(G)I-DLE have been dominating 2022 thanks to the success of ‘TOMBOY,’ which went viral on TikTok and showed us a new side of Minnie, Miyeon, Shuhua, Soyeon, and Yuqi. Now, they’ve given us six incredible new songs which we hope will have the same successful fate! Our girls are finally back with I love, their fifth mini-album that brings their focus on power and independence to a whole new level.
Over the course of six tracks, I love plays with the idea of empowerment and a lack thereof, exploring how we feel when we’re reaching our best selves as well as how we feel when others are holding us back from doing so. Let’s dive in and see how (G)I-DLE are redefining what it means to be ‘Nxde’ and reminding us how powerful we really are!
Based on the song’s title, you’re probably expecting something rather sultry, no? That’s exactly the point. ‘Nxde’ sees (G)I-DLE standing up against the way women are objectified and reclaims the word “nude” to showcase how the girls are confident and unapologetically themselves no matter what anyone thinks. The retro-sounding production – which samples Georges Bizet’s 1875 violin song ‘Carmen — Habanera: L’amour Est Un Oiseau Rebelle’ – and even the mini-album’s vintage concept as a whole play on the outdated views and expectations people have on women.
“Why you think that ’bout nude?
‘Cause your view’s so rude
Think outside the box, speak out…”
Meanwhile, the music video pays homage to one of the most misunderstood women in media: Marilyn Monroe. Soyeon rips up a newspaper that has writing about Marilyn’s life and public scrutiny, Minnie’s pink outfit mirrors the one she wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Shuhua’s green gown recalls her saloon dress from River of No Return, and Yuqi’s white look references the infamous dress Marilyn wore in The Seven Year Itch, which blew upwards. One of Miyeon’s scenes sees her as an actress at a press conference, while the crowd simply takes pictures of her instead of truly listening to what she’s saying.
Interestingly, the ‘Nxde’ music video also celebrates Banksy, the street artist who has become a household name because of his unique style and intriguing concepts. One of his most famous concepts was a self-shredding painting that sold for over $25 million dollars – (G)I-DLE’s version is a painting that says “nude” across a figure of a woman.
In other scenes of the video, Soyeon and Yuqi pose as sculptures (perhaps a nod to the later track ‘Sculpture’) while people bid on them and take photos, possibly hinting at how women are sometimes valued for just their looks instead of being appreciated. Much like Banksy, (G)I-DLE want to subvert expectations and make an impactful statement through their art.
As the title would suggest, you can expect a love song from ‘LOVE,’ but it’s not what you think. This track sees the girls moving on from past lovers and learning to love the most important person in their lives: themselves. They’re learning that the best love is self-love, and it won’t matter if a partner doesn’t treat them right because they have all the appreciation they need inside.
“Now, I’m amazing, I feel crazy
I found a wonderful life
I feel like I’m in love with me now…”
Even the most powerful women out there can feel down on themselves, and that’s what (G)I-DLE want to remind us of on ‘Change.’ Feeling confident and upbeat is always great, but the true show of our inner strength is our ability to keep pushing through when we’re feeling dejected and unworthy. You’re never alone in what you might be going through – our girls are always there!
“Tears and pain are things I’ve never shown
No one knows, no one knows, no one knows
That I’m not okay, I’m not okay…”
Kinda like ‘LOVE,’ ‘Reset’ is all about that post-breakup glow-up! It’s a reminder that you can always create a new life for yourself and cut off anything that isn’t serving you. Recognize that you’re “a hundred times more precious” than mistreatment might make you think, and keep moving forward to reach your dreams and goals.
“Okay, whatever, let’s stop, it’s better
It’s good for me because it was a waste to be with a guy like you
I was a hundred times more precious…”
Potentially the most vulnerable song on the mini-album, ‘Sculpture’ takes a darker departure from the empowering themes. You might think it’s out of place on your first listen, but with how well-constructed this project is, there’s definitely a reason it made the cut. It ties back into the sculpture imagery from the ‘Nxde’ video, which was a statement on how women are objectified, so you can see ‘Sculpture’ as another social commentary that shows how that objectifying can affect people’s feelings and self-worth.
“Since I receive your love, I’ll be happy to death
Even if there are cracks in my sculpted body
Yeah, I think it’s easier to lose me than to lose you…”
We close I love with a “normal” love song this time, but with a bit of a twist: ‘DARK’ is the kind of thrilling, adrenaline-filled romance that comes to those who are comfortable in their identity and being. The two lovers described in the song complement each other when they’re up and support each other when they’re down, letting their individual strengths shine and take their connection to the next level.
“Life has ups and downs, it’s alright
Nothing lasts forever, yeah
One day I will fall, can’t deny
But I know you won’t leave…”
Now we wanna hear from you! What’s your favorite track on (G)I-DLE’s I love mini-album? What do you think of the empowerment theme on songs like ‘Nxde?’ Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! And for more K-Pop content, click here.