ITZY - DALLA DALLA
Well, it seems like JYP won’t be held back by anything - even their own schedule that they themselves make. That’s right! ITZY randomly debuted ahead of schedule for whatever reason, so here we are on a Sunday to check into this brand new girl group. For those unfamiliar, ITZY is a brand new five-piece girl group, seemingly with a more girl crush concept in mind to compete with the likes of BLACKPINK. I won’t get into all those kinds of gritty details, so let’s just say that the group has been hyped up and I was skeptical after hearing the teasers for this one.
When it comes to JYP you never really know if the teasers are even related to the song. Unfortunately it seems that they were fairly accurate this time around. Why unfortunately? Well, because the song is just as much of a mess, if not more, than what the teasers made it out to be. Typically I find most portions of a song like this to be somewhere between tolerable and enjoyable, which usually means that I’ll end up being okay with them at the end, but somehow this song managed to land squarely on the side of being impressively bad.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I’m really not a huge fan of these harsh and nonsensical genre shifts, so that was already a negative that I expected coming into this. However, it was made significantly worse by how incoherent it seemed. It went from being a bit more edgy and badass and then plowed headfirst into a cutesy bubblegum pop without any sort of actual transition. Not only that, but then they compounded this issue by speeding right into a grindy, noisy second verse. Seriously, this is one of the most grating rap verses I’ve heard in some time. Not only that, but unfortunately I don’t think that this was a very good display of whatever rapping skills the girls happen to have. I don’t know if that’s due to the charisma or lack of attitude within the vocal presentations, but that entire verse was a solid miss for me.
Everything in this song from the bridge onward is where the song truly loses me. The bridge is reminiscent of TWICE’s “Like OOH-AHH” bridge, which makes sense since it’s the same company, but it really just doesn’t work in this track. Instead it only added to my absolute bewilderment at how this song managed to get the okay from multiple higher ups. And the final run through the hook has that overly loud bass wub instead of what was actually a reasonably catchy bass groove from earlier. This song just pulls in so many different directions and I only enjoyed one of them.
So let’s end this bit on a good note. I think that the first verse of this track was fine. It was engaging and alluring, and it started off feeling like this song had something to say. There was attitude and spice dripping off the vocals and it was interesting. The chorus itself wasn’t too bad, though I don’t know that it was all that catchy, either. The hook was simple enough to stick in your head, too, so there were definitely elements that had some promise to it. I just wish that the song didn’t feel so scattered.
Normally I’m pretty okay with understanding concepts for videos, but somebody might have to explain this one to me. Why did they have a random dog with them that kept changing colors? Why were they in an airport so much? Why did they suddenly go into a tunnel for the breakdown of the song? Why did we need this much leopard print? Why did they have to dance on top of brand new cars? Why were they getting manually scanned with metal detectors after having gone through the giant one? It says PASS above all of them, even.
Okay, jokes aside, I know the answer to most of those. Maybe not the metal detector or the tunnel, though. The dog changing colors was more representative of the group. Each member was represented by a single color, and the dog flipped through all of them as a means of saying that even within their identity as a group each of the members’ individuality was able to be shown. The entire airport thing was also symbolic. If you take a look throughout the video, the girls are only going in one direction: up. I’d assume that since this is their debut, it’s metaphoric for how their careers are just starting and they’re only going to go up from here.
One thing is certain - the girls looked great here. I don’t just mean in terms of visuals, though. They looked comfortable, too. They looked like they knew how to work the camera and they were pretty convincing in trying to sell themselves. I didn’t really care much for their styling personally, but they absolutely rocked it and still looked confident the whole way through. That’s something that doesn’t really get talked about often, but it should at least be appreciated.
All in all, the video was okay. It wasn’t nearly as jumbled of a mess as I jokingly said at first, but it also wasn’t anything too special. There were some ideas that came across well enough and others that seemed a bit flat, but in total this was fine. I don’t know that I would say this is a great debut video, though. Personally I like introductions to members and their personalities within the confines of a debut video, but that’s just me.
I hate to say it, but this is honestly one of the worst debuts and one of the most disappointing debuts that I’ve personally witnessed in a while, especially considering the fact that it’s from a group coming out of one of the big three. Realistically, I think that if this was a comeback from Weki Meki or PRISTIN, this would have been better received by many international fans, but for whatever reason, it seems that ITZY has a long ways to go from this debut. If you like incredibly loud wubs and constant harsh genre shifts, I think this would be a song for you to check out. Otherwise? You might want to hold off on ITZY.