[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
1. 마.피.아. (MAFIA) in the Morning
2. Sorry Not Sorry
3. Kidding Me
4. Wild Wild West
6. Tennis (O:O)
ITZY returns with their 4th EP, GUESS WHO, a confident and more sultry attempt at a darker concept. The girls showcase a powerful display of talent that cannot be avoided. This EP featured a total of 6 songs, with "In the morning" as the album's title track. "In the morning" is based on the game, Mafia, and has a dark and alluring sound. In particular, the song's use of sirens as a backbeat proves particularly haunting. ITZY's newest title proves infectious while retaining a certain aura of mystery.
The twang of the guitar in "Sorry Not Sorry" follows and gives us a very intriguing mix of brashness and strength. Interestingly enough, this song features a country-rock guitar melody that doesn't feel like it should work- but does. "Sorry Not Sorry" is as unapologetic in sound as it is in title.
"KIDDING ME" turns the album into a much more sultry direction and gives us a little bit of fun with an EDM-centered chorus. The song's progression is a little typical, but the excitement of the song's drop does take away from that fact. The song's focal point is, without a doubt, the well-executed rap verse.
"Wild Wild West" utilizes a country inspiration similar to "Sorry Not Sorry," however, between the two songs, I'd say that I preferred "Sorry Not Sorry." "Wild Wild West" just doesn't have the pickup on the chorus that I'm searching for as it takes a melodic and mid-tempo approach rather than a high-energy turn. For that reason, "Sorry Not Sorry" takes the cake for the country-inspired track on this album.
Luckily we stray from this sort of experimental sound back to a more true pop sound with "SHOOT!". The song is feminine, alluring, and a display of the group's signature confidence and charisma. The song sounds very reminiscent of many popular Western hip hop songs with an intoxicating instrumental, giving it an extremely likable appeal. It's an unexpected sound from the group, but it works really well.
GUESS WHO concludes with "TENNIS (0:0)", an upbeat and relaxed side of the group that wasn't showcased on any other song on this release. With a cute rhythm and an acoustic backtrack, "TENNIS (0:0)" feels like "ITZY unplugged." This track reveals a side that isn't as well displayed in their signature confident and high-powered comebacks.
ITZY returns with an MV for "In the morning" that is playful, yet intriguing. The video's concept is based on the ever-so-popular game, Mafia, where players are to figure out which among them is in the "mafia." ITZY is pictured in the daytime as demure and innocent, but they turn into head-hunting killers by night. Similarly to the game, ITZY has a daytime and nighttime changeup in mood and ensemble. That being said, some of the styling here is not my favorite- as I don't think some of the outfits do the girls justice, but that's a small price to pay for the overall effort in their performance. I've seen many netizens compare the group's choreography and dance style to be akin to that of a boy group. However, ITZY proves through this comeback that both female and male groups can be comparable without gender bias. Strong, powerful, and feminine - ITZY does not cease to impress when it comes to confidence and stage presence.
MV Score: 9.0
Album Score: 7.67