[Album Review] HEART*IZ (2nd Mini Album) – IZ*ONE

I am so sorry that it took me an entire month to write up this album review! Despite April being a relatively quiet month for KPOP releases, I have been extremely busy with my studies and the few releases did come out had a lot of interesting albums that I felt that it would be more interesting to review. Hence, this bumped HEART*IZ around. Just I have been so busy that I haven’t listened to any recent albums, so I thought I take this opportunity to finally look at IZ*ONE’s second mini album. After all, they always say ‘better late than never’.

HEART*IZ Album Cover

1..Hey. Bae. Like It. (해바라기) – Starting off the album is a combination of cuteness and typical tropical-esque instrumentation. The combination of the two actually works well, with the cuteness in the vocals not too overwhelming and the tropical side of the instrumental was quite refreshing and bright. I also enjoyed the lightness of the track, which really made it a promising starter to the album. I think the only downfall is the typicalness that the song suffers from. But apart from that, I like this track (which is also titled Sunflower as well). (8/10)

2. Violeta (비올레타) (Title Track)Click here to read my review for Violeta. (8.5/10)

3. Highlight –Highlight starts off with what seems to be an edgy sound. It gave me hip-hop vibes, so I was excited to see what direction the song was going in. They seem to lose this for a bit of the verse, but it returns for the pre-chorus. The entire verse seemed to be a nice steady incline to the minimalistic chorus, which featured a simple beat and the lines ‘Highlight (Look at Me)’. I did not know what I had expected the first time around but the chorus did catch me off guard (but I think it is quite sophisticated this way). I also liked the saxophone touch for the final chorus, which delivers a different feel altogether. Both the vocals and rapping were nice in this track. (8.5/10)

4. Really Like You – We now come to a ballad. Really Like You is an acoustic track that showcases some of their vocals. I thought it was a rather nice song, even though I felt it was a little messy when it comes to the melody. The way they sing with their airy voices and the floaty instrumental reminds me of Berry Good’s My First Love, which was also a similar concept (but Really Like You isn’t as heartfelt as the latter song). It was a nice break amid all of these dance-centred tracks. (7.5/10)

5. Airplane – Following Really Like You, I think IZ*ONE strengths are definitely in more upbeat songs. While Airplane seems a lot more comfortable for the group, the song felt like it went in the ‘typical girl group debut title track’ route, where the song ends up being too bright, youthful and poppy. Even the rapping reflected and the main hook in the chorus reflected this thought. The group does nail the track perfectly without any hitches or awkward patches. I do have a special playlist on my phone for songs like this and I think Airplane will fit perfectly into it. (8/10)

6. Up – I think out of all the tracks on the album (besides Violeta) Up is probably my favourite sidetrack. It does fall within that ‘typical’ category once again. But there is a fair amount of appeal in the track to make me become drawn to and enjoy it. The instrumental was very nice, especially the bounciness at the start of the track (that is ongoing throughout the track). I also like the bright vocals in this track, going perfectly with the pop vibes of the song. The track was very addictive with the hooks and vibrancy of the track being pretty much unforgettable. (9/10)

7. I Want To Be A Cat (고양이가 되고 싶어) (Korean Version)I Want To Be A Cat (otherwise known by the Japanese title, Neko ni Naritai) was previously sung and performed by Sako, Yuri, Yeni, Nako and Minju on their Japanese debut album. But the Korean version is sung by all the members of IZ*ONE. I really like the more chilled sound that the song had going on. It is rather different from the harder pop styles earlier on in the album. I did like the vocals, which were showcased well. The melody was pleasant. I just thought the song could have done a bit more in terms of memorability. But other than that, it was decent. (7/10)

8. Happy Goodbye (Korean Version) – Otherwise known as Gokigen Sayonara is also from the group’s first Japanese album. Listening to the track, you can tell it was distinctively J-POP previously, as it has all of those elements that make J-POP what it is. I am in no way saying that the Korean version is bad. I really like the chorus, which was catchy vibe to it. I also enjoyed the slightly techno-pop instrumental (which is once again a distinctive sound for J-POP). I also enjoyed the song because it was light and pleasant as well. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.1/10

HEART*IZ Teaser Image

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