Monday, January 11th, 2021

IZ*ONE – Panorama

We had to like something today…


Samson Savill de Jong: This song keeps adding layers and ideas. You would think that would make for a sprawling mess of a song, but they build on each other very well; I guess having roughly 100 members in your groups makes you used to having to balance lots of different elements. Puts me in mind of a videogame soundtrack — I swear I’ve heard a song exactly like this playing Rocket League — as it is fun, upbeat, pacey, and packs a punch.

Thomas Inskeep: The franticness of “Panorama” should, on its surface, be a turnoff, but this single from the South Korean-Japanese 12-piece girl group excels because, and not in spite, of its furious energy. This is the kind of song that Lady Gaga can’t pull off anymore (not for lack of trying) but in IZ*ONE’s capable hands feels natural. My neck is whipping around as I listen, my shoulders pumping, and it all hurts so good; I just want more. 

Katherine St Asaph: The instrumental, resembling athletic Kaytranada (even as it takes brief detours into trap or Max Martin synth stabs) is the star: an Escherian gymnastics course of a beat that makes the vocalists look exciting just for showing up.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The production is dazzling but IZ*ONE’s higher vocal range makes it hard to latch onto anything here. The final dozen seconds, with its boisterous and full-bodied horn accents, point to what this song could’ve been if it were willing to allow this climactic moment be the blueprint for a more robust sonic framework. IZ*ONE is one of the best girl groups right now, but “Fiesta” is the more balanced of their 2020 singles.

Leah Isobel: “Panorama” attempts some of the aerodynamic rush of LOONA or latter-day Twice, but all the sounds are so bottom-heavy that it feels like the song’s machinery is collapsing on itself. This is a fun effect, but IZ*ONE’s melodies and vocalists are a little too straightforwardly pop to take full advantage of it. The end result is super-sweet, both thrilling and exhausting; one imagines that the hook, a command to “Shoot! Take a panorama,” should really start with an exasperated “fuck!”

Alfred Soto: The orchestral stabs create the momentum and surprise — a panorama, if you will. As often as I listen, though, the track’s thinness doesn’t take.

Anna Suiter: Saying that all IZ*ONE songs sound the same isn’t fair, but there are plenty of commonalities. In some of their songs, it’s their noisy-yet-somehow-elegant choruses that allow for their songs to feel like they can fit seamlessly together in a playlist. In some of their songs it is the lyrical easter eggs. IZ*ONE themselves can’t “bloom forever,” as the lyrics say, given their project group status, but this song fits well into their fairy-like canon. By itself it’s pretty enough, but at this point it feels more interesting to connect their songs together than to judge them separately.

Reader average: [4.5] (4 votes)

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