Release Date: June 15, 2020
- Secret Story of the Swan
- Secret Story of the Swan (Japanese Ver.)
- Merry-Go-Round (Japanese Ver.)
IZ*ONE return with their second Korean release of 2020 titled Oneiric Diary. This EP is The first of their releases does not follow the “*IZ” title format and the flower concept that has been a mainstay since the group started.
The video teaser for this EP showed flashes of the members of IZ*ONE in a dream-like world. The short trailer had high expectations of this new and exciting direction were heading in. So can IZ*ONE deliver on a brand new concept? Let’s find out.
The EP starts with the introduction titled Welcome. The song is the opener that the group has been using before their promotional performances of Secret Story of the Swan. It is also the song that in the background of the teaser trailer.
By itself, it’s not much, but when paired with the lead single, it makes for a strong introduction. Secret Story of the Swan is not the typical IZ*ONE song. It has a slow Latin influenced groove, and plenty of those faux horn sounds used in the disgusting bikini era of 48 group songs.
It’s a neat experiment for pushing IZ*ONE into some new musical territory, but it ends up falling flat compared to the group’s other a-sides. The music video, on the other hand, must have involved some experimenting with some mind-altering substances.
The effects-heavy video sees the members in various scenarios, including dancing on a giant clock, lounging around timepieces of multiple sizes and rapping in a vault of unknown valuables.
For me, the best parts of the video are the following:
- Long hair Chaewon
- Various members flying around a purple/pink-hued sky in a hooptie
- Various members floating around in Maeda Atsuko graduation boats
Otherwise, the entire thing is a mess and not exactly one of IZ*ONE’s shining moments in their videography.
Once you get past the lead song, you get more of the catchy pop music that has become IZ*ONE’s signature. The four remaining original songs are much better than the selection for the lead track.
Pretty is an ode to all the WIZ*ONE’s. The members are showering their fanbase with many compliments in the lyrics. If you like having your fan ego stroked, then this is the song for you. Rococo sounds like something that would fit somewhere on BLOOM*IZ. It strangely does work with the theme of this EP as well for some reason.
With*One is the token ballad that technically closes out the entire album. That is not implying the song is weak in any manner. It is a relaxing piece of music that shows the group is getting better at pulling at one’s heartstrings.
The best song (in my opinion) on this EP is Merry-Go-Round. It is a low tempo Dance-Pop number with some light disco influence. This sweet love song features lyrics penned by Honda Hitomi and is a perfect fit for the theme of Oneiric Diary.
It was surprising to see IZ*ONE release more new material in Korea. Their usual promotional pattern pointed to them going back to Japan with what would most likely be a less than stellar song meant to sell handshake tickets.
Thanks to the current world status, Japan’s loss is everyone else’s gain as the group has put out another quality EP rather than another crappy 48 cast off.
One can only hope IZ*ONE will continue to make up for some lost time and offer more music in the latter half of what has been an odd 2020.