Review: HEART*IZ by IZ*ONE

HEART*IZ by IZ*ONEWhile listening to IZ*ONE’s second mini, I had to double-check the calendar. It isn’t summer in Korea, nor in Japan – but it is here in the Philippines, and that should count for something. HEART*IZ sees the winners of Produce 48 get closer to making sense of who they really are, and if you ask me, they’ve gotten really close. The mini is filled with effervescent pop that almost never goes wrong – almost, because “Airplane”, regrettably, sounds like a Twice cast-off, and all that came before succeeded in establishing the group’s almost-classy aesthetic. Single “Violeta” is a bit limp, but opener “해바라기” soars, and “하늘 위로” towards the end goes in a slightly unexpected direction. It is, arguably, a summer record released just as spring gets in full swing: a confident, satisfying release from a girl group with seemingly everything riding on them, considering their origin story and their limited time. I’m hoping the momentum continues, because knowing K-pop and its tendency to be inconsistent, I wouldn’t like what’s around the corner… [NB]4/5

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