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Meaning of ‘Magnetic’ by ‘ILLIT’

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Released: 2024

“Magnetic” by South Korean pop artist, ILLIT, is a quirky, flirtatious track that employs magnetic attraction as a metaphor for an irresistible, elementary sort of attraction between two people. Essentially, it’s about falling for someone head over heels with that feeling being as natural and undeniable as magnetic force.

The track kicks off with an expression of the protagonist trying to maintain a nonchalant exterior (“Baby, I’m just trying to play it cool”), while secretly yearning for this person. Lyrics like “Wait a minute, 이게 뭐지?” (What is this?) directly convey the surprise and disbelief the protagonist is experiencing at their own feelings—how their heart is racing uncontrollably (“내 심장이 lub-dub, 자꾸만 뛰어”) at the very thought of their crush.

ILLIT even taps into a sense of supernatural power – “끌어당겨, you’re my crush, 초능력처럼” (Pulling you in, you’re my crush, like a superpower). This suggests the obsession, the gravitational force of attraction they’re feeling, is almost akin to a superhuman experience.

In the repeated lines “You, you, you, you, like it’s magnetic,” the “magnetic” allure of the person she’s attracted to is emphatically highlighted. The following verses delve into the idea that their personalities may be polar opposites—“정반대 같아 our type, 넌 J, 난 완전 P”. However, the differences between them only draw her in more (“S와 N 극이지만, 그래서 끌리지”), just like the opposing poles of a magnet.

As the song progresses, there’s an evident shift in tone. The protagonist is no longer keeing her feelings hidden, since she’s determined to express her feelings to him (“숨기고 싶지 않아 자석 같은 my heart” – I don’t want to hide my heart that’s like a magnet).

The line “No push and pull, 전속력으로 너에게 갈게” translates to “No push and pull, I’ll go straight towards you at full speed,” which indicates her decision to express her feelings clearly, without playing any games, a common idiom in K-pop. She promises herself that she’ll not hold back, directly plunging towards her love interest, “Never holding back, 직진해, yeah (직진해, yeah), this time, I want.”

Throughout the track, ILLIT navigates the journey of recognizing, grappling with, and eventually deciding to address her feelings head-on. It’s a whole mood—a magnetic one, if you will—solidifying ILLIT’s ability to craft an infectious pop ballad with a relatable emotional arc.

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