By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Last month was a very busy month in K-Pop—mini-albums and albums appeared everywhere you looked. Loona released mini-album called #, Dreamcatcher released their first album called Dystopia: The Tree of Language, BTS released their next mini-album Map of the Soul: 7, and IZ*ONE released BLOOM*IZ.
Originally, IZ*ONE was going to release their album in November but delayed it due to a controversy involving the biggest summer show in South Korea where the group was formed—Produce 101. (Yes, America’s Got Talent was not the only major summer show that got into big controversy last year.)
The results of the two most recent seasons of the show (including Produce 48) were rigged long before voting for the season finale even began. This means that more AKB48 members could have been in the group, and the music landscape for both K-Pop and J-Pop would have been drastically different today. Despite the controversy, I still like the group because they made a lot of great songs. Included in their discography is one of the best songs of last year, “Violeta,” which is dope. The members are very fun, especially my favourite member in the group, Ahn Yu-jin—and my favourite Japanese member in the group, Hitomi Honda.
BLOOM*IZ has a dreamy sound throughout it and the instrumentals are high quality. The hit single in the album is “Fiesta”—it has Kim Min-ju starring as the lead member, and this is the first time that either Jang Won-young or Sakura Miyawaki are not in that role for the main hit. While this song is not as great as “Violeta,” it is still very dope. The chorus sounds and puts the image of a fiesta in your mind, and I would definitely jam to it. A lot of things are happening in the music video of this song; it is visually reminiscent of art house cinema. Everyone in it looked well-dressed and made-up, especially Miyawaki in this instance. Throughout the music video, in various outfits and cool scenes, she looks very attractive.
Yujin and Honda had a lot of screen time, and are heard a lot in the rest of the songs on the album. All the members had their spotlight moments in the album. Another song in the album that I like is entitled “So Curious.” It has a cutesy sound which fits Honda and Nako Yabuki’s personalities well. Some of the songs on the album sounded a lot like their other songs and had a difficult time differentiating themselves.
“Ayayaya” sounded similar to “Rumour,” and “Spaceship” sounded similar to “Airplane.” There were also songs, such as “Pink Blusher,” that sounded fantastic during the verses… but did not wow me during the chorus. In the first song “Eyes” and the last song “Open Your Eyes,” the group says their catchphrase “eyes on me” when they introduce themselves. BLOOM*IZ has everything that I would expect from IZ*ONE and it is very exciting that they are back. Now I cannot wait for their next single—which will likely be a Japanese single.