[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
1. Not Shy
2. Don't Give A What
6. Be In Love
ITZY is "Not Shy" when it comes to their latest EP release. By now, almost everyone has seen the viral video of Ryujin speaking out against misogyny in the K-Pop industry, and ITZY followed up the powerful statement by delivering their best release to date with Not Shy.
Their title, aptly entitled, "Not Shy" debuts a side of ruthless and relentless ITZY who are here to prove that their talent, not their visuals, are the reason for their success. The song is vocally challenging and has an anthem quality to it that many other releases this quarter have been lacking. The song's overall message indicates that ITZY will not be shying away from anything that comes their way.
The tracklist has a natural progression in this feminist theme with track 2, "Don't Give A What," a fun pop-rock song that has a catchy hook. I can easily see this song going over really well in live performance. While listening to the album, I noticed that "Louder", "iD", and "SURF" had one thing in common: the element of surprise. On each song, I was expecting a stereotypical K-pop song progression but was pleasantly surprised by innovative and unique additions like SURF's funky bassline or iD's chord progression.
"Be In Love" seems to be ITZY's first major attempt at a slower vocally-focused song, and I think they nailed it. It seems that the song is written to be challenging vocally, but not impossible, which given ITZY's affinity for tough choreography, will pay off to an impressive live show once live shows are back on the circuit. The song's guitar melody is one of the best on the album.
I absolutely adored this music video- the fact that the females are neither depicted as damsels-in-distress nor as heroes is the best aspect of this video. In "Not Shy", all the girls are the criminals, and they're the outlaws in a wild west themed cinematic music video. I adored the fact that ITZY is grabbing back the role of 'badass bad boy' and reclaiming it with unabashed femininity. The concept of the album, single, and MV are elegantly related and it makes the comeback hold a ton of impact. ITZY's concept continues to evolve, and if this is the direction they will be moving, I will gladly stay tuned to see what they have to offer next. These acts of defiance towards normalized culture will change the K-Pop industry for the better.
MV Score: 9.7
Album Score: 8.7