Release Date: April 10, 2023
- Blue Blood
- I AM
- NOT YOUR GIRL
- Next Page
- Shine With Me
Starship Entertainment’s IVE has been one of the more dominant girl groups out of the current generation.
They had a monster 2022 with the release of the hit songs Love Dive and After Like. They also made their Japanese debut with the Japanese language version of Eleven.
Entering 2023, IVE released their first Japanese digital single, Love Dive – Japanese Ver-. The follow-up to that is what we will look at in this article, their first Korean full-length album titled I’ve IVE.
The first hints of new material from IVE came as the pre-release single, Kitsch, on March 27.
Kitsch is unlike IVE’s past songs. It starts with a slow Hip-Hop-like beat during the verses. It reminds me of something you would hear the Ying Yang Twins rapping over, discussing seeing their trouser snake in whispered tones.
The song speeds up through the pre-chorus and goes total banger during the chorus. While the changes in energy throughout were well done, the fact that there isn’t a hook (it’s more like a chant) during the chorus keeps this from reaching the greatness of their past releases.
The title track from the album I AM is more in line with the type of song expected from IVE. Compared to Kitsch, I AM has a more anthemic feeling similar to After Like.
So what about the rest of the album? Well, all of it is new material rather than having their previous releases and their b-sides take up the majority of space.
The opening track, Blue Blood, is something that those who watched IVE’s first fan concert live stream may have heard before the release of this album.
Blue Blood is quite the opposite of a typical IVE song. It has a dark mood emphasized by its driving beat, layers of electronic sounds and a more serious-sounding vocal performance by the members. As an opener, it’s an attention grabber. But, by itself, it’s unexpected and shows a different side to IVE.
While nothing else sounds like Blue Blood on this album, the one song that could be a go-to after is Hypnosis. Sure, it’s not as enticing of a track in comparison, but if you like low-key, Hip-Hop inspired beats and the flow of Rei and Gaeul’s rapping, this will be a satisfying listen.
Of the remaining album cuts, the group of NOT YOUR GIRL, Next Page and Cherish appealed the most to me. Next Page, in particular, contains my favourite rap sections on the album.
Overall, I’ve IVE is a solid outing for the first full-length album from IVE. However, I was concerned that they would have difficulties maintaining the success of their singles with a full album. It’s much harder to be consistent over 11 tracks.
After listening to this album many times, I had no reason to be concerned. This is all good stuff.