’s well-performed. But, I also feel like I’ve heard this kind of pleasant radio-rock hundreds of times before. I guess it all comes down to expectations, and what you turn to K-pop for. I was first attracted to the music by its most daring elements. It was genre-smashing, high-concept and unlike anything else I’d heard. I certainly wasn’t looking for a straightforward rock song.
Over the years, it’s become clear that I entered K-pop with a somewhat narrow idea of what it could be. The industry has more than enough room for a melodic rocker like Missing U, even if it’s likely to get lost amidst more glamorous comebacks. For its part, the song features a solid melody, enhanced by a rich vocal performance. The guitars become crunchier as we enter the pre-chorus, and Missing U picks up steam with a rock-rap switch-up that keeps the track from feeling too sentimental. The chorus brings these textures together, offering the kind of sing-along catharsis you’d expect from a song like this. It’s all very polished and enjoyable, but I doubt that I’ll be returning to it often.