With Seunghoon and Jinu discharged from the army, Winner, the kings of summer, are finally back with “I Love U”.
“I Love U” immediately stands out as being uniquely Winner. It draws similarities to “Really Really” and “Island” sonically, while also sharing the same premise as “Hold” visually. In this regard, this comeback takes the refreshing and summery elements from “Really Really” and “Island” and combines them with the comical and playful aspects of “Hold”.
Right off the bat, “I Love U” is perfect for summer. It is lighthearted, retro, and upbeat all at the same time. And as one can tell upon the first listen, it quickly becomes an earworm, especially with its groovy and memorable chorus that immediately leaves an impression on you.
While “I Love U” is a strong track in general, the song’s final pre-chorus and chorus are definitely standouts. The perfect combination of Seungyoon’s melodic vocals and the key change makes this last part uplifting and dreamlike as if their lover has accepted their confession. And very appropriately, this closing segment makes you want to dance and celebrate with Winner. All in all, sonically, “I Love U” is a feel-good song that’s fit for its purpose as a confession of their love.
What do we do
If the world collapses tomorrow
I’ll just live in the moment
As my heart desires
In the cold world where all the romance has disappeared
I will proudly shout that I love you
Without a doubt, the song is catchy. However, the MV is even better as it works to elevate the whole viewing experience. As avid Winner fans may be able to point out, it is no coincidence that “I Love U” is similar to an earlier release, “Hold”, that is, the former consistently draws on retro influences, just like in the latter. Right from the opening, “I Love U” begins with an old-school TV show opening, somewhat reminding older listeners of the opening sequel of the ever-so-loved The Powerpuff Girls. Alongside the lens flare effect that gives the MV a dreamy look, the checkered pattern on Seunghoon and Jinu, the band setting, and Seungyoon’s sequined top, “I Love U” is reminiscent of well-known retro aesthetics.
The MV is not only visually stunning but also amusing and engaging, reminding viewers that Winner are also masters at entertaining. For one, Winner turn up the comic elements by parodying popular literary tropes such as Jinu and Seungyoon becoming their lover’s knight in shining armour while Mino and Seunghoon dress up as cupid to mirror these parts of their lyrics:
On my shoulders
Will you lean on me
We’re like the main characters of a romantic movie
Full of cliché topic LOVE love sick
What should I do I’m blinded by love
Additionally, the set designs are stunning and do a great job at emphasizing the members’ individuality. Jinu, the sweet one, becomes a director who directs his own romance movie, drafting out his own love story. Seungyoon, the brainiac, investigates a crime scene where the “victim” has been struck by cupid’s arrow. Mino, the cool one, rides in an open-top automobile while wearing branded clothing. And Seunghoon the sleek and sexy one gets himself ready in a changing room.
Choreography-wise, though dancing is not Winner’s strong suit, they make the most of it by creating a simple dance that works well with the song and is simple to follow. A simpler dance also invites the audience to join in on the fun, especially when dance challenges are now an essential part of a group’s promotional activities.
Admittedly, even though “I Love U” sounds a tad bit similar to their past releases, nevertheless, Winner still impress. There are many unique points in this track and Winner does everything right. And as usual, we can always count on Winner to release good and fun music with an entertaining MV that’s worth rewatching.
(YouTube. Images via YG Entertainment. Lyrics via Colorcodedlyrics.)