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Yin and Yang come together and darkness meshes with purity as (G)I-DLE explore the themes of self-confidence and empowerment on their 4th mini album I TRUST. As a participant in the composition of the album, I-DLE’s leader Soyeon has described it as a contrast between two colours – black and white – making it a representation of the collision between reality and expectations. This is visually evident in the teaser images as members are shown wearing both black and white, representing angelic and demonic personas.
01. ‘Oh My God’
Dabbling in religious metaphors and the concept of sin and temptation,“Oh My God” is the most unique and evolved track on the album.
Starting off with the hollow ringing of a bell that seems to create an atmosphere of judgement, a trap-esque beat is introduced on which Soyeon relishes her cries of help. Bassy percussion fuses to create a brimming and climatic pre-chorus that breaks down into the chorus with Soyeon’s chant of “Oh My God” as repressed feelings break themselves free from the cage of the mind. Heavy bass and electronic beat drops form the dizzily enthralling chorus.
Soojin’s declaration of temptation is the predecessor to Soyeon’s flavourful and stylistic rap verse which shows her giving into the temptation posed by Soojin and accepting her fate as a sinner. While the symbolic fiesta showcases sin, the lyrics can also be interpreted to depict a form of toxic love. Seductive whispers are heard and the bell rings again before the last chorus breaks out. The starting of the song is repeated at the end as the never ending cycle of sin continues.
While the song is lyrically and conceptually brilliant, it is somewhat lacking in terms of an outstanding musical factor.
02. ‘Luv you’
For “Luv you”, I-DLE returns to their standard hip-hop sound containing a tinge of sass.
Starting off with tongue clicking sounds that were recorded by Soyeon, the song progresses with auto-tuned ad-libs and trap beats. The sound takes on a different route with the faint whistling, brimming percussion and dynamic vocals featured on the pre-chorus. However, the chorus brings it back to its original direction. Heavy bass is featured throughout the track, assisting in creating a dark atmosphere. Soyeon’s rap does its job of adding personality and flavor to the song.
However, the song falls short as the chorus fails to deliver what the pre-chorus promised. The repetitiveness and the lack of any noticeable change are the main weaknesses which make the track seem dull and passive.
“Maybe” takes on the route of slow build-up with it’s seductive melody and slow, yet effective, fusion of new elements. While the ambient verses are ear-candy, the generic sounding electro-pop chorus doesn’t do justice to the song. I TRUST suffers from a serious lack of sung choruses that are not just composed of barely amusing instrumentation. The serene and floating bridge blooms into the lushest chorus of the song with its additional percussion.
Overall, the track comes off as directionless with its lack of coherence.
“Lion” is a song thriving on raw energy and self-confidence. It starts off with Soojin’s dominant voice echoing in an empty background with the gradual addition of hollow percussion. The minimalist verses serve the purpose of supporting an impactful and brimming chorus. The instrumentation then grows more dominant and the verses are now more melodic.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the song is Minnie’s booming high-note which is not supported by any instrumental. Soyeon’s rap makes up for an unconventional bridge. The heavy bass and low tone rapping evolves into a forte dynamic which paints the imagery of a predator waking up.
Unfortunately, I-DLE were unable to achieve the sound they had aimed for on this album. The concept is supposed to be a balanced contrast between two opposing sides but it comes off as a lack of cohesiveness. Half of the tracks seem like filler as they fail to stand out, musically and conceptually.