20 March 2010

[I contributed this post to a fabulous music blog called Pop+Nation.]

With the upcoming release of 2ne1's full album this October, I am publishing my review of the group and their mini-album.

2NE1 is a South Korean girl group by YG Entertainment comprising of talented young ladies CL, Minzy, Bom, and Dara. Their first single, Fire, was released 6 May 2009. To be honest, I did not jump into their KPop bandwagon right away. Their first appearance in BigBang's Lollipop was a little weird to me (mainly because of BigBang, not the girls). But the girls caught my eye.

I am familiar with Dara - known as Sandara or "Sandy" in the Philippines where I am from originally. I watched her in Star Circle Quest Batch 1. I was happy she was one of the winners. She went to the Center for Pop Music Philippines. (Useless information: I did too hahaha. But we were not classmates. HAHA.) I like what she brings into the group; she's the sweet among the spices. She looks so young and happy all the time. And she can pull off those crazy hairstyles haha. The best singer, in my opinion, of the group is Bom. Oh my goodness, she is so darn beautiful. I saw solo singing videos of her and she does have a great voice. And her legs... oh my! Sure, she's not the best dancer but her elegance and vocal ability makes up for it.

"Leader undeniable" CL is fierce! I love her attitude in performance. She always gives it her 200%. And her crazy sunglasses and clothes! She's so cool. And in the acoustic/reggae version of I Don't Care, she showed that she's not only for rapping - but also stylistic RnB singing. And last but definitely not the least, Minzy, the baby of the group. Who would've thought that she's only 15? She owns the dance stage! She rocks it every time.

2ne1 is probably the first KPop group I ever been interested in. Of course, knowing Sandara beforehand helped but when I tried to listen to "Fire", their first single, I was hooked. Then I saw the videos for the songs - they were fun. Watching their live performances sold me. I compared them to other KPop groups and for me, 2ne1 is not only cute... they are REALLY talented.

Their first mini album was released 8 July 2009, following the release of their second single I Don't Care. It has 7 tracks. On its first day, it recorded 50,000 sales in pre-orders. Their debut was a success on the Korean charts, as it heads straight to number 1 for its week - as it sold 13,675 albums.

The first song, and their first single, Fire is an introduction to 2ne1 as a group - "We're 2ne1... you better ring the alarm." It has 4 parts, one for each girl, that shows their personalities: CL and Minzy as the fierce, fiery half; Bom with the gentle vocal; and, Dara showing her own "fire" and grit. The MV has two versions: Space and Street. I prefer the Space version more but my favorites are still the live performances. The dance steps are so awesome! There is not a downer in this song, very well-planned. Dara's part in the bridge totally is perfect to close out such a high energy song.

I Don't Care is a song about a girl who suspects and catches her boyfriend "cheating" on her. The video starts out with the girls on the phone demanding to know where the guy is. And then they go into singing with the background frozen so they can see what their boyfriends are doing. Like in Fire, I also love the dance steps here. Bom especially, taking command of the chorus. "I don’t care e-e-e-e-e-e..."

The third track, In The Club, talks about a brokenhearted girl going into a club to forget her lost love. But then she spots the guy, already moving on. The song has an RnB/Hip-Hop vibe. 2ne1 used this song in their goodbye set, signalling the stop of their promotion of the mini-album. Let's Go Party starts, interestingly enough, with the girls speaking in different languages. CL in French, Bom in Korean, Dara in Filipino, Minzy in Japanese. It's a laid-back RnB track, smooth and sexy. I remember hearing Pretty Boy in their introduction performance. I immediately loved the beat. Very catchy and dancable. And the song's pretty bad-ass! Another one of those what I call "you go, girl" songs. I may not understand these songs (I have to read translations) but I don't need to understand them to dance to them.

Stay Together is probably my least favorite song in the mini album. It's about a girl who wants her man back. It is a sad and emotional song. Nothing special about it but surely the dancy RnB vibe sets 2ne1 apart from the other girl groups. The bonus track of the album Lollipop, their duet with BigBang. Like I said at the beginning of this review, I didn't like it very much. (Maybe it's because of the rapping, I don't know.) It's a good thing that these two songs are at the tailend of the album so you can skip it if this is not your thing.

Over all, this is a very good first offering from a fledgling girl group. I will definitely look forward to their full album if it means MORE songs as catchy as these.


Post a Comment