After a series of slower tracks, IU has revisited past sounds with new album Love Poem. And, there are certainly plenty of sounds to choose from. She’s had an interesting career, launching with a bubblegum pop style before segueing into a more theatrical, Broadway-ready belt that ultimately calmed to the quirky-cool singer we know today. Standout ballad Above The Time is a nod to this second musical iteration, while title track Blueming (블루밍) feels more indebted to the former.
Blueming is as simple and uncluttered a pop song as we’ve heard from IU in awhile, melding her always-appealing vocals with a straightforward pop-rock stomp. In this way, it feels like it could have been equally at home in the 2000’s as it is in the late-2010’s. Rather than attempt to do anything groundbreaking or inventive, Blueming finds its head-nodding groove early and sticks with it.
The track opens with the guitar riff that will go on to forge the backbone for the entire track. Blueming’s verses are enjoyable, if lightweight. IU’s vocals always sound great when layered, and the playful pre-chorus is wispy in the best way. The chorus is more robust, bringing in more guitar and synth for an exciting rock crunch. IU sells the energy, particularly during the catchy post-chorus hook. The song doesn’t really stretch itself beyond this, but that’s okay. It doesn’t feel designed to be a career standout. It’s more like a breath of fresh air, reminiscent of springtime just as we’re moving into winter.
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This song sounds like we could have heard it on the US radio in the 1990’s, all those female singer songwriters. If you told me this was headlining the Lilith Fair, I would believe you.
Which is to say, its a pretty good song.
For me personally though sometimes somethings lived through the first time are best left in the past like fancy patterned tights, flannel shirts, the Aniston haircut and this style of song.
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