Song Review: ITZY – Boys Like You

ITZY - Boys Like YouITZY have re-recorded many of their singles in English, but Boys Like You marks their first full foray into the Western market. We’re getting more and more of these English-language tracks from K-pop groups, and the most successful ones tend to be those that hew closest to the artist’s signature sound and strengths. I hate to see groups make musical concessions simply to appeal to a different market, even if I understand the logic behind the approach.

Boys Like You is teen pop with a capital “T.” It would fit as snugly on a Disney Channel album (which are often better than they have to be, btw) as it does within ITZY’s discography. But, the song succumbs to an all-too-familiar setback. Rather than leaning into the idiosyncratic touches that make excellent K-pop so rewarding, these “international” efforts tend to smooth over the quirks and deliver the blandest possible version of radio pop. Boys Like You is serviceable and even catchy at times, but its personality feels concocted within a boardroom.

On the plus side, it’s nice to hear a more melodically-focused ITZY single. The verses unfold over a stomping rock beat but offer a surprisingly delicate delivery that takes its time before launching into the obligatory sing-talk of the pre-chorus. The chorus is also melodic, though it’s marred by contrived lyrical content. Seriously, ITZY are cooler than this — even when they’re wearing their sneakers. As lean and punchy a pop track as Boys Like You may be, it’s hard to imagine the song converting any teen of any nationality into a hardcore fan – especially when convincingly confident tracks like Dalla Dalla and Wannabe exist. When it comes down to it, the music goes in one ear and out the other – a pitstop on the way to (hopefully) more satisfying fare.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

Grade: C

28 thoughts on “Song Review: ITZY – Boys Like You

  1. Lol, is Itzy trying to turn back time and appeal to *only* a preteen crowd? Granted their music was always targeted to a younger crowd, but this and sneakers seems like Itzy is going for tweens or 10 year olds. Do not like this approach. The music is a bad Disney show/ Nickelodeon sitcom song. Give me back Dalla Dalla Itzy.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. i really dont understand why kpop (and sometimes jpop as travis japan’s upcoming debut also applies) groups have to make such bare-bones, radio-friendly songs whenever they go to the western market

    like bring out the quirks that nobody in the west can do when making their own music

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As much as I love to see the tribute to 2010s Taylor Swift (seeing as how this release coincides with Midnights), I expected a very ITZY song as their grand entrance to the western market, much like how The Feels perfectly encapsulated TWICE as a group but in the form factor of western pop.

    I was looking forward to their leaked demo “Love Sniper”. While that one screamed girl crush from head to toe, it’s the loud and layered party music we come to know and love from the IT’Z trilogy. It would’ve also been paired amazingly with a heavy-hitting choreography (and a dance break!).

    Since this is just a pre-release single, surely we can expect more from the actual release.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. boys like you is cute but idk it just lacks something in my opinion. it’s like they dropped sooo lucky and jype said “let’s do that again but without any energy or charm!”.


  5. Love Story (Itzy’s Version).

    In all seriousness, it’s fine, but nothing more than that. Itzy stopped fucking around but now give us something as toothless as this. I’d rate this a bit higher, but not that much higher. Man, I miss the days of Wannabe…


  6. honestly, if they added a bunch of more analog synths, they could’ve turned this from a disney channel pop rock jingle to an 80s-ish synthpop song


  7. I mean this isn’t even the actual debut to the “western” market since its a pre-release single, maybe their next comeback would be another full English song and this is just a teaser, a good one at that. I like this radio-friendly banger, it didn’t swerve like all the overly-saturated releases these days, and that’s fresh to me so it didn’t hurt my ears at first listen.


  8. Over a decade, I haven’t listened to any Korean Girl Group English single song that can beat The Boys despite the fact that I always have some irrelevant negative feelings about SNSD musically.

    JYP Ent this year will end up grading C or C-. I cannot stand most of the releases by JYP artists this year. From NMIXX’s atrocious messy debut to Stray Kid’s latest unloveable first-time love song title track.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice piece of straighforward radio-friendly Western pop. Yes, it’s better than excessively cartoonish, kindergartenish Sneakers, but didn’t do much to me. My rating would be 7.75.


  10. Given the recent madness over in the (G)I-DLE review, I call upon the collective wisdom of Monty Python to assist me with my thoughts on this ITZY release. As such.. ..I think this song is “SPLUNGE!”. 👍👎 🤜🤛 👉👌 ✌️


  11. I have nothing of note to add to all of the above. It sounds like early Taylor Swift to me.

    For the other girl group song comment thread, it reminds me of going camping with the girl scout troop. There is always one tent that is super loud and noisy until about 1am ish or so when suddenly it goes quiet, like they all finally konk out. Then one can hear other duo or trio of girls in another tent who have been talking all along, still talking until like 4am or something when the troop leader (me) rolls over and hears them still talking. Are they still awake? Yes. Why? Lord knows.


  12. The song plays it too safe and isn’t really unique, but I can’t imagine this being rated lower than something horrible as Shut Down. The song could have been better but it’s solid as it is. This is an easy 8/10 for sure. At the last chorus the song really comes loose, that’s a wonderful part. Although a better, more unique song, I got the same feeling with TWICE’S Scientist. That song is quite great but it lacked some punch to make it really wonderful, like Talk That Talk or I Can’t Stop Me.


  13. JYP, If you’re going to produce a song with a similar name to what the group has previously produced, at least make sure that the current one is better. Unlike 2020’s Nobody Like You which feels like it was aimed at teens in the 2010s, this one feels like it is aimed at kids in the 2010s. I understand you’re trying to promote at The West but let’s not match Itzy against Kidz Bop shall we?


  14. This is fun. I don’t mind Itzy having a simple diddy like this in their wheelhouse. Is it watered down for the West? Sure. But what American song is still young and cute like this?

    My first rating here, but I’d give it a 8.25 (9,8, 8, 8). That super ear-worm chorus is a 9 hook for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is an interesting point – right now, who is doing age-appropriate music for the tween set? I have tweens. two of them, and I can’t think of any act targeting them. Instead, they get to hear whatever is on mom’s ipods, which has been carefully mom-curated to avoid songs not age appropriate.


  15. Definitely doesn’t have the bite their Korean songs usually do. Even the video feels stripped down. It’s not a bad track, but definitely doesn’t feel like the same itzy

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh wow, yeah this feels like late 2000s/early 10s pop. Chorus feels very Taylor Swift of that era. The rest of the song feels very barebones (both the verses and the instrumental). Not my cup of tea, but I would’ve loved this in 5th grade.


  17. While this isn’t the most interesting song, I found it peppy and upbeat, and the lyrics are laughable but I can still enjoy them. Pretty good, I’d say


  18. This is overwhelmingly fine. I do enjoy their vocals and the pop-rock approach, yet they’ve dabbled in the genre before with much more success (2020’s Nobody Like You remains one of my favourite b-sides from them!) I wish there was a little more bite to this, as for a song that is all about grandly rejecting someone it’s almost a little too generic and doesn’t have the trademark ITZY flair that even, dare I say, Sneakers sure did have.


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