The next release of the night belongs to IVE and is titled After LIKE. This is the group’s second comeback to date, and follows the tall order of LOVE DIVE (which was released back in April) and their debut hit ELEVEN (released back in December of last year).
I didn’t want to spoil the reason why I am also so keen on After LIKE. But now that we are in the song segment of my review, I think I can finally divulge. Like everyone who is highly anticipated After LIKE, I am enjoying the fact that the song samples part of its instrumental from the legendary disco hit I Will Survive (by Gloria Gaynor). I think it is ballsy for any producer to even touch songs like I Will Survive, given that it is so widely known by so many people. You got to make sure to do it justice. So, do I think After LIKE does it justice? I definitely do. Instead of oversaturating After LIKE with the sample, it is used sparingly (three times following the choruses) and merged neatly into the song, fitting in with the upbeat deep house instrumental that make up the rest of After LIKE‘s instrumental. It is interesting that After LIKE doesn’t go into full retro mode, which might have been the more cliché move but big expectation with such a sample. I quite liked how they kept it modern and simple. The sample does end up being the focal point, but it is used well. As for the rest of After LIKE, I can also say that it is a strong showing from IVE. Admittedly, the verses were a bit plain, but showed some good vocal work. After LIKE doesn’t mess around and gets straight to the point, which is something I quite liked. The chorus had some really catchy hooks and melodies that I don’t mind going back to. The rapping following the second chorus (and layered over the sample) was a very refreshing delivery for IVE and packs a of punch in the energy department, which I thoroughly liked. Overall, After LIKE definitely played its cards well and was great as I had expected!
The solo shots in the music video were really good. I liked the central colour for each member, which helps makes the music video colourful and vibrant, much needed with dark background for the choreography shots. Their central colour also corresponds to the accessories donned with their super plain outfits in the first round round of choreography shots. I am also loving the final set of choreography shots, with the fireworks in the background. The firework display was epic and helps makes the video go out with a bang! Whilst it might sound like I most of the video, I actually have a big issue about it. The really shaky camera work was terrible and very distracting. I understand the need to keep the music video dynamic, but I think the production team went over the top. There was a need for cleaner and smoother shots in this video, just so we could appreciate the music video and the members better. And it disappointing that the video didn’t give us that opportunity.
I liked, how despite the energy and upbeatness of the song, there was a sense of refinement behind the members’ moves in the chorus. It was quite neat and made for a good routine. But the best part of the choreography occurs the first and last runs of the I Will Survive sample. The sharpness contrasts the more refined moves aforementioned and leaves a much stronger impression on me.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10