Ailee U&I

Ailee is a total Beyonce knock-off, but she gets away with it because she’s so damn good at it. She may not be the most original songstress under the sun, but her last two singles were able to either match or surpass their source material, and the same goes for her latest offering, “U&I.”

The new single was produced by Shinsadong Tiger (T-ara’s “Roly Poly,” B2ST’s “Fiction”), but anybody unfamiliar with K-pop would probably peg it as the work of Rich Harrison the second the brass section starts. It’s is supercharged Beyonce, borrowing from both “Crazy in Love” and “Freakum Dress,” and rivaling them both in pure sass and adrenaline.

Only the hugest pop diva vocalists –like Beyonce, Christina, and Kelly Clarkson– could go toe-to-toe with production this big and busy, and Ailee’s one of them. Listening to her belt her way through “U&I” is exhausting, and I mean that in the best way possible.

With old-school funk and soul back on the charts in a big way thanks to the likes of Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, and Justin Timberlake, Ailee couldn’t have picked a better time to release a song like this. It’s only going to be a matter of time before she makes Jersey proud and goes for the American market. And even if she never breaks the States, she’s already well on her way to becoming the Beyonce of Asia, which isn’t such bad consolation prize.

  • Riley Biers

    Seems more like an Amerie-clone


    I never really understood why Lee Hyori and Hyorin were pegged the “Korean Beyoncé.” Clearly we know who the real Beyoncé knock-off is. Love this song and I hope she breaks the states in the near future.

    • i believe that hyorin is a question of vocal prowess while lee hyori, as the proph himself had explained to me, is a thing of history (former girl group member, most successful member of such group, queen status etc)

    • Josh Chinnery

      I can actually see Hyorin as a good Beyonce knockoff because of her vocals and dance ability (sexy dance ability)

      • MIKEE

        Hyorin isn’t quite there. I think she has to hold back so she doesn’t outshine the the other members. Once she goes solo we’ll know the true extent to her potential.

        • Josh Chinnery

          If that’s Hyorin holding back, then I can see why Starship hasn’t let her go solo yet. She’d make her own group irrelevant XD

    • Allen Alexander

      I don’t agree with those two either. At one point Korea was just calling anybody and everybody a Korean version of SOMETHING. Hyorin has a beautiful voice but she doesn’t have the non-stop stamina that it seems like Ailee has as far as vocals go, but I do think she’s just as good a dancer, if not better. I just think Ailee suits the image a lot more and releases music that actually suits it.

    • UncleFan

      “I never really understood why Lee Hyori and Hyorin were pegged the “Korean Beyoncé.””

      Just lazy journalism, that’s all. “Beyonce” is just a catch all synonym for a dancing diva.

      • I think it’s a fair comparison with Ailee. Heaven was the most blatant Halo knock-off and now she’s got U&I which is total Beyonce/Amerie Rich Harrison. And vocally they’re on the same level. I think it’s fine to use the term since it gives people an instant snapshot of what kind of artist she is.

        Anyway, Beyonce is just the knock-off Diana Ross. Haha.

  • Kirito

    I absolutely love Ailee. When I first heard U&I, I immediately thought of Ameriie (she needs to start releasing music). I really hope her label attempts to crack the American market, because I believe she can do it.

  • Akie_Of_Winterfell

    I just wish Ailee would stop being Beyonce, But then again, maybe if she does that, there will be nothing left for her.

  • uhg i HATE beyoncé and this beyoncization of everything,

    but i love ailee, i can’t help but like this song too – the best bits are the ones that aren’t so blatantly bey, like the chorus (her singing part, i mean…)

    thank god that at least this is tons better than sistar’s song!

    • Josh Chinnery

      Lawlz… This eBey shade giefs me life!!!

    • UncleFan

      Yes, it’s very disturbing hearing Beyonce and Ailee mentioned in the same breath. Beyonce’s shtick is just so tired and busted, it’s kind of an insult to be compared to her, even if the comparison is meant in good faith.

      I concur regarding Sistar’s latest: it’s OK but weak as hell compared to the competition .

      • BigB2stNee

        Hating as hoe. STAY PRESSED AT THE KING.

  • Andi

    I’m sorry but I just find Ailee to be extremely boring, which is sad because she’s a powerhouse performer. I love watching her live performances but her MVs and interviews do absolutely nothing for me.

  • Josh Chinnery

    Oh Ailee, you make me love you with every comeback you make. I don’t care if you’re a total eBey ripoff, you’re better in my eyes /psychotic stan

    In all saneness, I kind of wished we saw more out of Ailee in the dance department with her agency hyping it up in the press release for this comeback. I know that she has an injury, so I’m not too mad about her comeback stage, but dat music video… :/

  • Allen Alexander

    I love it! I love everything about it. It’s not my favorite song in the world, but I live for the performances just because Ailee is so powerful at everything she does. Also, as an aside, does the beginning part of the chorus remind anyone else of a T-ara song?

    • Josh Chinnery

      It’s made by Shinsadong Tiger, the dude responsible for most of T-ARA’s title tracks

  • Emii Gems

    The whole album is amazing and solid. u&i is something to get used since it doesn’t have that catchy flair but its great nonetheless

  • Nicole Naeun

    This was produced by Shinsadong T???
    Wow, I though this is the work of SECRET’s producer. Well, I think SECRET did the whole Beyonce thing a lot better with Poison. U&I is lacking of something that SECRET delivered in Poison, the choruses aren’tas “punching” as Poison. A great song but my expectation was higher than this.

    Btw, Ailee did okay with U&I, like you said it’s exhausting but still in a good way.
    The other tracks though, are done in the most annoyingly exhausting way. I really thought she’s a good vocalist, but she keeps straining her vocals throughout the album. Rainy Day could’ve been an epic ballad just like Heaven if only she could work the flow nicely like in Heaven.

    Overall: good title track, a bit disappointing album.

  • KingBeaArthur

    I wasn’t floored by “U&I” when I first heard it. Sure the production is energetic & rich, sure the horns are EVERYTHING (I have a soft spot for songs that feature any member of the brass family), but I found her vocal delivery to be off & not up to her standard. I get that ultimately falls on the shoulders of the producer, so the annoyingly prominent reverb effect & shrill chorus really isn’t something I blame her for.

    At the end of the day Ailee brought it & delivered yet another praiseworthy live stage that puts most of her contemporaries to shame.

  • Hwabro

    The chorus felt stronger in the teaser for some reason, so I r dissapoint with this new single.

    Besides, I only created a disqus account in order to show Jacques the joyousness of this:

  • James Smith III

    i would like a english version of this song!!!!

  • ICONI3

    Aliee has the vocals but I can’t get into her music. I feel like why listen to her when I can just listen to Bey?

  • rio

    I love Ailee for her powerhouse vocal and her amazing talent but sorry to say she always releases boring stuffs. Heaven is the only song that I stan. She deserve better producers and better concepts. This gurl can rap and of course we know that she can sing with that amazing vocal so why stick to Beyonce? She should drop something more personal. IMHO. And this song is even worse than the Gloria Gaynor-Rip Off I Will Show You. SECRET done better with Poison but no one can outshine the Almighty-Amerie-Ameriie even Beyawnce.

  • dnxo14

    i was afraid that after “Sexy Love”, Shinsadong Tiger would never come back .. i don’t know but he sort of underwent some hiatus or something .. good thing he’s coming back with not only one, but two title tracks (ailee’s and apink’s) .. both are really nice songs (at least for me)

  • Silver

    Yo screw the comparisons to Beyonce, Ailee is her own shit.