IU Becomes The “One” Again

Once again, the queen, IU, has arrived. IU is a Korean Pop artist who is the Taylor Swift of Korea. Her real name is Ji Eun Lee. She created the stage name IU, which means “ you and I are becoming one with music (The Meaning behind IU’s Stage Name Unraveled, n.d.).” IU kicked off her singing career in 2008 with her debut song “Mia” and then grew to be one of the top artists in Korea.
“The Winning” is an album that came out on February 20th, 2024. It is the first album IU has released in her 30s. After her sixth EP, she says that the conclusions and details are different nowadays, but she still has the energy from when she was 23. Now that she is in her thirties, she has different goals, however, she is still career-oriented. She says that she has erased the question mark from what was happening in her head and made it into an exclamation point (The Winning – 아이유, n.d.). The first desire that came to her mind at 30 was “winning.” IU knows what she wants and is excited to achieve her goals.
The first song that came out as a prerelease of the album is “Love Wins All, a ballad that continues thematically from previous releases. This song came out with a music video with V from BTS, who also participated in the music video. The music video starts with V and IU running away from a huge cube floating around. V has one blinded eye and IU has a lot of injury on her face. In a shop where no one is in, they find a camcorder. V looking at IU through the camcorder saw that she had no injuries at all and there were colorful backgrounds in the back when in reality it was all dull colors. They keep on looking through the camera lens to feel that they are having a great time. Enjoying their time looking through the lens, they get attacked by the cube again. As the cube turns red, IU hides the eye of V who is not blinded, not letting him see what is happening to them. At the end of the music video, they go up to the sky, and their clothes get thrown away.
Including “Love Wins All,” there are six songs in Winning. Every song has a different theme that comes together to make a cohesive whole.“Shopper” is a song about getting what the shopper wants and collecting in a shop that never closes. What they get in the cart is very personal. In this shop, the shopper is the one who prices the product considering the value of the shopper’s desire. The next song, “Dandelion Seed” talks about IU realizing that not everyone has to become a flower, meaning not everyone has to be perfect. Becoming 30, IU decides to be the seed instead of going around without a destination. “Shh…” is the only song that she has features in it. Hyein from New Jeans, Wonson Jo, and Patti Kim. This song is not just about a romantic relationship or a friendship, however, it goes more into a relationship that is more complicated than that. The fourth song “Love Wins All” is the song that IU is giving to her fans specifically to thank them for always being with her. Another song she is giving to her fans is “ I Stan U.” It conveys the message that I will be the audience who keeps sending love with my eyes and voice. With different themes, there are a lot of genres in this album. She has rock, metal, ballad, rap, hip-hop, R&B, and Soul all in one album. As she keeps on trying new genres, new listeners and fans can enjoy her varied discography.
Overall, IU once again released an album full of the love of her fans. Her preleased song “Love Wins All” is on the second of the Melon chart which is the biggest music streaming service in Korea. With many genres and themes in this album, people have an enriching listening experience. I give this album four out of five hearts.