For me, today is one of the biggest days of the year. ITZY and Dreamcatcher both coming back in one day? Now that is hype. Not only did both groups release two of my favourite songs of the year, but the albums that accompanied those singles were equally fantastic. This causes both comebacks to arrive with massive expectations. This is a double edged sword as while it does make the comeback seem like a larger than life moment, it opens it up to some pretty harsh criticism should it underwhelm. And while new single Not Shy is still pretty strong, it initially comes across as ITZY’s weakest single yet.
But I must stress, weakest in a stellar discography is pretty relative. Had Not Shy been released by any other group, I probably would have been quite impressed. It’s one of the years most catchy singles, playing around with a number of unique production choices whilst still managing to paint it over a more streamlined and modern soundscape. It’s very well produced and acts as both a call back to their past works whilst stretching their sound in new and interesting directions. It’s great to see the girls sing rather than the “sing-talk” style that they had adopted for their past few singles. Lia and Yuna especially sound great during the pre-chorus and especially the bridge. Much like ICY, this approach works wonders and helps compensate for the rather underwhelming centrepiece that follows.
Which brings me to the main reason as to why Not Shy is the first ITZY single to not wow me right out of the gate. And that’s the hook. I understand it’s immediately catchy and the drawn out “ITZYYYYY” is a maddeningly catchy implementation, but the whole thing just feels kind of anti-climactic. It’s far from being a complete let down but I can’t help but wonder how great the track could have been had it maintained the same energy as its blistering hip hop verses or the anthemic heft of its pre-chorus. But I while it does blunt some of the tracks energy, I appreciate that the girls trying something new. And while it isn’t as instantly stirring as the groups past work, I feel like it will lend itself to some great longevity.
Final Rating: 8.25 / 10