By: Claudia Siregar |

Two years since the release of her chart-topping album “Palette” and a year since the release of the chart-topping “BBIBBI”, K-pop digimon singer-songwriter/producer Lee Ji-Eun, known by her mononym IU, is back with her 5th mini album, “Love poem”. “Love poem”, an EP with a slightly different sound from IU’s usual work, consists of six tracks including the pre-released ballad “Love poem”. This EP is a definitive proof of IU’s versatility as a musician, and here’s why.

In “Love poem”, IU experiments with quite a lot of new things while still keeping some distinct elements of her sound. For starters, she opens the EP with the upbeat piano pop track “unlucky”, infused with a mix of old school R&B and jazzy retro elements as the song progresses. It’s a well-known fact that IU often experiments with retro influences, yet a mix of old school R&B and jazz elements are something we have yet to hear from her. The next track off the EP, “The visitor”, has a more sensual touch to it. The sultry guitar-and-piano combination makes for a mature atmosphere as opposed to IU’s usual “nation’s little sister” image. Two tracks into the EP and we have already been convinced that IU is making a departure from her usual sound, but the third track off the EP, “Blueming” is that one track that will convince you that IU’s sound has indeed evolved. “Blueming” is a funky, rock-influenced track decorated by upbeat guitar riffs and IU’s falsetto – something new from IU indeed.

The next three tracks, however, are all ballads, something to be expected from IU. “Above the time” is an IU signature folk ballad, fusing the elements of traditional music and modern music into one. “Lullaby” is a more orthodox number, as it’s a stripped-down melancholic piano ballad similar to IU’s previously chart-topping singles such as “Ending Scene” and “My old story”. The last track off the EP, “Love poem”, is a slow rock-influenced ballad, something completely new from IU similar to “Blueming” and “The visitor”.

Overall, “Love poem” is a demonstration of how an artist could tackle new challenges and transform into the new without losing one’s originality. IU has outdone herself with the release of the EP, similar to “Palette” in 2017, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for her next.

Rating: 8.4/10

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