The 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.