Song Review: IU – Shopper

The pre-releases for IU’s newest album have run the musical gamut, from theatrical balladry to quirky, hip-hop inflected dance. She’s saved the best for last, unveiling the uplifting pop surge of Shopper. It ticks many of the boxes we’ve come to expect from her music but does so with such gusto that it’s hard to be disappointed.

Of all the elements within Shopper, its chugging electro groove feels most notable. I’m not sure IU has ever gone so electronic on a title track, and this consistent momentum gives the song plenty of drive. Even when the instrumental largely fades out, you can still feel the ghost of the rhythm hanging around. Wisps of guitar supply extra texture, anchoring IU’s airy vocal.

Despite this engaging instrumental, Shopper‘s true calling card is its soaring chorus. The melody crests upward, giving IU the chance to showcase her range. The arrangement could stand to be a bit bolder here, taking advantage of the song’s anthemic quality. As widescreen as this music is, the production feels like it’s holding back — afraid to go too big. Climactic guitar hints at the unbridled drama that could have unfolded. But even with its restraint, Shopper is a jolt of positive energy that proves quite addicting.






Grade: B

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