[Review] ELEVEN – IVE

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Making their debut earlier in the week is IVE, who kicks off their careers with the single ELEVEN. IVE is a six-member female group under Starship Entertainment, the home to acts such as MONSTA X, WJSN, CRAVITY, Jeong Sewoon and many others. The lineup of IVE consist of  Yujin, Gaeul, Rei, Wonyoung, Liz, and Leeseo. Some fans might recognise Yujin and Wonyoung, as they were formerly part of IZ*ONE before IZ*ONE disbanded in April this year.

Even though it has been out for a couple of days now, I find ELEVEN to be an alright song. It is good in some senses, but I felt like it could have been better. The good thing about ELEVEN is that I can tell it will be a grower for me, and probably within a few weeks time, my opinions of ELEVEN might be much more positive than today. But until then, here are my thoughts on ELEVEN as it stands. The tribal-like percussion in the instrumental was very refreshing. I know we have heard it recently in another song, but I find its profoundness and prominence in ELEVEN to be exciting and appealing. For me, the verses were plain and monotonous. I wished there was a bit more flair to this part of the song, especially given the rest of the song. The vocals were decent here (I liked that the nasally tone the second vocalist in the song brought to the first verse), but they just didn’t have too much going on to really interest me. And I feel that this particular comment can also be applied to the entire song. Anyhow, what does make the song interesting those pre-chorus slowdowns. While we do get those from time to time to help make the chorus more explosive, ELEVEN‘s application of this technique is a lot more extreme, as you could really fill that the song was winding down. The rap-speak tone also helps out here. The pairing adds a unique touch to the song, which plays well with my comment of attracting attention. But with such a set up, I felt the chorus was a bit underwhelming. It was not as explosive as it could have been, and the melodies/hooks in the chorus were not as memorable. The only memorable part of the chorus was the ‘1,2,3,4,5,6,7, you make me feel like eleven‘ ending to the chorus, and even that was a bit soft. The rest of the song repeats the setup of the first verse and chorus, both for the second and final section of the song (with a bit of an extension at the end of the song). While this does sound like it would have been repetitive, I didn’t mind it as much. Overall, ELEVEN seems like a strong debut song, even though the song could have been better in some regards.

I know views are not everything. But they are particularly vital for groups starting out, as they are a good way to gauge attraction. If IVE’s debut views are anything to go by (at the time of writing, they have garnered over 28.5 million views within four days), they definitely have a lot of potential. They are doing even better than some of the top groups who have very recently released new music! Aside from views, I really like the mature vibe of the music video, which compliments the song. The sets looks great and elegant, while the matureness flows into some of their outfits (i.e. those white suits and blue gloves are definitely a memorable image from the video). The cinematography also helps make the music video look amazing. Definitely a strong music video!

Like the music video, the choreography for ELEVEN definitely a strong routine. The hip-shaking during the song’s main hook was definitely an unforgettable moment for me. The group’s charisma also needs to be mentioned, as they felt like they have been performing for many years than what they already have under their belt. I liked the contrast that the aggression brings to the performance, with Yujin being the standout member thanks to her aggressive facial expressions. It was subtle, but it definitely made the performance a whole lot captivating.

Song – 7.5/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8/10

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