[Review] Cheshire – ITZY

ITZY is nominated for Best Female Group in the 2022 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Support ITZY and your other favourite artists, songs and performances by clicking here to vote today!

Also making a comeback this week (and performing their new song for the first time at the MAMA Awards) is ITZY. Their new title track is titled Cheshire and is featured on the group’s sixth mini-album of the same name. Cheshire follows the release of their fifth mini-album CHECKMATE and their July single SNEAKERS. It also follows the pre-release of Boys Like You, which is an English single also featured on the Cheshire mini-album that I will review one day in the future as part of the International Song Review segment.

Despite being for a few days now, Cheshire doesn’t give me much rhyme or reason to be grinning. To be more accurate, I find the song to be quite dull. Again, the song could potentially grow on me with even more listens. But I just don’t see it possibly climbing to the likes of their past hits from their earlier days or even the recent SNEAKERS single (which I really enjoyed). The opening verse wasn’t exciting enough to pull me into Cheshire, which isn’t an ideal start, though you can fill the momentum accumulating in the background of the song. And this momentum eventuates into a questionable chorus. I think the producers were aiming for a similar explosive effect (given the contrast between Cheshire‘s chorus and lackluster verse), similar to the contrast from the previous song I reviewed. Unfortunately, I don’t think the intention is delivered. And it comes down to the ITZY’s vocals, which were very strained. The boastfulness that comes from the strained vocals just didn’t sit well with me and it distracted me from the rest of the chorus. You can’t really focus your attention much on the dance pop instrumental (though the ping-pong effect synth does poke through) nor the melodies, as the vocals are just in the way. They do a much better in the verses. The rapping was a positive aspect of the song, with the quieter rap sequence in the second verse showing off Ryujin’s charsima in audio form. Yuna’s rap segment in the bridge follows the same concept as the vocals in the chorus, but I find Yuna do have a much better handle on it. The plentiful post-chorus ‘La La La’ was pretty catchy, but I wished there was a bit more innovation to it. Overall, Cheshire is a slip for the group. Hopefully, next time around, their title track is better executed and punchy enough to make it an ITZY standout.

Not entirely sure what the concept of this music video is, but it seems like a magical performance of some kind. The members carry out a lot of magic tricks, transformations and special effects. And towards the end, there was a Cheshire Cat influence on the video, via Yeji’s smile being the last thing I could remember from the video – the Cheshire Cat in Alice In Wonderland folklore is known for its wide grin that remains behind momentarily after the cat itself disappears. What I quite enjoyed about the video is the changing background, especially around the second chorus segment of the song, that had to be applied in post-production. It was a really cool effect that gave a dynamic profile to the video.

Aside from the combination of the small swaying movement and the hand movement that makes a smile that pairs alongside the ‘La La La‘ post-chorus hook, there isn’t much else to talk about for the performance. It was rather bland looking performance, which I think was the intention. But it just felt like they did so much of it that it just ended up being bland.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 6/10
Overall Rating – 6.6/10

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