Buried Treasure: IVE – Blue Blood

IVE - Blue BloodA K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

IVE’s I Am is by far the biggest moment on their first full album – an obvious single with all the panache you’d expect. The majority of the album takes a more subdued approach, both in interesting and dull ways. You could squeeze a great EP from these songs, but tracks four through six really bring the energy down for me.

Other b-sides are fascinating in different ways, whether it be the NewJeans-esque 90’s r&b of Cherish or the upbeat summer pop of Not Your Girl. But, the album’s most compelling b-side is its opener. Blue Blood feels like a statement of intent, charging out of the gate with plenty of attitude. I love the electro thump of its beat. It has a stomping energy that feels intimidating in a good way — as if IVE are preparing for war.

Add some cool, early-2000’s strings over the hook and we have a beguiling arrangement that draws upon the group’s strengths while maintaining laser-beam focus. It feels almost like an extended intro, which is probably why it wasn’t chosen for promotion. But as intros go, it lays its groundwork well.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

Grade: B


21 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: IVE – Blue Blood

  1. I’ve been waiting for this since they performed it during their fanmeet in February. Nick Hahn, Sophia Brenan and Elle Campbell should collaborate with IVE more. this would’ve been a solid follow-up to LOVE DIVE which they also made (had After LIKE not happened of course).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This and Hypnosis are my two absolute favorites on the album (along with the title, of course!), and seeing as Hypnosis won’t be getting a post of its own, I must say—the miniature drum&bass section in that second prechorus was fantastic. I’m all for the incorporation of more microgenres into kpop, and this was a really unexpected one that actually fit Ive like a glove, especially with Liz’s vocals on the top line.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree totally, the drum and bass is excellent and Liz’s vocals fit really nicely with the song. I just wish there was less rap and more singing at the end, but I can’t really complain

      Liked by 1 person

    • By far my favorite song on the album. I loved the weird noise at the beginning too, it really took me off guard because of how dull the previous songs were. The way it turned into the beat was also pretty cool.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You could literally just put all the songs from this album on a board and throw a dart. This album is consistently great the whole way through. They did so well with this. They deserve all the success they’re about to get. This song is really good and is a great intro to the album.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll bet not many others would agree with me, but I preferred IVE’s previous approach of 2-song singles rather than a full album. It somehow makes them more mysterious when there’s less content. Suddenly there are too many IVE songs out there. I’m still on the fence about the new single, but I’d rate it higher if it were like a 3-song EP. (All I need are tracks 1-3.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • – My bad, by 3 tracks, I meant I Am, Kitsch, and Hypnosis – I’ve been listening to them in that order, and forgot Blue Blood’s actually the first track.


  5. I wouldn’t say that IVE are the strongest vocalists, but they really excel at vocal delivery. I think “Blue Blood” is a great example of it. I find they can communicate energy and vibe without obnoxious affectation.

    Really enjoy the arrangement, especially those strings.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It really helps that this one is in a comfortable range so they have the ability to lean in and out of notes easier and add natural vocal color.


  6. Tbh I am not as impressed with the album as I thought, too many songs are mid-tempo pop and I was expecting more of the weirder songs (like Hypnosis). But the highlights (like Blue Blood) are amazing.

    Apparently, this song had the same people behind Love Dive. I hope IVE uses this ‘haunting’ sound as their signature. Love Dive, My Satisfaction, and this are my favorites from them.


  7. i love this, but i fear this will grow old quickly because the chorus is pretty basic and repetitive. as you said this does work well as an extended album intro

    my buried treasure would be ‘not your girl’ it gives off major sistar summer bop vibes and that sound is sorely needed in kpop right now

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Even if they’re slower songs, Mine and Lips are my favorite b-sides on the album. They’re just nice and chill to listen to, it’s a good contrast to the more energetic songs on the album. (On a side note, WJSN’s Exy contributed to the lyrics of Lips. That’s pretty cool.)

    I AM is definitely the highlight for me, but curiously, even with all the weirdness of the whistle and the chorus, Kitsch has grown a lot on me. The rap part from Rei is just excellent.

    To get back to topic, I definitely like Blue Blood as well. But I’m not yet sold on the longevity of the track.


  9. I find “Hypnosis” to be intriguing.
    The rest are solid pop songs on a solid album, each with a slightly different flavor.


  10. while songs like i am, blue blood, kitsch and not your girl got stuck in my mind, songs like cherish, lips and mine got pale in comparison… it’s a great album anyway (not ‘twice level’ – which for me is the highest standard rn – but pretty decent)


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