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Review: IU Gets Personal On The Single 'Twenty-Three' From Her New Album 'Chat-Shire' [VIDEO]

By Tamar Herman | October 27, 2015 02:01 PM EDT

K-pop singer-songwriter IU is back in the spotlight with her new EP, "Chat-Shire," released on Friday.

And though the leadoff single "Twenty-Three" may sound like a catchy piece of upbeat pop, the lyrics provide an introspective perspective into what it's like to be a young adult.

"Twenty-Three," which (like the rest of "Chat-Shire") IU co-wrote with Lee Jong Hoon and Lee Chae Kyu,  also features a music video that seems to visually express IU's feelings towards growing older as a young woman in the public eye, not quite an adult but no longer a child.

The song is IU's anthem to growing up, a jazzy playful composition questioning the K-pop starlet's current place in the world.

"Twenty-Three" is a hyperactive song that makes the most of electric and acoustic instruments interspersed with one another, with keyboards adding disco-esque elements in the background. This departure from folk in favor of more electro pop sounds is reminiscent of IU's recent collaboration with Park Myung Soo for the Korean TV show "Infinite Challenge" entitled "Leon." 

But it's the message of "Twenty-Three" more than anything, that demonstrates IU's rapid growth as a artist.

From the start of the song "I'm twenty-three, I'm a riddle," the vocalist (who is actually still 22 years of age, though considered 23 under the South Korean age numbering system) questions her role in the world, walking the line between childhood innocence and a woman coming into her own.

IU hints to her sexual awakening as an adult with lines like "I want to be a child forever, no, I want to be a moist woman."

While she addresses her life in a spotlight even more directly.

Entering the K-pop world at a young age as a soloist, IU's been involved in a media "scandal" or two, with the ubiquitous K-pop fan shaming and questioning of her true intentions.

"Pretend to be a fox that pretends to be a bear that pretends to be a fox," she sings halfway through the "Twenty-Three," highlighting the fact that her detrators have been known to refer to her as a "fox" in a deragatory sense--a type of wolf in sheep's clothing.

Rather than attacking others, IU questions her public perception how people want someone 23 to act.

A refreshing track lyrically with a music video that actually makes sense and is aligned with the song's lyrics, IU's "Twenty-Three" is the singer's most personal song to date, expressing her innermost feelings. And it's great to see her take on her biggest critics head on, but in a way that's still fun for listeners not up on the backstory.

Watch the music video for IU's "Twenty-Three" RIGHT HERE

Tamar Herman is a multi-media journalist and the co-founder of KultScene. She is a freelance writer and copy editor, and has written for MTV Iggy, Noisey, and Paste Magazine.

Tagged :  IU, twenty-three, review, Reviews, CHAT-SHIRE

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