IU – 'LOVE POEM'
2. The Visitor
4. Above the Time
6. Love poem
IU has just released her newest album 'Love Poem.' It has six tracks, including the title track "Blueming." It's her 5th mini-album to date. And she's just hit her second certified all-kill of the year, dominating the charts with that awesome title track. So how does it all sound?
We start with "Unlucky," a cheerful, upbeat piano ditty. It's fairly high-tempo and sounds pretty retro. I like it, though, it's refreshing, and her vocals make the whole tune worthwhile. "The Visitor" is a little more serious. It's slower and sung to a guitar most of the time. There's a piano that joins a little later, and it turns into a soft jazz tune. IU kills it here, too. "Blueming" is the lone pop song on the EP. Title track. Unlike most albums, the title track is actually my favorite here. It's upbeat, playful, high-tempo, and just an overall good time. I can see why they chose this as the promotional single.
The whole second half of the album is slower fare.
"Above the Time" is a slow burn. it starts out very tender, and finally acquires more of a beat a couple of minutes in. That's about the time I almost lost interest until it gained a little more substance. I wasn't a fan of the minimalist approach. What really shook things up was the almost Irish folk tune in the middle. I'm serious. You have to hear it to believe it.
"Lullaby" is a very tender, loving song. It should be, with that title. It's sung to a piano, and her voice goes breathy here. From beginning to end, it's just a lovely tune. Very calming, and definitely excellent.
"Love poem" starts out slow. But it's not long before it gets some echoey effects, and then turns into a grand affair. The song sounds positively epic before it's even midway through. It's a big, billowy ballad, with all that entails. It's also a great way to end the EP. It's a pre-release track, dropped earlier this month.
One of the things you notice on this EP is a propensity for real instrumentation rather than relying on synthesizers. You get the sense there's a real piano, a real guitar, and that's almost a relief. It means there's some meat to the music, and it never threatens to drown her out. The real star of the album is IU's voice, though. She knows her limits, and she works around them beautifully. Since she's the one crafting the lyrics, she knows by now where she shines. And the album reflects that nicely.
IU is waiting for a letter in the MV for "Blueming."
She wakes to an earthquake, and then immediately runs downstairs to check the mailbox. It's empty the first time she checks, then it contains a flower, and finally a package. Does it make any sense? No, but she looks cute as she shakes it and puts it to her ear.
Then you see a different IU, looking through a set of mounted binoculars. What she's focusing on is a grey balloon that says "Read Me." Then we get treated to scenes of lockers exploding, disgorging their contents, and IU dancing to the chorus of her own tune.
We get more scenes of her writing in a journal, painting flowers blue, and riding a bike. She sits on the stairs of her apartment, watching the flowers rapidly bloom. She plays balloons with someone else on the other side of the fence. Make no mistake -- there's not really a coherent narrative here.
But that's just fine. Because the whole thing is playful, painted in bold strokes of blue. It's fun watching IU make her way through this madcap MV. And it's visually intriguing. It pulls you in, even as you scratch your head, confused. It's another adventure of Alice in Wonderland, and IU is inviting you along for the ride.
MV SCORE: 8.6
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0