Starship Entertainment’s girl group IVE released their first studio album I’ve IVE on April 10. Leading with the pre-release single “KITSCH,” released on March 27, the eleven-track record spans a spectrum of genres as IVE further explore their sound. 


An upbeat song packed with 80s-inspired synth and high notes, “I AM” is the album’s title track. Similar to IVE’s previous singles, the root of “I AM” lies in the sounds of eras past, with high-energy instrumentals carrying the group’s diverse vocal colors. In the music video, the IVE members  — Yujin, Gaeul, Rei, Wonyoung, Liz, and Leeseo — perform on a moving airplane, in an expensively-decorated atrium, and even in a hangar-turned-runway. Wearing glimmering black mini dresses, fur coats, and altered suit pieces, the sextet fully embodies their self-described chaebol crush concept. Timeless accessories, such as pearl necklaces and rings, adorn the young singers as they confidently take charge of their own success on the road to the top.

In contrast to the experimental “KITSCH,” “I AM” revives IVE’s traditional sound. The two songs lead perfectly into the group’s first full-length album, allowing the group’s unique charm to shine through. As it flows between genres, I’ve IVE traverses feelings of self-confidence, falling in love, and dealing with criticism.

Blood Type Blue

Blue Blood,” the opening track, kicks things off with a bold pop-rock influence. I’ve IVE gives IVE a platform to debut a moodier side to their music, with B-side tracks that deviate from the lighthearted dance- and disco-pop title tracks familiar to the group. The prominent bass guitar and layered vocals, as well as the strings that make up the anti-drop chorus in “Blue Blood,” create a darker sound. In line with IVE’s young and luxurious concept, the song opens the album with a strong, royal influence.

Feeding this mood are “Heroine” and “Hypnosis.” “Heroine,” with its unconventional track composition and taunting chants of “Na na na,” is a confrontational song that challenges negativity. With lyrics by Yujin, the song recounts the idol’s experience overcoming the adversity inherent in the idol industry, with a haunting vocal arrangement telling the story. “Hypnosis,” on the other hand, transitions into a combination of unexpected electric guitar and hi-hats, creating a hypnotic melody — as the song title implies. The track is taunting, cementing itself in the listener’s mind. With the sudden rap included at the end of the song, “Hypnosis” gives IVE a chance to showcase a surprising new side.

Déjà vu of Some Perfect Day

I’ve IVE brings IVE’s personalities — energetic, young, and talented Gen Z idols — to the forefront of its lighthearted songs. Throughout the tracks, the girls of IVE demonstrate their developing vocal abilities and individual vocal tones. 

The songs “Mine” and “Lips” are the album’s biggest love songs. “Mine” uses literally sweet lyrics — with mentions of marshmallows, chocolate, and cotton candy — to describe the experience of catching unexpected feelings for someone and being determined to be with them. Its bass drum and electronic elements contrast with the soft instrumental start to “Lips,” which is carried by a soothing guitar. Both the instrumental and melody of “Lips” fly the listener to a beach campfire, inducing visions of tropical vacations and island getaways. 

Combine IVE’s bright personalities with a cheerful instrumental and the result is “NOT YOUR GIRL,” a tune that transports the listener to the peak of their youth. The melding of funk guitar and rhythmic clapping, as well as parts of the song that layer multiple members’ voices, evoke the feel-good, coming-of-age pop anthems of the early 2000s.

Magical, Angelical

Next Page,” the ninth track, transitions into the R&B genre. “Next Page” is one of IVE’s slower tracks — except for its rap parts, which are produced to provide a different aural texture than the sung lines. Though the instrumental is by no means quiet or simple, the group’s vocals are at the forefront of the “Next Page” listening experience. “Cherish” draws on a hard-hitting bass line and synth combination to highlight the group’s versatility. With stereo-esque effects altering some of the vocals, “Cherish” brings a new type of sound to IVE’s discography.

Closing the album is “Shine With Me,” the record’s only ballad. The instrumental’s key component is a clear guitar, accompanied by moving lyrics written by Wonyoung. The song includes references to the members’ personal experiences as idols, revealing a vulnerable and emotional side that is often kept behind closed doors. Connecting IVE directly with their fandom, DIVE, “Shine With Me,” is a perfect closing to the group’s first album.

What Comes Next?

With the release of I’ve IVE, IVE have achieved the highest first-day sales for a girl group release on the Hanteo Chart. As the six-member powerhouse continues to establish their global presence, EnVi looks forward to seeing how IVE make their mark on the industry.

Want to keep up with more recent girl group releases? Read about NMIXX’s expérgo here!