Release Date: May 30, 2023
- After Like – Japanese ver.-
- LOVE DIVE -Japanese ver.-
- Take It -Japanese ver.-
IVE made their Japanese debut in the last quarter of 2022 with the Japanese language version of their debut single, Eleven. They followed that in early 2023 with the Japanese version of their second Korean single, Love Dive.
They released their first EP, WAVE, in late May, for their third go at Japan. It features the self-titled opening track as the lead single.
Unlike their previous Japanese efforts, WAVE is an original song rather than a re-make of their past glories in Korea. Usually, one would be wary of K-Pop groups making original songs for the Japanese market as some sacrifices are made to appeal to a completely different audience.
However, IVE sounds like they have been spared such a fate because WAVE strongly resembles their Korean material. The group confidently entices a potential suitor in this song over a driving dance-pop instrumental, resulting in an enjoyable three-minute journey.
The b-side, Classic, is IVE’s second original Japanese song. It has a similar theme to the a-side but is more subdued in execution. So if you like the more low-key type of groove, then this song will fit your listening needs.
The remainder of the EP consists of two new Japanese versions of After Like and Take It. The previously released Love Dive is also included. After Like mostly translates well to Japanese, although one part in the chorus didn’t quite flow as well.
L 超えて O 超え
But otherwise, it felt the same. Take It sounded the most natural in Japanese to me, probably because the cadence of the lyrics was more in line with the flow of spoken Japanese.
WAVE is a pretty good first crack at original Japanese material for IVE. It’s nice that their entire vibe hasn’t been watered down, and what made them popular in Korea transfers well to Japan.