“I Need U" was co-written by the EXO member and contains “lyrics confessing eternity to the beloved,” according to Lay’s label SM Entertainment. With a snappy bass beat and rhythm guitar strings, the wispy throwback styling recalls the groove disco, a nod to the long-lasting relationship the song was crafted around.
The track’s title recalls his single last year, “what U need?,” acting as belated response of sorts.
The song’s music video was shot in Paris and also features Lay taking in the romantic city and strutting his debonair choreography through a variety of settings, including a dance break where he channels Michael Jackson -- fedora, suspenders and all.
Lay has been absent from EXO’s past two album releases, The War and its reissue The Power of Music, while he’s pursued his career in China under his Zhang Yixing Workshop personal studio. “I Need U” and the newly announced album -- which will be released on Oct. 7 according to a note at the end of the music video -- are the first releases from the soloist in 2017, aside from an addition to the soundtrack of a Chinese television show in which he appeared.
Lay shared a sweet letter through SM Entertainment’s social media accounts, which was translated by Soompi. In it, the singer laid out his grandparent’s romance and how they take care of one another. He also described his relationship with them and how he hoped to give them a touching memory through “I Need U.”
“Love can sometimes be like a habit, but also refreshing and touching like a scene in a movie, a single book, or a song,” he wrote. “But I believe that love, from what I have felt, is being able to do even the smallest of things for your loved one thousands, if not tens of thousands, of times.”