Song Review: IU – Coin

IU is supporting her new album with a good old-fashioned double title track strategy. We don’t see double promotions in K-pop nearly enough anymore. I’ve always thought it was a great way to showcase a full album, incorporating more sounds and moods than a single title track can convey. In Lilac’s case, IU chose the two most “commercial” sounding songs to spotlight. The rest of the album veers more toward the wistful balladry and quirky coffeehouse pop we’re used to hearing from her.

I prefer Lilac over Coin, but this is also a solid track. It opts for a brassy funk backbone, complete with sinuous bass guitar and stomping percussion. It kicks up a nice groove, but lacks individual character. I feel like we’re going to hear this style of rhythmic instrumental a lot this year, which is a good thing. But, a song will live or die on the strength of its melody. In this regard, Coin can be a mixed bag.

I’m not super impressed with the chorus, which relies heavily on brassy flourishes in place of an inventive refrain. Luckily, the groove is loose enough that this centerpiece doesn’t simply feel like a drag-and-drop sample. And, Coin’s verses compensate for the hook’s melodic monotony. It’s fun to hear IU rap during verse two, but even before that her performance lends the track a breezy momentum that glides toward a fun pre-chorus. Taken alongside Lilac, I appreciate the one-two punch of upbeat title tracks. Both are well-suited to the optimism of spring.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25


4 thoughts on “Song Review: IU – Coin

  1. I also appreciate double or multiple single releases. (lolz multiple single) Big Bang really knocked it out of the park with the MADE series with all (or almost all?) released as singles with full video.

    The song is fine, it just doesn’t sound like IU. For one, she is singing lower and weightier, so it doesn’t sound like her typical timbre. But then the whole style of the song sounds like it could have been done by a lot of other kpop females. Any of the Mamamoo’s came immediately to mind, perhaps Sunmi, perhaps others.

    So I wonder why if you are IU, and can pull off styles and concepts that no one else on the planet can pull off, and have them hit #1 for weeks in a row, why do you do this song? I loved the Irish jig shoved into “Above the Time”. IU is also known for giving songs to other people, and having them be hits, while everyone recognizes and give props to IU all along. So why keep this song?

    I don’t know. Maybe she just wanted to do this. Alright, fine.

    I think the hook in the chorus is rather well done. I could sing bac and actually did sig back the chorus after one play, which means to me and my sensibilities, it’s a good hook.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I agree with my fellow regular up top – my first thought was that this does not sound like IU’s style at all. Very early Mamamoo reminiscent indeed.

    I like the song though and I’m all for this brassy, funky style returning, so.. no complaints.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Not as big a fan of this as I am of “Lilac”…the chorus isn’t as catchy for me, and I actually think the verses are pretty forgettable. Still a nice song, though! And I do love the double title track strategy, so.


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