I.O.I -- 'CHRYSALIS'
1. I.O.I (Intro)
2. Dream Girls
3. Knock Knock Knock
4. Doo Wap
6. When the Cherry Blossoms Fade
7. Pick Me
On the heels of their debut single "Crush," I.O.I has just dropped their first mini-album. The rookie band has emerged from it's 'Chrysalis.' The official story is that the songs were selected by the members, but a controversy over the authorship of the title track makes you wonder.
The title track is "Dream Girls" and, yeah, it's not that hot. I like some parts of the song, and that's the problem, it sounds like a patchwork of unfinished tunes. Sometimes that works -- but not here. Frankly, I'm not that annoyed about the alleged nepotism that produced this tune, because it's not like Famousbro doesn't have other songs to his credit (Jessi's "Excessive Love," frex). He's not wet behind the ears. Imagine this: you're friends with Shinsadong Tiger, and over a game of pool you casually ask him if he'd whip up a song for your rookie idol group. How is that different? I just wish they would have been more honest and mentioned it upfront.
"Crush" is the pre-release single which I've already
reviewed. "Pick Me" is a cover from the show, and, sadly, the most
interesting part of the song is when they're *not* singing, as I find
the chorus to be terribly repetitive (plus the juicy EDM elements). The
high points of the album are the songs that aren't as high profile, like
"Knock Knock Knock" and "When the Cherry Blossoms Fade." They're
low-key, mid-tempo, and ultimately pretty pop tunes. They're not
amazing, but they work better than the others.
The album is remarkably free of ballads. While I think it would be interesting to hear them tackle that format, I much prefer a faster-paced listen. Something that comes in like a lion. Unfortunately, this disc isn't quite there yet. There's nothing that stands out here, and that's not a good thing. When it's not a mess, it's just forgettable. And believe me, "Crush" got my hopes up.
If the album was only so-so, what about the MV?
The good news is that it's a lot of fun. The girls try
their hand at everything from climbing to cake decorating and fail --
badly. I started to get a little angry, as the helpless damsel thing is
extremely outdated and so not cool. But then, with a little motivation,
they get right back into the game and kill it.
It's not only empowering to watch, but the MV has a good takeaway as well. I like the twist at the end. When I watched it again, I was able to laugh at their foibles and really enjoy it. Not only that, the girls are in fine form, dancing and grinning for all they're worth. Highly enjoyable, and a good entry for a proper debut.
Minor quibble: they couldn't find an opponent for the fencing scene?