IZ*ONE – 'ONEIRIC DIARY'
2. Secret Story of the Swan *Title
7. Secret Story of the Swan (Japanese Ver.)
8. Merry-Go-Round (Japanese Version)
IZ*ONE has just dropped their newest mini-album 'Oneiric Diary.' It has 6 brand new tracks, plus the Japanese versions of "Secret Story of the Swan" and "Merry Go Round." This is their third Korean EP.
"Welcome" is an intro song and a song that proceeds at a lazy pace. It's as pretty as it is short. We go directly from the relaxing strains of "Welcome" to the brassy blasts of "Secret Story of the Swan." The arrangements are loud on this song, unusually prominent for IZ*ONE. It's also the most intense song they've ever done. I can see why they made this the title track. They return to form with "Pretty." It's more cutesy and more IZ*ONE-like. Strangely enough, the instrumentation is louder, even if the concept is classic cute.
If "Secret Story of the Swan" wasn't the title track, "Merry-Go-Round" would be. It's seriously that good. It's got that vocal layering I enjoy, a catchy tune, and a danceable rhythm. "Rococo" has the chops to be a title track as well. We're hearing some fantastic songs here. They get intense here, too. It's almost like they retooled their sound. Whatever the reasons, I like it. "With*One" is a pretty effective pop. It straddles the line between soft pop and ballad. It's a very pretty song and a nice comedown from all the bangers that we've just heard. This song is a fine way to end the album.
This is an incredible EP start to finish. It's hard to believe these are the same girls who did more delicate songs like "La Vie en Rose" and "Violeta." And while I like those tunes, these new songs seem different -- bolder and gutsier. Frankly, this is the best album these girls have ever put out.
I have to admit I was not super impressed with the video at first. There were some cool parts mixed in with more bog-standard MV tricks. Then, about 25 seconds in, it managed to redeem itself. Many times over, in fact.
You see, the opening dance sequences seemed a lot like Disney on Ice -- sans ice skates. And as good as those dance sequences were, I was pretty sure they weren't going to hold my attention.
But soon, Minju was singing around floating clocks, Sakura was dodging giant pocket watches whizzing by, and Wonyoung, Nako, and Chaeyeon are on a platform floating amid pink clouds. I was hungry for special effects, and I got them in spades. And that was just for starters.
Eunbi's lying on an apparently functioning clock, its gears exposed. And a flying car zips through cotton candy clouds. This was starting to get really interesting.
There's an overwhelming clock theme in this video. And a planetary one, too. I'm not sure why all this was necessary, but I can't deny it was fun to watch.
If you're looking for a special-effects drenched video, look no further. You probably won't get any closer to the secret of the swan, but you won't be having such a good time you won't care.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0