Song Review: IU – Into The I-Land

When I think of K-pop survival series, IU doesn’t immediately come to mind. But to be fair, she probably never thought she’d be singing something called “Into the I-Land” either. For those who haven’t been keeping up, I-Land is the name of Big Hit Entertainment and MNET’s upcoming “making the band” series, where trainees will compete for a place in a new group. Into the I-Land is the series’ “signal song,” and hearing IU continuously belt “run for your life!” throughout it makes me think she perfectly understands MNET’s intentions.

Kidding aside, Into the I-Land doesn’t really sound like it spawned from a K-pop reality series. It feels more like a hybrid between Dalsooobin’s spring track Dive and IU’s own Eight. This is no bad thing, as both songs share a sense of rousing energy, culminating in choruses that harness potent pop-rock melodies to craft a timeless sound. Despite its clunky title, Into the I-Land could have been released in any decade with few alterations.

The song’s opening verse melds a delicate guitar loop to a thumping kick before pulling back for a pre-chorus that thrives on its layering of atmospheric vocals. I-Land’s chorus has a satisfying heft to it, powered by a passionate vocal that pulls new sparks from IU’s oft-restrained performance style. From here, I-Land actually improves as it goes on. Its more modern electronic elements are well-placed, adding to the track’s anthemic quality rather than holding it back. There’s something very late-90’s Lilith Fair about the general sound here, and I support that unexpected inspiration.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!


9 thoughts on “Song Review: IU – Into The I-Land

  1. Oh I didn’t know about this song.
    I love this, especially the second half.

    But the video is interesting… The building, the scenery looks good.

    The show sounds interesting and the clips look good too.. hope its better than the previous survival shows and similar attempts.


  2. I thought this sounds like any big pop song on the radio being released these days and nothing like IU. Which is to say, meh as far as songs go. Also, I had to mentally check whether -other than being a TV show theme song- if this was stealth CF because it could also do quite handily for that. And it runs a minute too long for me.

    Greatest Showman influence too? Every teen and tween in my life loves the Greatest Showman soundtrack.

    Let’s just run for our lives. That “lives”. Grates on me every time. Its right up there with the Three Big Notes debacle with IU. Its about a G5. IU has no business trying to sing a G5. Now maybe Pink, Pink could sing the shit out of this song at this key, but really producers you could have lowered it all down a third or fourth for IU.

    So I watched this video and some of the assorted other ones, and the whole ultra modern cube building in the forest that everyone (except the camera crew) have to walk on foot to, strange rotating orange egg inside, Let’s just run for our lives. I dunno it all kinda creeps me out.


    • The song is mainstream and nothing special but none the less a good tune to hear. What realy is special is the message the producer wants to convey in the song. The message is, and you can read about it in other (online) articles, that the main focus is not the competition between aspiring K-pop artists but the solidarity and collaboration on the way too success of the 4th generation K-Pop artists.
      I am not a K-Pop fan so I will likely not watch the show but I realy hope the K-Pop Industry learned form the past losses and scandals espacialy over the last two years. Hopefully the 4-th Generation of K-Pop is not tossed into the corrupt and rough world of music business without any real help of the companies or their Managers and does not become socialy distorted and distanced like the former generations. Hopefully through this show the future fans/listeners/netizens will also learn a bit more that those participants are not God like Idols but Humans who have the right of privacy and respect even if you are not their fan and espacialy if you are.
      My speculation is that this hope was also the cause why IU was willing and chosen to sing the signal song. She has been through a lot in the K-Pop business.


      • If you’re not a K-pop fan, what the heck are you doing on this website? I mean, I’m happy you stopped by, but I’m curious what brought you here.

        And, this message is all well and good, but I don’t trust MNET in the least. Or Big Hit, for that matter. Feels more like lip service than an actual attempt to do right by artists — especially when used in the context of a survival series.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Lol, so you think only K-Pop fans are allowed to be on this site and to read this article? I found this site while searching more about the show I-Land wich I aso read about by chance. I am a regular netizen… I think I dont need to say any more regarding this.
          It is your right to be critical and not to trust MNET nor Big Hit or other companies. We all know that monney makes the world go round. But I only wrote about my hopes that this might be the start of a change in the K-Pop industry and “hope” is well known to die last.


          • Not at all… I just thought it was funny that you said you weren’t a K-pop fan right before dropping all this good K-pop analysis. I think we’ll get you on our side before too long 😉


            • I watched an K-Drama with IU (My Mister) and became interested in her as an actress so I read about her story which again I found interesting and continued to search. I then became genually worried about her and other artists in K-Pop as I read what happened through the last years including the Burning Sun Scandal which is realy an problem in South Koreas society but also involves K-Pop. This led me to the Produce 101 scandal this finally brought me to the show I-Land and your article. Sorry for the long story but you replied you are curious.
              As to becomming a fan, I would not totally exclude it but I have not yet found any sound that interested me enough to call me a fan. I thing K-pop is to artifical and to mainstream. Of course there are promising developements which again I hope are further evolving. For example Songs that came out of collaborations between K-Pop artist espacially if they write their own songs and music. So if this devolpment continues and something fresh starts I might really become a fan.


              • Las mayoría de colaboraciones con artista internacionales ni siquiera el grupo que canta se acredita la autoría de la canción sin mencionar que los idols de la ultima generación creo que ni siquiera saben componer porque no han sido entrenados para eso. Así que lo que pides todavía está muy lejos.


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