IU - Growing Up

Yes, the girl's stage name is IU. Strange but that can be forgiven.
This girl was fifteen when this album was released. When she finished promoting what I think was the first single(her live performances were quite good as well..), her record company forced her to change her image - she went from gorgeous ballads and somewhat serious music to fun, perky bubblegum pop. The album is like two of those genres crossing, some songs got it right some completely wasted it but I always have ulterior motives for writing reviews - you'll find out soon enough.

The album begins with that I assume is a cross between her earlier serious/ballad-based style and her later perky, mindless bubblegum pop thing. There are points where it can seem like there's no end to the song but there are moments and the melody is worth two or three listens at the very least.

The second track was the fun, 'young' image song I was talking about a while ago - Boo. When I first listened to the song without knowing what she used to make I thought she was a sweet girl and that the whole thing is cute but after some research and more YT-hopping I found out that this song had a video that was a complete rip-off of Kylie's Come Into My World. When the record company found out that people had noticed it, they completely stopped all promotion for the single. Sad, really. If she had gotten a different video her venturing into the fun side of things would've been quite popular. I don't know what happened after the promo stopped but this girl seems to be posting a lot of covers on YouTube. Let's see where it'll take her.
A not so bad ballad follows and at this point you won't be able to tell what she used to sing. It's the light ballad with not that much heartbreak and revenge injected in the melody so I assume this was also her record company's doing. After a confused jazz-sounding track comes along, Every sweet day - a gorgeous, gorgeous light R&B-influenced song bursts out of nowhere and when I first heard it my jaw dropped wide open(literally). It's sweet and light-hearted but there's a part of this song that tells you she's NOT a little girl singing about butterflies and rainbows(Even if I don't really know why she's saying. Whatever.) even if the melody is a bit like that. It's confusing in the right way, I think.

So the next song was the infamous serious ballad she had during the early, early days of her career. The first time I heard Missing Child I thought it was gorgeous - there were moments in the song where I just wanted to burst but it wasn't like the other songs I had featured. Most of the other songs I featured had made me want to write about them from the minute the vocals kicked in. So with a new song discovered but not blog-worthy, I moved on. Then hours after I thought of giving the song a second chance - that's when something worthy of my time and effort came along.
This is not the most gorgeous thing you will ever hear but it's close. The best part is the very start before the extra instrumentations kick in - it makes me want to pull my hair out.

The song that follows this has a nice melody and more of the light instrumentals but it's nothing special, there's nothing that makes me jump out of my seat. The ninth track(don't know what it translates to in English, sorry) reminds me a lot of Every Sweet Day and they're tied for my affection at the moment so much that these two are probably the only songs I'll listen to for the next day or so.

The remaining tracks don't make an impact to me - there's another jazz-y thing and a ballad with an OK melody that turns into a jazz-y thing(what is with all the jazz-y stuff?), a bunch of remixes of the songs I don't like and instrumentals. Even if the album is not the best in the world and there's so much I can start attacking her for, I wanted you to hear IU for one reason and one reason alone.

This is how a fifteen year-old should sound - slightly squeaky, a bit vulnerable at certain registers and not completely mature(kinda like me.. hahah.). I've been told that a fifteen year-old who sings like a fifteen year-old is harder to find in the pop music industry than a fifteen year-old who sings like she's in her late twenties. People think that just because someone has a voice that makes them sound like an old woman, that voice is exceptional and beautiful. Most of the time I don't agree with them - does it mean that if you make someone look older than they really are it's beautiful as well? I don't think so.

Beauty is an opinion - what you find beautiful and ugly is none of my business but you're reading my blog with my opinions.

I'm sick and tired of hearing Charice's voice. She may be from the Philippines as well and people have told me to be proud of her but how can I be proud of someone I don't like to start with? She's probably a very nice girl when you talk to her but what's really important in music - personality or vocals? Vocals. I don't like her voice - I never will because I myself don't think it's beautiful. It's big and deep, yes but to me it's not beautiful. She doesn't sound like a sixteen, seventeen year old - she sounds like she's forty.

I like this girl because she sounds like a fifteen year-old. I think her voice is beautiful because she sounds her age and because it's really gorgeous. Her voice will change over the years(hopefully we hear more of that change.. here's one of her more recent live covers), by the time she's in her early twenties the squeaky-ness will be replaced but I have a very good feeling that when it does morph it'll be just as beautiful if not mind-blowing.

No sum-up. I'm lazy and I've written way too much.

3.9/5 For the album as an album.

BUT

4.8/5 For IU's voice.

5 comments:

  1. Will listen to this...hahaha...

    //beE

    ReplyDelete
  2. isn't it weird when you fall in love with a voice, and think it has much more potential than the material gives it?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah, come to think of it.. The girl has so much potential that if this is the first and only album of hers that we get I'll be really angry at her talent agency.

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  4. I totally love the voice of this girl.. When she was playing a role in a K-drama as a fat singer-wanna-be, I was entirely moved by her songs,, She was called "perfect pitch" because she can sing flawlessly..

    Yeah,her name was weird but definitely some of he songs gives justice to her singing talent,, I think what counts most today is that she was given the opportunity to show the k-Pop industry that you dont need to be part of a girl group to be recognized,,her good pipes is something that's not easy to spell...
    Love your post bout IU,, I hope to read more of her upcoming albums!

    ReplyDelete

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