IU is a force of nature in Korean music. No matter what else is going on, you can depend on IU releases to be dominating the charts. “Blueming,” her latest offering, was no exception.
Of course, popularity alone doesn’t mean that quality comes along with it (and it frequently doesn’t). Thankfully, in the case of “Blueming,” it’s deserving.
Generally speaking, IU’s releases are no worse than above-average, and it’s remarkable that her stylings can make even a fan of more aggressive tones appreciate her sound, mainly due to bringing something unique in the instrumentation or her own signature delivery. On that note, “Blueming” is rather straight-forward electro-pop, which puts it at risk for being generic or boring. But the rock tinge to it powered by a ever-present guitar riff, the flirtatiousness to IU’s vocalization, and the highly relatable lyrics/theme help separate it.
The song is upbeat and playful throughout set on a foundation of repeated aforementioned guitar riff, but the chorus is where it really takes off. It’s surprisingly dynamic with a unique synth lead-in, and the sound is a bit of a throwback that I initially had trouble placing, but it seems to fit right in with a 00s-era pop hit, which is likely why it attached itself to me immediately. IU then shines by somehow making the repetition of “I feel blue” something memorable instead of something that kills the momentum of the song. She seems to manage to conjure life out of the most minute details of the lyrics, which helps elevate everything by constantly demanding the attention of the listener.
“Blueming” dug the hooks into my eardrums immediately as it was nostalgic but pleasantly refreshing at the same time. However, it wasn’t just the initial impression, as it’s grown on me with time and the repeatability likely stems from being a remarkably easy listen with IU’s vocals just going over so effortlessly. While I’m frequently baffled by many of the songs at the top of the charts (even sometimes when it’s IU), the popularity of “Blueming” makes sense as the groove is easy to get into at any time and the relatability of the content is universal.
TheBiasList enjoyed “Blueming” as well, even if not quite to the same extent.