Even if you’re only mildly involved in the K-Pop world, then you know 2NE1 (pronounced twenty-one), or at least their mega-hit I Am The Best which broke out huge last year. This group of four ladies, CL, Minzy, Dara and Bom, form a group which in part defined the cool mix of Hip Hop, dance, and K-Pop which is now the trend in the industry. While not the first to harness this match-made-in-music-heaven in Korea, they are certainly one of the most notable and most internationally loved of the group and remain relevant to this day.
But having such a massive hit as that, its always hard to top it. Case in point, the single that dropped after it, a Japanese language track called Scream was pretty terrible. But now, we’ve gotten their new single, I Love You. So will it make you fall head over heels, or would you not even go on the second date?
Here’s the video:
If you want the translation, I couldn’t find a good video for it, but you can look at the English lyrics here.
Starting with the lyrics, I really do feel they are incredibly adult and honest. Its about being in love and insecure. But not the cutesy worries of “Am I not pretty enough? Will you always love me?” but rather actual worries of “I’m nervous about feeling so open with my heart” and “I’m wondering why you haven’t called me” and the common “I’m not sure what you’re thinking and if this is okay.” It feels like a real emotion behind that, and where their previous hit was all about confidence, this one deals with feeling vulnerable and confused about a powerful emotion.
The video is one of the more beautiful ones. It’s rich with bright colors, beautiful clothes, amazing sets. This is the literal definition of eye candy. There’s not a moment that doesn’t pop, or dazzle. But I also noticed there is not a ton of dancing going on, which is weird since this group is all about the crazy dancing. Maybe they wanted to try a new angle to the video, and save the dancing for the concerts. Or maybe all the girls were just exhausted. I wouldn’t doubt it with the insane schedules they keep.
All the girls look fantastic, dressed to the nines in some of the most flattering outfits they’ve modeled. If there’s one thing that can be said about I Am The Best’s music video, was that it was all very strangely designed in chrome and the outfits were more bizarre than fitting. This video, on the other hand, is very stylish but also feels more natural and subdued. It doesn’t strive to be over the top, just to be exceptionally beautiful and lovely. The ladies really show a softer side, acting like love-struck girls rather than the unobtainable pop idol goddess standards we’ve seen. While there isn’t really what I would call a coherent story line, we do see the typical looking out a window and sighing dramatically as they sing the words. Which, of course, is the thing to do in these types of videos. Hey, they even wander around in an artsy neighborhood, singing in the rain while the water never damages their perfect hair.
Instead of the overly flamboyant, over the top nature that has mostly dominated their career, the song is sweet and soothing without being boring or overly mellow. It’s a very mature song in many ways – it’s tone, its lyrics, the style itself. If there’s any negatives it’s that it does very little to stand out by itself as a song. Yes, the video is great and really portrays the sentiments of the song perfectly, but the video is the most memorable thing about this single. It is a great song, and I have already bought the track, but it needs just a stronger beat, and maybe more memorable lyrics in order to really achieve higher success. Does that devalue the song? Not really, but it does mean that if the record sales aren’t where the producer want it, we might not see a single like this from them in a while, which would be a real shame.
Overall, I Love You may not be their next mega-hit but it certainly a wonderful song to have in their repertoire. Yes, party music is great and all, but if an artist, or in this case artists, can’t produce a work that is heartfelt and beautiful, then what does that say about them? I’d say 2NE1 has proved they can handle a wide emotional range of topics, and my faith in their awesome talent has yet to be shaken.