Song Review: ILY:1 – Que Sera Sera

ILY1 - Que Sera SeraILY:1’s Love In Bloom never found a place on my playlist, but I appreciated its throwback to a tropical pop sound. It’s funny how you can miss musical trends once they’re over! New single Que Sera Sera (케세라세라) jettisons the tropical influences but offers a different kind of throwback. The song sees the group harnessing the style of cute, fluffy pop we used to get from groups like Lovelyz and early Apink.

As “girl crush” has taken over the industry, songs like this are harder to find. I’m a fan of this sound only because it tends to result in more fully-fleshed melodies and robust choruses. That’s the case with Que Sera Sera, though the song and delivery has a few rough edges to contend with. For me, much of the performance threatens to tip too far into cutesy pandering. When it comes to this sub-genre there’s a fine line between charming and silly, and the song’s verses nearly cross it. However, Que Sera Sera rights itself during its sparkling pinwheel of a chorus.

I love the layered vocal approach here. It’s always been one of my favorite aspects in K-pop. Singing in unison holds so much power, even if it’s couched within a “cute” framework. The melody echoes this strength, bounding forward on a rush of pop pixy dust. But without the connective tissue between these standout choruses, Que Sera Sera becomes a harder sell. I hope ILY:1 can further refine this sound on upcoming comebacks. There’s a huge hole in the market for music like this.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

8 thoughts on “Song Review: ILY:1 – Que Sera Sera

  1. There used to be a ton of these songs in kpop circa 2016-17-perhaps 18. These berry sweet aegyo specials. Its almost nostalgic flash-back, though only a few years ago,. But now as then, it is not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a bit too cute for me. It almost feels like the soundtrack to a kid’s cartoon. But I can see how it would be a refreshing change from the harder-sounds we’ve been getting. They have charm.


  3. This exceeded my expectations honestly, it just made me laugh how 1 member pronounced “mañana” terrible but other groups have done it worse XD
    Anyway, I really enjoyed it and was pleasantly surprised by the chorus. Still, I think a less sweet, more energetic delivery would have made it a dance hit.


  4. Based on their debut song I expected to be indifferent to this song. However, I love this approach and I’m glad we have either group doing it after uiu. I think the prechorus,chorus, and bridge(didn’t go where I thought it would and was quite brief) are quite successful. I feel like I’m gonna listen to it but I’m concerned that it’s too consistently aegyo. Like they’ll be singing just fine then switch to a cute high voice. I much prefer straightforward vocals with cutesy affectations or catchphrases thrown in at key points. Also, I think producers put trap elements in songs that really don’t need them in an attempt to make them sound modern. It’s not a deal breaker but it wouldn’t be there if it were up to me. I’m excited to see what this group puts out next because I wrote them off pretty quickly one I saw their name


  5. I really like the progression in chorus part, bit of jpop-ish feel. Not the fan of too much vocal effect on this song. Top 1 summer comeback of this year.


  6. I really like the progression in chorus part, bit of jpop-ish feel. Not the fan of too much vocal effect on this song. Top 1 summer comeback of this year. Great song.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If they took out the cloying post-chorus “Que sera sera” part, I’d be easily sold on this one. The melodies in the pre-chorus and the chorus are too good. I’d love to see them take a page from the UK group Steps, and lean fully into this maximal, wistful sound.


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