Album reviews for 2021 will continue per the usual schedule next month. In the meanwhile, album reviews will be coming out spontaneously as I complete them. I want to wrap all the album reviews for 2020 this month, whilst also publish the album reviews for January 2021 releases, so I don’t fall behind on them like I did so at the end of 2020. This will also allow me to focus on some of the other posts in January such as the end of year charts and the announcement of the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Award winners. But more on that in the future. This post focuses on IZ*ONE’s fourth mini-album, One-reeler Act IV, which was released at the start of December 2020. It features the title track Panorama and five other songs on the mini-album, so let’s check them out. Let me know what you think of them down in the comments section below.
1. Mise-en-scène – Mise-en-scène follows the same music formula as the rest of their other title tracks. The song starts off in the pop realm and slowly develops into a dance track with a very abrasive drop in the chorus. What Mise-en-scène manages to do well to differentiate itself from the rest of their previous works is the more electronic profile and detailing in the song. This adds so much different texture and helps makes the song standout. (9/10)
2. Panorama (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Panorama. (9/10)
3. Island – Island is surprisingly what I had expected. It is a cute number confirmed by their vocals and the twinkling effect at the start. But the group manages to put an IZ*ONE spin, bringing that abrasive instrumental I mentioned earlier into the song. That being said, Island is not just noise and it turns out to be a very strong song altogether. I really like the different directions the song does go in, which helps elevate the song’s appeal and prevents it just sounding like an amped up cutesy track. (8/10)
4. Sequence – IZ*ONE tones back the energy of the instrumental ever so slightly in Sequence. The funky and retro instrumental isn’t as rough as the previous tracks. But the song does still have that heightened texture to it, though I would describe it as more sleek in comparison to their other songs. I really like what they did with the chorus, adding more to it as it progressed along. I felt this really made their vocals pop during the chorus, which helped made the song more enjoyable. (9/10)
5. O Sole Mio – At just a glance, I thought it was just another house dance track. Literally, if you blink (whatever the equivalent for hearing is), you would miss the Latin flair hidden behind the house influence. I personally like this ‘touch of Latin’, as the Latin trend has become overused in my books now and I am slowly getting tired of it (though, I do keep my mind open to other clever uses of the trend). Just the house influence does make O Sole Mio sound typical and cliché. The song also sounds like it opted for a ‘touch of matureness’, which I attribute to some of the vocals. The rapping was also a nice addition. (8/10)
6. Slow Journey – Slow Journey is group’s most held back sound on the album, opting for a pop ballad sound. It is very nice, though I wished they removed some of the percussion and disc scratching. It distracted me from the sweet vocals and really bright acoustic guitar work. Otherwise, I reckon the song would have been more delicate and sweeter sounding. (7/10)
Overall Album Rating – 8.3/10