[Review] COIN – IU

Screenshot of IU in the Coin music video. IU, dressed in classy clothes, at the end of the poker table with many poker chips in front of her. Behind her is an old-fashion stage (in which later in the video she sings on).

Following her LILAC comeback (I just posted the review), IU has dropped a second music video for this comeback for the song COIN. Both COIN and LILAC (and her pre-release Celebrity) features on her fifth studio album titled LILAC, which officially dropped on 25 March 2021. Based on the release of this music video and the presence of a music video teaser earlier in the week, I suspect we might be getting a music video for Flu, as we also got a music video teaser for that song. Whenever that video is dropped, I will be adding IU back on the review list and will write a review for the new release at the first instant. As for now, here is my review for COIN.

Coin tackles that funky and groovy style of music that LILAC also went for. But Coin is a little more straight forward with its funkiness and doesn’t really tap into a sub-genre. Instead, the funkiness comes through in Coin via the brass elements (which I did touch on in LILAC as a quintessential aspect of retro songs) and the guitar work. I also find that these are more prolific than in her main title track, which brings a lot more colour and energy to the song. IU’s vocals also help bring some more character and profile to the song, which instantly drives up the energy of the song. It brings a side to the soloist that I don’t think we have seen before. She also brings a slight playful tone to the song, which matches up with the lyrics of the song about playing a game (which I suppose extends out to a relationship). The most surprising element of Coin is IU’s rapping. I don’t think anyone suspected that IU was going to delivery some lines using a rapping method. It is well executed and I really like how she matches lyrics that is full of confidence to this part of the song (as her rapping showcases that confident style). Aside from the rapping, the song is quite catchy and addictive to listen to. The hooks in the chorus (i.e. ‘I can’t die, I am all in…‘ really is keyed into your mind after just a few replays). I would have liked to hear something from IU towards the end with a bit more oomph. We got some additional textural elements in the instrumentation and background at the end, but I wanted IU to just add that ‘cherry on top’ herself to make it more fulfilling. But overall, Coin is a fun and catchy song, and a nice change to IU’s usual style (in many ways than one).

The music video shows IU as a very lucky and successful card player. I am not well versed in this area, so I am unsure exactly what game is being played (and the cards just throw me off, despite also looking quite aesthetic at the same time). She starts off the music video inserting a coin into the jukebox, before gambling her way from the bottom to the top. While she is rolling in money (not literally), an unknown player comes in and challenges IU. I guess from the thrill that she is experiencing, she accepts. I feel like the rope that shows the two tied together and unable to leave the table represents they are in a possible relationship and that this relationship is essentially a game to her. But I am not exactly sure. In the end, she loses everything, but the guy leaves her a coin. Now I feel the ending is ambiguous, given the smirk that IU has on her face. It seems like she has done this before. And the coin is then used to play a song on the jukebox, which is what we saw at the start of the video. This means that IU continues playing on. I really like the setup of the video and the various animal heads we see. I also liked the changing colours and card suits that make up the choreography scenes as well.

While there doesn’t seem to be a live performance of Coin just yet, the choreography scenes we do get to see in the music video look quite classy and this adds has some uniqueness amongst solo releases. I do wish we get to see more in the future, as I feel like the choreography would also have a fun element to it.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10

2 thoughts on “[Review] COIN – IU

  1. I believe IU song Coin is her expressing her willingness to take risk with her music despite what her critics say. The use of animal head mask, in representing her critics was also seen I her song BBI BBI. She continues to win in her risk taking with the success of each new song and continually defeating her critics.

    In the last game however she finds herself going up against the Big Boss which represents the music industry itself. The scene where it shows IU and the Big Boss’s arms are tied together shows that the success of each is tied to the other. IU is shown that you can’t win them all when the Big Boss takes the pot. But as already shown by the rope tying them together, it is not in the Big Boss’ long term interest to destroy IU, but rather to keep her grounded in reality. So he flips her a coin to keep the music coming.

    Liked by 1 person

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