It’s been a minute, right? The Playlist Roulette series went on a little bit of a hiatus (well, more like I went on a little bit of a hiatus) and that hiatus included a break from listening to my Strictly Korean playlist. But I opened it up today, dusted off the shuffle button, and am pleasantly surprised by the track it welcomed me back with: Crush On You by K-rock, pop and decidedly flower boy band, IZ. When I would go on my Korean music deep dives I rarely did any research on a group if I came across a song I liked. I would put the song on the playlist and carry on with the dive. That is why this series has been both interesting and informative for me personally. It has introduced me to music and groups I would have otherwise never been introduced to. IZ and their B-side (yep, some things never change) from their 2018 Angel EP is a perfect example, and a great way to ease back into this series.
Before I get to Crush On You, let’s meet the guys. Consisting of four members, IZ (pronounced ‘eyes’) debuted in 2017, and all four are trained musicians. They are still out there making music together and did release three singles in 2021. They even raked in some awards back in 2018 (New Hallyu Rookie Award from Soribada Best K-Music Awards), and in 2019 (K-pop Singer Award from Korean Culture Entertainment Awards as well as Band Performer of the Year from The Fact Music Awards).
Hyunjun is the leader, lead vocalist and lead guitarist.
Jihoo is the main vocalist and rhythm guitarist.
Woosu is the lead rapper and drummer.
Junyoung is the bassist and maknae.
Okay, now that the introductions are over, let’s talk about Crush On You. I admit to being a little confused by this B-side as it was a track on both IZ’s debut album, All You Want as well as their second EP, Angel. The second EP was not a repackage so I am not sure why the track landed on both EPs. Not that I am complaining because obviously the track caught my attention. It’s a pop song that gives me samba feels. The rhythm is so catchy. And, it comes with some nice big boy lyrics, too. This is a song about seducing and being seduced.
설탕 같은 니 입술이
[Your sugar lips]
지친 내게 녹아들어
[Melt me from my exhaustion]
달콤하게 취하네 e-e-eh
우린 마치 칵테일 같이
[Like a cocktail]
[We’re mixing into each other]
Oh me like! As it is not a title track, there is no video, but I offer audio of the studio version, and because the music gods are being generous (or I should say IZ is being generous), the group performed the song at their debut showcase . . . and there’s video! Yes!!!
Live from the August 31, 2017 showcase:
The song is such a groove, right? And if the music and lyrics weren’t enough, the vocals are perfection. Well, in my opinion anyway. Main and lead vocalists, Jihoo and Hyunjun have my full attention.
If you would like to try something outside of the K-pop box, you might like to give IZ a look and listen. I am happy the Strictly Korean playlist reminded me that I added Crush On You, made me give it another listen, and has now nudged me into exploring more of IZ’s discography. If you are up for checking them out, here are the first two EPs for your listening pleasure:
Who knows . . . this may be the start of your very own crush on this talented quartet!
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