The good news is that “Kitsch” is just a pre-release track for IVE‘s first album I’ve IVE, so the single is yet to come. The bad news is that it trades most of what’s made them successful for an attempt at incorporating some of my least favorite fourth-generation girl group tropes into their sound.
Up to this point, regardless of whether their songs have been anthemic (“After Like“) or chic (“Love Dive“), IVE have consistently employed memorable hooks and an addictive melodic core that’s able to lure the listener in. This time they’ve settled for a bouncy talk-singing verses with simple production, relying on an anti-drop chorus and “kitsch” repetition. The pre-chorus build is actually the highlight here, and maybe it’s enough to get it over the top for some, but other than that it really proves to be a rather flat song. Like their main vocalist Liz barely has a line or two (if that), but to be fair there’s also not much demanding singing to be done anyway.
On the upside, they absolutely destroy this concept visually, despite not providing a whole lot of actual kitsch itself. No matter, as IVE can basically make any concept work. So credit to them for trying something different here, I suppose, but I’m hoping for something else from their single.