Single review: Iconiq - Ladies

Iconiq - Ladies | Single review

"Ladies" surfaced in snippet form a year ago with the hopes of it being released as a new single and the eventual release of a full length follow up to Change myself. But shit went wrong for a hoe. Despite a release date and several performances of the song - "Ladies" dropped off of the face the earth. Things got worse when endorsement deals dried up, new single releases got pushed back, a single got cancelled and fan support seemed to be at an all time low. Iconiq was a shaven headed flop. Avex had no plans to salvage her career and were pooling their money into Kumi Kehovah and Ayu. But with Kumi Kehovah having fallen pregnant with the Japanese Jesus, Avex needed a new vagina with pop sensibility to milk for sales. BoA's busy living her life in Korea, so the door was open for Iconiq. She was never a big seller, but she could at least push enough single units to fund a new wig for Ayu's next music video. The most shocking this is, is that Iconiq's singles and music have been a heck of a lot more consistent in quality than Kumi, Ayu and BoA have all managed with their past few studio albums and that does not let up for a second with "Ladies".

Despite this song being pretty old now, "Ladies" still sounds hot and fresh, and sits alongside the musical soundscape of today better than it would have had it been released last year. Helmed by Taku Takahashi of M-Flo fame, the song is funky as f**k. Despite the busyness of the production, Iconiq stays afloat the music. You wouldn't expect this given how thin her vocals are. But she rides the absolute shit out of Taku's production and tames it within an inch of its life, all without the help of obvious lashings of auto tune, vocoding and vocal editing. "Ladies" manages to sound very now in its sound without adhering to many of the cliche's and templates which other pop skanks of today are sticking to like glue. It's dance music with an underground vibe, but it's not dubstep. It's electronic and funky, but there is no over use of auto-tune. The beat makes the song, but it wouldn't work without Iconiq on it. Everything with this song clicks in the right ways. It can slot in with what everybody else is putting out right now, but could also stand on its own aside from it.

"Ladies" is faster and more danceable than anything Iconiq had recorded for Change myself or Light ahead. She sounds much more vocally confident and surer of herself as an artist. Not every female in J-Pop could jump on a drum 'n bass tinged jam from Taku and make it work, but Iconiq does and the result is a hot song you can bump in the Hummer up loud, pop a p***y to on the street to, or dance around your handbag in a club to like an Essex girl. Those who like Iconiq's more R&B tinged songs probably won't like this. But Iconiq could very easily garner new fans from those who are big on DJ Taku and Shinichi Osawa, or underground music lovers in the the UK - the home of which cultivated this sound back in the 90's.

Iconiq. I'mma need you to stop taking pictures of your nails on Instagram and drop that new album by Christmas. Thanks.

8 out of 10

Listen: Ladies
Ladies | Digital single © 2012 Rhythm zone, Avex Trax


  1. Japan seems to have a problem with Iconiq. I'm not sure exactly what she did, but we all know she is originally from Korea, and had a flop career over there, and then She tried to re-invent herself in Japan. I think I read someone there that she was bad mouthing Japan in Korea or something like that. Beyond being a bald bitch, Japan didn't seem to care for her much. Someone Japanese told me that a lot of people found the add of her cutting all her hair off interesting, but after that she began to lose steam and no one gave two shits about her anymore. She even has a large number of dislikes on her Avex youtube videos. I think she's been quiet on the music scene because there's seem to be quite a bit of hate towards her right now.

  2. I really like this song. It sounds fresh and fun.

  3. ICONIQ should stick to this style, it suits her.

  4. i love iconiq. she is pretty much the only one left in jpop i still care about and all the hate she is getting in japan is a shame.


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