In December 2021, IVE made their debut and took the industry by storm with their first single, ELEVEN. Four months on, the monster rookie group is back with their first comeback, LOVE DIVE, which dropped earlier this week. The group surely has some tough competition this week, but they are definitely have proved that they can hold their ground on the charts.
My first listen to LOVE DIVE yielded a very bland response. I just wasn’t feeling it the first time around. Not entirely sure why, but maybe I was feeling a bit off that day or I didn’t pay close enough attention to the song. But that response was short-lived, as I was reaching for the replay button after my second listen to LOVE DIVE. A lot of LOVE DIVE ended up appealing to me. It felt just as catchy and momentous just like ELEVEN, but it was more subtle and lowkey, whilst also taking on a mature and darker profile (compared to their title track). I also felt that a lot of the different segments of LOVE DIVE were quite dynamic, textured and robust in their own right. For example, the opening verse left a strong impression on me (just like how ELEVEN‘s did); the ‘Narcissistic, my God I love it‘ line was super memorable and impactful (and I quite enjoyed the subtle knocking sounding that played during this part); and the choruses’ ‘Woo‘ was smooth and ambient. These sections do repeat themselves, but they still felt fresh the second time around. LOVE DIVE‘s weakest point, but not by much, was the instrumental break we get in place of a bridge. While I liked the whispery vocals and the light but consistent percussion, that constant alarm-like whistle just didn’t work right for me. The part did need something there to fill the void, but the chosen sound just didn’t cut it. Once again, there were strong vocals from the members, with some of my favourite moments already mentioned above. Overall, LOVE DIVE is a strong addition to IVE’s portfolio that adds to the groundwork laid out by their debut track.
The music video was fun and worked well with the song. But there was not much of a personal connection to really ‘pull me’ into the song. For the most part, the video showed images of the members enjoying their time and hanging together. I didn’t really get much else of the video. The song had a strong independence message, with the lyrics portraying how one should dive into love anytime if they have the courage to love (description taken from SOOMPI). I would have liked to see that better reflected in the video. The good thing was their choreography shots showed us confidence and power, which aids with the first bit of the song’s description.
The entire performance for this comeback is top notch! I liked the entire look and feel of the choreography. It showed off the charisma and stage presence of the group extremely well, with this being felt strongly during the dance break section of the performance.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10