[Album Review] BLOOM*IZ (1st Studio Album) – IZ*ONE

It has been a long time coming, but I finally getting around to reviewing IZ*ONE’s first studio album, BLOOM*IZ. It was released mid-February, but due to my poor time keeping, the album review is being published in April. As a result, I will be holding off on on future album reviews (excluding another one already scheduled for a later date) for album releases in February. This will allow for me to focus on March and April album reviews. Returning to our focus, IZ*ONE’s album features a number of unit tracks alongside the full group tracks. Some artists (especially those with many members) do this but it isn’t a common thing for so many tracks on one album to do this. Let’s have a deep dive into those tracks and more.

BLOOM*IZ Album Cover

1. Eyes – The opening song on any album should be captivating enough to engage the listeners. And I definitely think IZ*ONE nails this with Chaewon’s opening line. I just wished the rest of the album followed suit with this direction. For the most part it was good. But some moments really stuck out for the wrong reasons. I find the very low tone synth we hear at the start of each verse to be very odd selection for what is a very sweet song. The ‘Eyes On Me, yeah’ chant that the girls do at the start of the bridge/end of the song added an unnecessary child-like tone to the song. Even the high note just dissipated as soon it was unloaded. There were some good moments, such as the chorus and the rapping, but they just stayed in the shadows. (6/10)

2. FiestaClick here to read the full review for Fiesta. (9/10)

3. Dreamlike Dreamlike is performed by Yena, Sakura, Wonyoung, Hitomi, Hyewon and Eunbi. The track takes on board a synth-pop like instrumental and this reminded me of tropical house during the chorus. I have to say that the instrumental, particularly around the chorus, was not dream-compatible (like what the title suggested). But there was definitely a very refreshing and youthful tone to the song. For the verses, softness was the main theme. Their vocals fitted in very well, going for a light tone to compliment the refreshing ones I just mentioned. I also liked the smooth textures they introduced into the song. (8/10)

4. AyayayaAyayaya featured the voices of Eunbi, Sakura, Hyewon, Chaeyeon, Chaewon, Minju, Nako, Yuri and Yujin. It is a catchy dance number that I really enjoyed listening to. I saw the performance of Ayayaya as part of their comeback showcase show and that made me a fan of the song. I liked the whistling and the synth-percussion, which gave the song have that upbeat feel. Their vocal work is a little lacking in this song, but it doesn’t get in the way of me enjoying the song. (9/10)

5. So Curious – In an earlier song, I mentioned how I didn’t like the child-like sounds that was incorporated. So Curious (performed by Yena, Chaeyeon, Chaewon, Minju, Nako, Hitomi, Yuri, Yujin and Wonyoung) was so full of this child-like tone that I cringed. But. Yes, somehow there is an exception to everything. So Curious ended up being so infectious and fun. The bubblegum-pop sound that the song went for was a success. I love how the song feels so tropical, fitting for the Summer season that Korea is about to enter. The marching drums in the bridge was a very nice twist to the song. (10/10)

6. Spaceship – Through Spaceship, we return to the full line-up of IZ*ONE. And the song had good rhythm and definitely a fast pace that is bound to attract some attention. Unfortunately, the lacked a strong hook to keep me around. While I understand cuteness is their main charm and the group does use it well in many songs, I find Spaceship to be a very typical application of this and doesn’t offer much in comparison to their unit tracks thus far. (7/10)

7. Destiny (우연이 아니야) – The first ballad-like song we get BLOOM*IZ is Destiny. And it is also the first full group song, apart from the title track, that I was hugely satisfied with. The song is not a slow ballad, as there is some pace in the chorus which helped make it stand out. The twinkling percussion, the drums and the violins really helped bolster the song. The electric guitar at the end was the icing on the cake for me. I also thought their vocals were very nice and sweet, which really helped sell this ballad to me. (8.5/10)

8. You & I – We are given double ballad treatment with the next ballad on the album following right off Destiny’s finish. You & I is more acoustic, featuring a simple guitar instrumental and the later incorporation of other instrumental. The song also enables for the focus to be purely on the group’s vocal work. And this was the obvious choice to show off that side of the group. My only concern is that the rapping component of You & I was unnecessary. But other than that, it was a good track. (8/10)

9. DaydreamDaydream is performed by a third of IZ*ONE, more specifically Eunbi, Chaeyeon, Minju and Yujin. And this was one of the standout songs on the album for me. There is a very sleek vibe in the song, which I thoroughly enjoyed. In addition to that, there is a subtle groove in the chorus, sticking out of this urban feel. The ending takes a bold turn, featuring textural synths, which were quite fun and different, making the song feel less ‘too consistent’. The line ‘Daydream ah!’ and ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ for the chorus and post-chorus hook was definitely my favorite parts. (9/10)

10. Pink Blusher – Sakura, Hyewon, Nako, Hitomi and Wonyoung feature in Pink Blusher. Given the song’s title, I expected that the song would take a cutesy turn. No surprises (and spoilers) but I was right. I find that the song balanced on a very fine line between the cutesy sound and the cringy child-like sound that I already mentioned in this review. For the time being, I am happy to say that I perceive the songs falls on the cutesy sound, which in this case is totally fine. I really liked the rap speak section at the end of the song. If the song could be improved, I think strong hooks would have helped cement the song on the cutesy side of the line. (7.5/10)

11. Someday (언젠가 우리의 밤도 지나가겠죠) – Now, we are dealing with a quarter of the group (i.e. Yena, Chaewon and Yuri). This trio brings us the third ballad on the album and this is more so your expected ballad. It features that piano instrumental, which is later joined with violins and other instruments. Together, the track becomes a stunning piece of work. And the vocal line we have in this song show off their vocal capabilities, further extending that stunning impression that I just mentioned. (8/10)

12. Open Your Eyes – The final track on the album brings back all the members. It is one of those dance tracks (or songs in general) that really gives off a satisfying feel and this really helps brings the album to a decent close. The instrumental comes off as pretty dynamic and I liked the tempo at which it was at (it had that Goldilocks’ ‘just right’ feel to it). The vocals added a layer of refinement to the song. The only thing I thought they could have improved upon was, once again, a stronger set of hooks. But I was still happy with what the album closed off with. (8.5/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.2/10

BLOOM*IZ Teaser Image

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