“Try to guess.”

Sung by South-Korean singer-songwriter IU (Lee Ji Eun), Twenty-Three is the first single in her latest mini-album ‘Chat-shire’. And by far counted as her most personal piece of art.

In this song, IU sings about her life which people try to unravel for her, deciding that they know her intentions just by looking at her face, deciding that they understand what she wants based on something she says or does. It is a smart way of doing it, telling it through an Alice In Wonderland concept using abstract lyrics. With this kind of video and lyrics, one would be inclined to either hate or admire it. But just as the song says, which one?

Do you really know?

What is the meaning behind someone’s smile? What is the meaning behind a hint? What is the purpose of that action? Is it so simple to think that I am doing that just because I want to? I have motivations even I don’t know, how can you know what I want?

I think that IU is mature for her age and this honesty that she has, coupled with her ability to abstractly paint her thoughts out loud will allow her to separate the sheep from the wolves pretending to be sheep. But then again, I don’t know, do I? No-one will really know.

Which one?
You cannot tell with my face
Making an opposite facial expression
to the heart is really simple
Which one?
Actually I don’t know either
At first, I never wrote
even a single line of lies

Pretend to be a fox that pretends to be a bear
that pretends to be a fox
Or completely different one

It is true that you cannot judge someone at face-value because you never know their intentions. What they say about themselves, what they say about the world, what they say is the truth… do they mean what they say or are they saying something else?

All these puppet strings that people haphazardly string around themselves by judging before they know, by knowing before they judge, they tangle you up one day. The way to cut them all is to not care. If you want to care, you’ll be hurt, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong does it?

“Try to guess.”