Photo credits: EDAM Ent

[Review] IU – LILAC

Bless this day because IU released her fifth studio album ‘LILAC’. Let’s dive right in, because I’m expecting quality tracks with heavenly vocals.


We start off with the first of two title tracks; ‘LILAC’. I love the chorus section with its funky instrumentation and the interesting vocal line. Peep the little Easter egg with the names of all her EPs and albums on the ‘Where are you going’ board.

Next up is ‘Flu’ which starts with groovy synths. In the track IU is comparing love to the flu. I really dig the vocal layering. That bridge is to die for and I would love to hear that live. You can find the translated lyrics here.

‘Coin’ had me shook from the very beginning. We get to hear the Jackpot sound and go right into IU’s lower tone. We’re going deep into funk with the groovy as hell guitar. The instrumentation in the chorus is *chef’s kiss*. This might just be my favorite song so far. I literally couldn’t sit still while listening to this. There’s a reason they used this as the second title track.

Emotional whiplash with the following track ‘Hi Spring Bye’. We’re going to Ballad Town with this beautiful, soft track. This song was composed by popular singer-songwriter Naul, who’s backing vocals you can hear here and there. 

The pre-released ‘Celebrity’ comes up next. We wrote about this release here. It’s still a bop and I’ve been listening to it quite a bit.

Next up

Next up is the heavily anticipated collab with DEAN. ‘Troll’ is a dream collab that features some reggae and bossa nova. Their harmonies are absolutely lovely. Here’s the translation.

‘Empty Cup’ follows that up. Woogie and Penomeco helped compose this track. The strings in the backing track are insane. I love it. This track is a mood and I’m here for it. The layering feels very tight.

When I saw the track list I knew that this would be the one that would be able to move me to tears. ‘My sea’ tugs at all my heartstrings and leaves me in a puddle. This has Disney movie qualities and I’m here for it. IU used the same composers as her track ‘Through the night’ which might explain a thing or two. When the choir came in I was already adding this to my Cry playlist. It’s majestic. 

Take a look at these lyrics:

‘When I was young, there was an eternal sea in my heart
That I could never hide
Now in the faintest places, only traces remain’


‘Ah Puh’ comes after and I got emotional whiplash again. This feels like the quirkiness of early IU. This is fun and happy and catchy. I dig it.

We close off the album with the ‘Epilogue’. This feels very soft. The effects they put on IU’s vocals threw me off a bit, but it reminds me of old-timey movies, so I liked it. 


Honestly, I don’t know how she does it but this album is filled with emotion, honesty and just fantastic music. ‘LILAC’ by IU is absolutely wonderful. 

You can listen to the album on Spotify here. If you want to read about IU’s previous release, you can click here.

Ilse Van Den Heede
A writer with a slight coffee addiction and a tendency to find K-Indie gems in the YouTube rabbit hole.