If BBIBBI playfully sheds light on the insidious nature of a celebrity’s existence, then Celebrity is the colour palette where IU makes a lyrical tone shift. In Celebrity, IU’s honeyed tones paints a picture of conflict when she sings, “The world’s edge/sharply angled/A troubled outsider,” describing a situation in which perhaps a young, hopeful person grapples with relinquished aspirations for the first time, where the music is “all minor.”
The song offers comfort when IU encourages the listener to celebrate their own unique colour and their “glow”, deploying encouraging imagery when she declares “you’re a star painted with a left hand” and assures that “a flower can bloom between the frozen tracks”.
Celebrity is a pre-release track from IU’s fifth full-length album – an electronic pop song with some elements of tropical house and EDM. The lyrics were written by IU and composed by Ryan S. Jhun, Jeppe London Bilsby, Lauritz Emil Christiansen, IU, Chloe Latimer, and Celine Svanback.
The music video is imbued with bright colours and is emblematic of a celebrity’s dual existence. The glittery outfits offer sharp contrast to some of the lyrics. IU has previously alluded to liking things that are out of style, specifically celebrating her unique preferences ( “dark purple over hot pink”), in her song Palette (featuring G-Dragon). Celebrity can be viewed as a musical extension of Palette, where she encourages her listeners to be themselves, take time to learn and grow, and stay true to their unique individual strengths.
Celebrity is very much in sync with IU’s body of work; it veers away from the usual love song and proclaims adoration for her beloved UAENAs, rather than a romantic lover.
Verdict: IU holds on to her K-pop supremacy with a song that is upbeat, catchy and lyrically meaningful.