Song Review: IVE – Love Dive

IVE - Love DiveThe last few years have seen several new girl groups hit big right out of the gate, but none has been as immediately successful as IVE. Debuting last December, their Eleven was an instant success and has gone on to rule the charts ever since. Of course, with multiple members of the popular IZ*ONE among their ranks, IVE had a leg up. But, Eleven is a total jam and deserves its success. Now four months later, IVE have returned with their follow-up Love Dive.

Love Dive is more atmospheric than its predecessor, taking a darker route while retaining the drive and energy than made Eleven so enjoyable. It boasts a different sound from most current girl group singles, yet plays into instrumental trends that have been popular in K-pop since 2019. The insistent percussion of the chorus is particularly familiar, though Love Dive opts for a fuller arrangement than expected. The verses thrive on a wispy texture that emphasizes the group’s vocals. IVE bring plenty of energy to the performance, even if the melodies lack punch.

Like many recent tracks, Love Dive feels like a production showcase. Its chorus is catchy, but rather simplistic and repetitive. I’m much more inclined toward the instrumental textures. This continues into the dance breakdown, which offers a haunting break before Love Dive barrels into its final, bulked-up chorus. The track is well-structured, never once losing its focus. But as someone who prefers melody front and center, I’m a little disappointed by the top line. Still, IVE have quickly carved their spot in this new K-pop generation. Their future feels incredibly bright.

Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8


38 thoughts on “Song Review: IVE – Love Dive

  1. I might just copy and paste my comment from Eunbi’s release tomorrow…just not quite a nine, even though I’ve been replaying this song over and over this morning.

    My biggest issue is a huge missed opportunity ending. I try to mostly ignore line distribution breakdowns, but it’s notable Liz, the main vocalist, does not have many lines in the track. I think by extending the final chorus and giving her some power notes – it would’ve really powered up and sent off the song. Instead, Wonyoung closes it off, which is cool and very much the driving source of popularity for the group.
    Fairrrr enough.

    My favorite part of the production is the quietly mixed high-pitched synths that tug at the chorus and verse 2.

    Eh, there are some faults, but I really enjoy this track and I would definitely not call it disappointing.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. On a scale of 1 to 10, I will give it an “It’s OK!”. The song is firmly in the contemporary girl crush gestalt, topical, has just enough musical charms, avoids our least favorites trends, and overall it’s a solid song. Yeah, alrighty.

    My favorite narcissism-quoting recent song is Sohlhee “Freakin Flower” from last autumn. Narcissism narcissism narcissism narcissism ‘

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I remember when the tracklist dropped, I was surprised how none of the composers for this song seemed to have much experience in kpop or pop music in general. I’ve seen some people complain about the overall lack of dynamics im the track and I do agree somewhat. The track find it’s groove and stays there with little to no shifts the whole time. It’s a nice groove so I’m not complaining but I’m wondering if some songwriters a little more experienced with pop would’ve rounded it out more.

    That being said, I think this builds on IVE’s “Chaebol Crush” image and like you said it feels seperate from what their peers are doing while still playing with modern sounds.

    I also loved the “narcissistic, my god I love it” part from Wonyoung.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As Noah said above, this song feels like a missed opportunity. I don’t like the pre-chorus and I wish the hook came first before blasting into a (hypothetical yet) awesome chorus. Or at least that’s how I’d structure it. If anything, this needs an extended chorus, this song is too short. But hey, watch it grow on me, Eleven did!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like the chorus quite a lot and not a lot of groups are playing around with more atmospheric choruses, they just go into that “bad ass vroom vroom skrrrt!” crap, I just wish they played with the structure more

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this whole hypnotic mature concept IVE is going for. It’s pretty bold of them to go for such a low-key atmospheric song like this (with no rap!) when the trend right now is girl/teen crush with choruses and raps that go hard. I agree that this song just needs a little something extra to elevate it, but it’s a good comeback for me overall. Reminds me of something I’d hear on the radio in the 2010’s.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. are you planning on making a review with their B-side royal? if you aren’t could u give a short answer on what you think about it? I like it slightly better than their title track


  8. Theres a feeling that something’s just missing, but if I don’t overthink it, it’s pretty good! It’s instaneously catchy and I’m sure this will be another hit for them. I also think it’s cool that just one comeback in and Ive already has a distinguishable sound/image. I just hope Love Dive has longer longevity for me than Eleven did, which I liked right off the bat but got bored of quite quickly, which was unfortunate.


  9. tbh i like the song but it sounds kinda generic. like i could find this song on the radio somewhere. not bad but there are more interesting songs imo. but that’s how i feel about all ive songs


  10. This was not what I was expecting but I liked it! The instrumental was what stood out for me as well! The tempo of the song was a bit slower but it was quite interesting! My only gripe is I wish it were a bit more “filled”. The instrumental was like at 100% but the vocal parts were at around 60-65% – some more words or lines might have made it more solid. But still I liked it overall and found every single part really good! Just that more would have been nice lol


  11. as someone who wasn’t sold on eleven, i really liked this a lot in comparison! feels too short (since it is under 3 minutes) but it’s a solid track where i appreciate the thumping instrumental (the “narcissistic, my god i love it” line is great!) and the “hypnoticism” of it all

    Liked by 1 person

  12. if this had a bridge and a big anthemic outro it would be my favorite song of the year by far. instead, it’s a solid 8/10 – the girls sound great and i love the eurodance throb of the chorus, but it’s missing the extra punch to take it over the top.

    that being said, the music video & concept are great – i’m a sucker for the gossip girl aesthetic. also, when is gaeul going to get proper lines or a dance break?

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I think I prefer this over eleven. When they first debuted I wasn’t too hot on them, but IVE definitely stands out


  14. Is it just me or does it sound like a Pussycat Dolls song? Anyway, I like it. I agree with some of the comments here that something seems missing. I think it lacks some sort of climax. But still, I like it because it is subtle and elegant, and not another 4th gen in-your-face shout-a-thon (hey I’m looking at you nmixx o.o)


  15. I actually really like the song. my nitpicks would be:
    1. I wish the “narcissistic, oh god I love it” went up instead of down but that’s just me
    2. the dance break sounds terrible when you don’t have visuals to go with it. the high pitched screeching doesn’t do it for me.
    3. they could have spiced up the song with a LOT more adlibs, especially the lowkey chorus. imagine if they had adlibs for the “oooh oooh” parts or “sum chamkko love ↑ DIVE↑↑”, something like taeyeon’s INVU.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m not the target audience for this song, so giving my thoughts on this would be like a guy standing outside a bakery rating a cake through the glass. In keeping with that metaphor, “My.. ..that cake sure is decorated splendiferously!”

    I do appreciate the toned-down/less bombast musical approach.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Anyone else feel like the instrumental is really far back on the soundstage? Listening on headphones and can’t help but think the song is being played behind me. Otherwise it’s got good vibes, although I can’t stand that dance break.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the way they processed everything is causing the effect. Most of the instruments are heavily compressed, the background vocals (woo-ah-woo-ah) have heavy reverb, and the singing has a bit too much “tin can” processing. Usually, the effects are kept a little more uniform across all of the layers; with some exceptions (e.g., instrumental riffs, spot vocal scatting/vocoding, etc.).

      It’s a little jarring, but I think there’s enough overall cohesion, to move past it. ..or not. ¯\(°_o)/¯

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, interesting! I never would have considered it being a result of heavy compression. I suppose it works for the style of song they wanted to do. Not my favorite approach, though it doesn’t really matter for 99% of listeners that will hear it on car speakers or non-audiophile headphones anyways.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. And this is why you’re a reviewer and not an artist putting out bangers. Whoever wrote this struck absolute gold with this track, it’s simply one of the best tracks I’ve heard in K-Pop, nay, one of the best pop songs ever, with every single thing written and performed to literal perfection with absolutely NO cringe or annoying stuck-in-your-head moments that you actually regret getting stuck in your head. Absolute masterpiece. 10/10.


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