Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: IU–“You and I”

IU and her magical goose go a-time travelin’.

Did you like the song?
This song was created by the acclaimed songwriter/producer team Lee Minsoo and Kim Eana, the same people who produced hits like IU’s “Good Day” and the Brown Eyed Girls’ “Abracadabra.” Like “Good Day,” “You and I” has a fairly complicated orchestral sound with heavy strings that makes it sound Christmas-like at first, but parts have these otherworldly undertones that make the song more than just another pleasant ballad.

IU You and I


What was your favorite part of the song?
I like that creepy line just before the chorus “nae ireum bulleojwo” (“Please call out my name”). But I also adore this creepy orchestral/choral sequence. It sounds like something that should be in The Nightmare Before Christmas. In general, I think this song succeeds more when it’s mysterious than when it’s sweet, but it’s a nice mix of the two.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
There isn’t any English in this song. :(

Did you like the video?
Why is it that all time travel devices have to look like British police boxes now? Thanks, Doctor Who. IU certainly likes her birds. In “Good Day” it was a parrot, now she has a goose for a friend. Also, it’s interesting that Sunny Hill were listed as the backup vocals for this song, because this video reminded me of their music video “Midnight Circus” a lot. “You and I” has the same dusty steampunk look (incorporating old Victorian fashion with fantasy steam technology), the same gorgeous set, the same upbeat song that’s slightly off, making the entire tone disconcerting, even some similar dance moves.

IU You and I set screenshot

Both the sets are really lovely.

For all that, though, I have to say the storyline really bothered me. Isn’t it irritating how often in popular love stories—and in real life, to think of it—a woman has to give up something very important and special to her in order to be with her desired man, when he hardly has to change anything to be with her? And often, like in The Little Mermaid, she has to give up a major part of her life—like her friends or her parents or something that makes her uniquely herself.

In Western culture, it must date back to the Bible with Genesis 2:24—a man has to leave his parents to be with his wife, and they form a new entity. But doesn’t that more imply that the guy has to leave stuff? And I’m sure there are examples of that, where a guy has to give up something in order to be with his lady, but I can’t think of any (other than heroically sacrificing himself so she can live, but that’s not a sacrifice for their ongoing relationship since he’ll no longer be alive). Anyway, the more I see girls and women having to make some insane sacrifices for love, the more troubling I find the trope and the message it sends.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Well, Loen went and ruined the fun by officially explaining the video, but here is a quick summary: I literally have no words for how disturbing this music video is. And the fact that it’s trying to pass as a sweet love story is really worrying.

IU’s grandfather was a mad scientist and probably also a control-freak psychopath who couldn’t take the idea that his granddaughter might go out into the world and make friends and find her future husband on her own, so he locked her in a tower like the evil witch in Rapunzel.

Creepy clock tower

What a great guy.

Then, like the crazy dude he was, he kidnapped and then cloned young boys—or just kidnapped them or just created them somehow; this part is not explained well—in order to create the perfect little Frankenstein’s monster for his precious granddaughter to date/marry when she grows up. Let’s be honest, he probably based his creation on himself, so essentially once the monster awakens, we’re going to have an icky incest situation.

IU is understandably sad and lonely and also probably wildly agoraphobic, so in the absence of having any semblance of a real life, she has to resort to making friends with geese, forever trapped in a childlike world. She dreams of hopping on a train (the Fantasy Express, lol) and getting the hell out of Dodge the creepy clock tower with her sleeping beau.

IU You and I goose

IU with her only friend. Thanks, Grandpa!

Because she literally has no other friends, of course she falls in love with the only human thing in her entire world. Her very existence revolves around taking care of him while waiting for time to pass. (And, yeah, it doesn’t hurt that he is super-attractive.)

IU You and I members actor

This is what IU does for years.

One day she finds out that the slumbering dude whom she lives with will wake up when she becomes an adult. Then she can’t take staring at the calendar anymore and waiting for her only human acquaintance to awaken, so she decides to do the only logical thing: build a time machine to skip through years of her own life in order to be with this guy she has never really met before. She has no clue as to his personality; she only knows a fantasy version of him and how he looks—and let me tell you, that is a ridiculously horrible basis for starting a lifelong relationship.

Except she’s wrong, and he wakes up early or something. Then later ~in the future~ they meet at a confectionary, where she has a job.

IU You and I gif

Oh hai there.

Yay! She actually had some kind of life outside the tower! Good for IU. But her goose friend is probably dead—or cooked, if you prefer. And they all lived happily ever after (except the goose). Followed by three minutes (!!!) of credits.

IU, why are you telling fans, many of whom are young girls, that they should race through their own lives—time in which they could be developing their personalities and skills and interests—in order to be with someone they don’t know who might not even like them? :/

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
Absolutely. This dance is so creative. IU and her backup dancers collaborate nicely, and their hands are literally the hands on a clock, which ticks backwards…and then forward at a faster rate, implying time travel. Really cool. (I wish U-KISS could have taken notes for their dance in “Tick Tack,” other than the head ticking part.)

IU You and I gif

Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…into the fuuuuture.

Do the members look good?
IU always looks very sweet and pretty, and even though he wasn’t in it much, I liked actor Lee Hyun Woo from the drama “Master of Study.”

Which member stood out the most?
The goose IU, obviously. I hardly noticed anybody else at all, despite how attractive Hyun Woo is.

IU You and I concept photo beach

IU on a beach.

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
No, unfortunately. I mainly like the creepy parts, and there aren’t enough. :)

Any ending thoughts?
Like BEAST’s “I Like You the Best,” long credits are loooong.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“I was torn at the beginning as to whether she was going to be Santa Claus or a serial killer.”

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments below! :)


  1. Just watched this MV, cute and thurough synopsis here! Perhaps her next song can feature penguins?
    And i totally got the Dr. Who reference from the start! lol I was simultaneously pleased/displeased... I love me some Tardis, but they didn't even bother to make it something other than blue ,__,

  2. Yes, penguins! Excellent idea!

    Hahaha, I love me some Tardis, too.

  3. You can make up the plot and take it as the last two galifreyans that were able to escape the time lock and that they need to repopulate but he won't wake up from his regeneration yet T.T so then IU decides... i don't know lol. 

  4. LOLOL, another Doctor Who fan! I never before realized how many Kpop fans are into the Doctor as well. :D

  5. Which member stood out the most?The goose LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!