Release Date: October 5, 2023
- I DO
- I Want That
- Eyes Roll
- Flip It
- Tall Trees
(G)I-DLE started 2023 by releasing their sixth mini-album, I Feel, in May. In June, they embarked on their second world tour titled 2023 (G)I-DLE World Tour ‘I am Free-TY’ in support of I Feel. One would figure that the group would be too busy touring to release another album, but there was more to come from (G)I-DLE.
In July, they announced the release of an English-language EP called HEAT, set for release in the fall. A teaser of what to expect came with the release of I DO shortly after the news of HEAT dropped.
The most immediate thing one will notice about I DO is that it doesn’t sound like a typical (G)I-DLE song. The dreamy synth-pop ballad takes the group into fresh musical territory. It also sets the table for what is to come for the remainder of the album.
In Korea, (G)I-DLE is a self-produced entity with the members contributing heavily to the creative process. For this English-language album? That is not the case. The creative duties are instead left to a bevy of Western talents such as Ryan Tedder, Meghan Trainor, Lindgren and Melanie Fontana.
For long-time followers of (G)I-DLE, this may be unacceptable. However, most listeners will probably be curious to hear what the group offers with an album where they have no input at all.
If you temper your expectations, you will find that the music on HEAT is surprisingly decent for what it is. And you could probably play it for the average punter, and they would probably feel some of the tracks. However, it is also very safe sounding compared to (G)I-DLE’s Korean material, which can sometimes skew a bit more towards more exciting experimentation.
For example, HEAT’s title track, I Want That, and its follow-up Eyes Roll, are prime examples of the catchy Dance-Pop/EDM you can hear on any American or European Top 40 radio station/stream. Yet (G)I-DLE gives both songs some swag, making them slightly less run-of-the-mill.
Besides the title track, Flip It is the closest you will get to some of the classic (G)I-DLE attitude. Despite the grammatically correct braggadocio, the composition suffers from a basic Trap-inspired beat with little to no variation to keep one’s interest.
The album’s ending track, Tall Trees, tries to wrap up the entire thing by returning to a slower vibe like the album opener I DO. Yet it doesn’t leave an impact once it’s over. It’s just pleasant enough to be some background music.
After listening to this album a few times, I’m confident HEAT was not made for (G)I-DLE’s core fan base. Because none of what their fans like about the group is present in this album. It feels like something to appeal to casuals who may have a passing interest in the current K-pop wave.
For the hardcore Neverland out there, unless you must complete your collection of (G)I-DLE albums, it’s best to steer clear of this and wait for (G)I-DLE to return to Korea and release something worthy of your attention and money.
For everyone else? Give this a couple of spins and see if anything fits your tastes. Or, dig into (G)I-DLE’s back catalogue instead because HEAT is not the best representation of their capabilities.