I’m a firm believer that music shouldn’t be in the meme business. A dynamite song should be able to stand on its own, apart from any visual gimmick or performance trick. As silly and viral as everything about Gangnam Style was, the track itself possessed an incredible series of hooks that anchored its more off-the-wall moments. In a lot of ways, the song was pop music at its most joyous and unrestrained. In seeking to replicate the success of a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon like this, you’re only going to end up seeing diminished returns. And when it comes to PSY’s post-2012 title tracks, that’s been exactly the case. Gentleman and Daddy kept the party going to various degrees, but I Luv It sees the sound beginning to get a little stale.
I’m a little surprised that the song was co-written by Pop Time, who are responsible for many of Block B‘s hits. The expected jolt of rambunctious energy is present throughout, but the hook at the song’s center feels oversimplified and disappointing. I Luv It kicks off with a flourish of brass before launching into its elastic beat. The verses do an effective job highlighting this nimble production, as PSY tosses out one-liners with enough charisma to stop any show. But when the pre-chorus starts its predictable build, the song begins to sound too much like a retread.
If I Luv It would have attempted a more interesting, melodic chorus, the familiarity of its sound may not have been a problem. But simply repeating the title over and over in an ever-increasing pitch grows tired very quickly. To make matters worse, the instrumental lacks any defining moment that might compliment this simplistic hook. A catchy riff or post-chorus breakdown could have given the track the oomph it needs. As it stands, there are far better songs of this style in PSY’s back catalog.