Netizens Reveal Why IU’s Latest Comeback is No Longer Well-Liked in Korea 

The comments of Korean netizens on various topics have given an insight on why IU’s latest comeback isn’t doing as well as her old songs. 

IU recently made a comeback after 3 years of hiatus from the music scene. However, despite the element of anticipation and its grand scale (with 4 MVs and features from top names like BTS’s V, NewJeans’s Hyein, DPR IAN, and actress Tang Wei), IU’s latest album is not charting as well as her previous releases, and even recently surpassed by BIBI. 


Seeing this, many people cannot help but ponder on the reason behind this phenomenon, and the comments on Korean forums may present some answers. 

First, the two titles, “Shopper” and “Holssi” are not fitting for Korean tastes, as the song lyrics are strange and not relatable. Some people cannot sympathize with the songs, and some cannot even understand the lyrics through IU’s singing. Below are some comments regarding this: 

  • I understand “Holssi” and “Love Wins All”, but ‘Shopper’s meaning is unclear. I’m watching the music video but can’t make out the lyrics. I like IU so much. I enjoy her songs and care about her, but I genuinely don’t get anything about the shopper.
  • I’m not sure what the lyrics are about…
  • The melody is good, but no matter how many times I listen, I can’t make out the lyrics. It’s great when you can hear the lyrics clearly, like ‘Night Letter,’ but at some point, the lyrics become so poor that it feels like I’m mumbling and it’s frustrating.”
  • The lyrics are creepy ㅜㅜㅜㅜㅜ Things like ‘don’t be afraid of heights…’ The lyrics of “Shopper” are also dull… Doesn’t IU read books these days…?”
  • I like “Holssi”, but I don’t understand “Shopper”… This is the first time I’ve watched an IU MV where I almost had to stop in the middle. The only reason I watched until the end is that I thought there would be a change in the lyrics, but there wasn’t
  • The English pronunciation makes it really hard to understand…

Secondly, IU previously attracted and received a lot of affection from Koreans through her image as a “little sister” and friendly girl-next-door, but this time IU has changed to a cooler, more fashionable style. It seems that the Korean public doesn’t quite like this new image of IU, according to related comments.

  • IU’s music and style seem a bit different from what the public wants to see.
  • The more IU focuses on becoming trendy, the further she distances herself from the public…
  • It seems like IU is making a lot of effort to become fashionable, from dyeing her hair to attracting attention as a global star, but I feel like she’s wearing clothes that don’t suit her.
  • I like IU and always look forward to her new album releases. It’s great to try new things, but for some reason… lately, it seems like she’s pursuing a hip-hop style but feels like she’s wearing ill-fitting clothes ㅜㅜㅜ I feel really awkward.. I’m a little disappointed ㅠ IU used to create music that only IU could do, it was a trend itself… After listening to all the new songs, I went back to listen to old songs like ‘Rain Drop’ and ‘Every End of the Day’…”
  • It feels like what IU is pursuing doesn’t suit her.
  • I feel like IU is deliberately trying to look trendy…? That feeling doesn’t sit well with me, so I only listen to “Love Wins All” full of emotions and nothing else.
  • The old IU, please come back… I really feel like you’re blindly following the current style, your colors don’t match your current style

Korean netizens are not fond of IU’s current singing style, where she incorporates vocal techniques into her songs. They prefer her raw, emotionally resonant voice and the gentle, heartfelt songs she used to sing.

  • I’m not really a fan of IU, but I love IU’s style in songs like “Through the Night,” “Knee,” and “Heart”… I wish she’d come out with something like that again, but it’s odd how the current songs seem to overshadow those and focus more on the flashy aspects rather than the essence of the song. They just don’t sound good.
  • I can’t remember the last time I listened to IU’s music.. I miss her old songs so much.. 
  • I only remember IU’s old songs… As time goes on, her songs seem to lose their vibrancy. It feels like IU herself is fading away too.
  • I feel like IU’s musical direction is drifting further away from the public… Looking at the reality, most of the public seems to feel that only “Love Wins All” hits the mark..
  • Personally, I think IU’s old songs suit her voice better… It seems like the emotional style IU is pursuing doesn’t quite match her voice..
  • I really like IU in her simpler songs, she has a natural voice and sings well, so I really enjoy songs like “Through the Night” and “Meaning of You”, but I don’t enjoy her singing songs with high notes like “Strawberry Moon” or “Lilac”.
  • Same here, I like IU, but I feel like IU’s emotions in her older songs were really authentic. My favorite song is “Knee,” and among the remake albums, I really enjoy “Secret Garden” and “My Old Story,” I feel like those emotions resonate more with IU. Her voice used to be so soulful, but now it feels different and I can’t make out the lyrics clearly… Anyway, this comeback has left me quite disappointed, I wish she would release a song like “Every End of the Day” or “Rain Drop” again.
  • IU’s simpler singing style in the past was really appealing, but now I feel like IU is using too many techniques..? It seems like her pronunciation gets strained at high notes? I don’t like that feeling 
  • It seems like IU is facing quite a few challenges with this comeback, as “The Winning” receives mixed reviews from domestic listeners. Some Koreans aren’t embracing this new style of IU; including unclear lyrics and sloppy delivery.
  • Some point out that IU is increasingly chasing the foreign market as she focuses more on melodies with English lyrics to attract international fans. In the future, if IU continues down this path and releases songs with unfamiliar melodies, achieving PAK (Perfect All-Kill) will certainly not be as easy as before. 
  • IU probably needs to return to songs that cater to Korean tastes or find a balance between Korean and international audiences if she doesn’t want to lose her momentum.

Source: K Crush

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