Song Review: Winner – I Love U

Winner - I Love UWith half of its members completing their military service, Winner have found the perfect window to release an album before another inevitable hiatus. When it comes to most groups, military enlistment feels like a huge upheaval of momentum and schedules. But, YG Entertainment makes its fans suffer through lengthy periods between releases anyway, so a new Winner album after two years is pretty much par for the course. Maybe this has been the agency’s grand plan all along!

Winner have returned in good spirits, offering an upbeat summer bop in contrast to many of their peers. I appreciate the energy and sentiment so much. I wish I loved the song as much as I love the concept, but I Love U is musically buoyant, throwing elements of funk pop, retro synth and playful hip-hop into a blender and emerging with an upbeat tonic that’s a lot of fun. Parts of the track (especially the rap) have an impish charm in keeping with past summer hits. I’m thinking Pentagon’s Shine, in particular. I also appreciate the cool little pre-chorus, which forgoes a predictable build for a sticky melody instead.

My stumbling block with I Love U is its chorus. Subjectively, I find it a little… irritating. The falsetto is expertly delivered, but the melody borders on shrill and feels kind of jokey for my taste. The songcraft is clearly seeking an effusive rush of emotion and I think this works. In fact, I think the whole track works. I just don’t know how it’s going to age. I could see this going either way for me.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8


15 thoughts on “Song Review: Winner – I Love U

  1. I can’t say I love the song as my doubts about it fall on the small line as yours but in a time where kpop seems to be constantly trying to be cool or appeal to a more global market, this looks and feels so much like the kpop that first grabbed my attention that I can’t help but smile and enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh…I thought that Winner have already disbanded secretly, but it’s so nice that the guys came back!
    Talking of the song itself, it is good. What’s more, this has nothing to do with the generic boy group shout-a-thons. I’m just glad that the group members have fun here.
    Though I agree about the chorus, its irritatingness kinda reminds me of a commercial jingle and I fear how it will age.
    Rating is about right.


  3. This is the most excited I’ve been upon hearing a bg title track since NCT Dream’s Hello Future. I am absolutely down with the vocal tics in this song…


  4. i like this song and appreciate its retro elements. ratings just about right

    anyway, since nick’s probably never gonna renew his 90s jpop roadmap for a second round, im gonna talk about a jpop song myself. the song i’ll talk about is “fukyouwaon” by keyakizaka46.

    this song is pretty frustrating. the song is an EDM/rock/dance-type song with a really good synth-line, which makes for a pretty good song. unfortunately, what let me down with the song is how weirdly the vocals are mixed, as with a lot of the sakamichi series songs. they sound way too quiet, which causes the song to not hit as hard as it’s supposed to.

    fortunately, the instrumental’s pretty top-tier, and the performances, if mixed well, could actually sound good. i also kinda liked the chorus, even if its a bit one-note. so yeah, those are my thoughts about the song

    hooks: 8
    production: 7
    longevity: 9
    bias: 8
    rating: 8



    There is a shed load of personality and charisma buried in all the twists and turns of the song, somuchso I really want to see how they ham it up live. It is whimsical without being corny or young or goofy, it just flat out fun.

    I love SeungYoon throwing in his best Gaho impression while reminding us that he was the winningest winner of Masked Singer among idols for a long while. Sure, I love yoo oooh ooh ooh oooh ooh ooh like it was nothing at all.

    Easy 9 for me, maybe higher.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Not bad, not bad. Am loving all this 1980s revival. Now that Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill is in vogue, I am in high hopes for the global music industry for producing more catchy (art) pop songs!


  7. I know it won’t be talked about a lot but this mini album is EVERYTHING I love about kpop. 10mins is old school kpop in the vein of BigBamg and every song is so damn catchy and unapologetically so. I think there room for every type of music in the industry but I long for songs that YG are dishing out. I just love the formula. The authentic chant, the catchy verses, the glorious vocals I just love it. Anyway it’s just great to have Winner back before the long break and I’ll eagerly anticipate their return.


  8. ILOVEYOU just keeps playing in my head. It’s a total bop! I just like how simple the choreography. And WINNER Kang SeungYoon showed that they can hit those high notes. It’s time for a kpop group that can really sing to shine.


  9. this song is really, really great. It’s great to see Winner and quality YG music (actually, IKON has been dishing out the goods too).
    The winner is such an extraordinary group, and I wish these YG groups were around more lol.

    These are the vocal timbres I want to hear from more BG’s.
    This summer, I hope we see more releases of this caliber. And what an ending! I love how they blended shouting in with the unison vocals.


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