This song describes the feeling of love, but ultimately it’s too repetitive and too similar to Woods’ previous tracks to bring the message home.
ILU (short for “I Love You”) is a song written and performed by Canadian artist Elijah Woods. The song was first released on TikTok by Elijah on May 1 and within 24 hours it had reached over 2 million views on the platform. It was officially released on music platforms on June 10.
Woods was born in Ottawa, on March 2nd, 1994. He started his career with Jamie Fine in 2014, later branching off to do his own work in November 2020. His music is within the pop genre, and the song “ILU” is his 6th single.
When he was with Jamie Fine, they won the iHeartRadio Much Music Video Award for the best new Canadian artist in 2018. They were also nominated for some Juno awards, such as breakthrough group of the year and fan choice award in 2019, and then pop album of the year and group of the year in 2020. An interesting fact is that Woods has almost the same name as the actor known for his work in the Lord of the Rings series, Elijah Wood.
The first time I heard this song was when I was working at my part-time job. It was on the typical radio stations (in this instance one called “Stingray Music”) and would play a few times during my shift.
The song sounded quite repetitive initially. It also struck me as a basic pop song, by which I mean its lyrics sounded too similar to songs I’d heard before.
Those early thoughts were confirmed after revisiting the track. To dive in deeper, it is very repetitive with the lines “I-L-U with a heart, babe”. It gets annoying after a while because “ILU” is already the title of the song, it’s in the chorus, and there are many lines similar to it. It’s all he sings in the outro. There is a massive lack of creativity when it comes to the lyrics, causing them to basically repeat the same message over and over again.
Secondly, it is too similar to other pop songs that discuss loving someone and express this feeling in simplistic ways. For example, there are so many songs labeled “I love you” and “ily” already that discuss the topic of love and how the artist wants their subject, whoever “they” are, to know they love them and miss them and want to be with them. “I Love U” by The Chainsmokers has a very similar meaning/message but with a different singer and different beats. A remake of Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” from 1967 called “ily” by Surf Mesa and Emilee also repeats this same message. The concept is simply too basic.
Elijah Woods doesn’t seem to branch out with his music into different genres besides pop and doesn’t write about more personalized topics (such as mental health, career, family, etc.).
The only good parts about this song are that it’s catchy and might be relatable to those who miss someone they love or once loved. The beat is pretty basic but easy enough to dance or sing along to, which is why it was so popular on TikTok (the app is known to popularize and spread music, especially pop music). Also, the background music is quite calming, almost low-fi, which can be relaxing to listen to as you don’t have to pay close attention to the lyrics.
Overall, Elijah Woods’ “ILU” is not very original and lacks meaningful, extensive lyrics. I hope for the future, Elijah can test out either genres or produce more creative lyrics.