It’s now time to tackle the first of the lovely ladies that have made themselves crucial parts of my kpop world. 2NE1 have since their debut in 2009 sadly only released two Korean studio albums. The most recent, “Crush” released in 2014, have I already reviewed and “To Anyone”, released in 2010, is an album that I very recently listened through. So for this post I will be tackling their self-titled debut EP, to make sure I get at least one song out of this that is completely knew to me. Discovering the hidden non-single gems of my favorite groups is the purpose of this series, so that is what I hope to do here.
Track 1 – Fire
This was a strong debut, and even though their image and sound is a lot more polished now, 2NE1 are still the same girls that they were from the very first time we saw them. One thing that’s always been clear to me, and that is just as much the case now as it was in the beginning is this: Bom does not suit 2NE1’s concept. And before you kill me for saying that, remember that I’m a huge Blackjack, and that I adore Bom. The thing is, 2NE1 have always been about a more badass and swagalicious image and Bom is neither of those. CL is the queen of swag, and Minzy’s always had that too, even Dara pulls it off way better than I’d expect from her pretty little face, but I’ve never ever seen Bom do anything remotely like it. That does not mean that I want her out of the group, I just find it interesting that she’s in it to start with, since Bohyung was dropped specifically because she didn’t suit the image YG was going for. She is, in my opinion, a definite stronger singer than Bom, and while I agree that she wouldn’t suit the concept, I think she’d suit it better than Bom does. Sorry, for rambling, but I’ve thought about this for quite some time. I’m thinking about writing a post specifically about the group members that don’t suit their group’s image. What do you think, is that something you’d want to see?
Track 2 – I Don’t Care
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned what my first 2NE1 song was on this blog, but for the longest time I remembered it as being “Can’t Nobody”. But as I was listening to this song just now, I remembered that no, this was the first. My friend was obsessed with it, and I thought it was fine but nothing amazingly interesting. “Can’t Nobody” was the song that made me a fan, but “I Don’t Care” was the first. My opinion is pretty much the same now as it was then; it’s a pretty good song, and I like the concept, but it’s nothing that blows me away.
Track 3 – In the Club
This is a song I’ve never heard before, and I like it! It’s a little mellow for me personally, but I’m a big fan of the concept. To me what they’re singing sounds like they were with a guy, he cheated and they’ve had trouble forgetting him so they’ll go to the club and find some guy to hook up with. In my mind the expression “to love easily” can only apply to a one night stand type of business. And I’m all for it! Girls, get some.
Track 4 – Let’s Go Party
For a song about going partying this is extremely calm and relaxing. It’s so relaxing it’s almost boring! I like the song, it’s simple and it’s about the fun of going partying with your friends, without the added sexual theme that’s often in songs about partying. It’s perfectly possible to go partying with your girls with no attention to even talk to a guy, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Having fun requires no male attention, thank you very much.
Track 5 – Pretty Boy
This song is basically 2NE1 telling all the pretty boys out there that it isn’t enough to be pretty, they still need to have a personality and make an effort. I love that they brought up how men say that girls just have to be pretty and nice, and saying that that does not work for pretty boys. Pretty and nice is not enough to impress them. It’s a fun song, with a fun message, and I like it overall.
Track 6 – Stay Together
Alright, but quite dull. That’s really all I have to say about this song. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but there’s nothing about it that catches me and I found my mind wandering, and my hand continuously reaching for my phone as I listened to it.
Track 7 – Lollipop (with BIGBANG)
The girls (and the boys, for that matter) all did well in this song and video, but T.O.P’s mind-blowing voice dominates this whole song so much that nothing anyone else does here matters. It was a clever way to introduce 2NE1 though, I’ll give YG that. I’ve always liked the “introduce them by connecting them to someone already big”-strategy, and it tends to work quite well on me. For example, I wouldn’t know or give a damn about who Jennie Kim was if she hadn’t been featured in G-Dragon’s “Black”, but now I’m excited to see her debut. Any day now.
This is one of those albums that’s solid all the way through with no train-wreck of a song anywhere in it, but that also doesn’t have that one song to really blow you away. Based on the two older 2NE1 albums I’ve recently listened through I have to say that they’ve most certainly improved. “Crush” was such a knockout of an album, and I can’t wait to see what they do next. Oh and CL’s American debut is just around the corner! I’m both very hesitant and excited out of my mind.
How are you liking this series? Is the fact that we tend to only listen to singles, even when it comes to some of our favorite groups, something you’ve thought about too? What do you think of this album?