Last week, I covered the latest comeback single of one of the biggest bands in Korea, Girls Generation. This week, I’ll be covering the comeback of one of their best contender, the more brazen quartet, 2NE1. Very different in tone and style, 2NE1 brought a more hip-hop sound to the K-Pop genre before it was the “in” thing to do. Will they succeed in making waves with their new single, or is their pull on the tides of the genre over?
Let’s listen to 2NE1’s Come Back Home.
Here’s the official music video with a subbed audio version here:
These lyrics are also about love, but one that’s turned cold. The man has turned his back on the members of the group, and wants to go elsewhere, somewhere distant mentally rather than physical. The song is a plea for him to return home to them, because they miss him. Why he left and why he won’t return aren’t really clear — it makes a big difference if this a a break up or if he’s potentially brain dead from a car accident. The lyrics are emotional and soulful, yes, and vague enough to be applied to anything, but it’s that vague nature that doesn’t quite do it for me.
In terms of the video, it’s a beautifully crafted video with an actual plot. One of the members has a loving boyfriend who goes into a virtual reality world a la Total Recall, which she is clearly upset about. Instead of joining him, she mopes around as he goes off to his own virtual world before she eventually physically pulls him out of it. The other members join a resistance group to take the virtual world down because it must be inherently evil as this is a sci-fi video. The aesthetics of the video are beautiful, with faded pinks and greys, sharp geometric angles and weird chemicals. It’s more about the plot than the performance, so I can’t comment on the dance per se, just their power walks across the set, which do convey the confidence they wanted. It’a high concept video with excellent execution, something you don’t always see in K-Pop anymore, where all that matters is the sex appeal.
The song itself is great if we were just talking about the verses, but unfortunately that awesome mellow sound only lasts until the chorus. EDM breaks are normal in K-Pop now a days but it’s usually towards the end of the song when it’s just for a dance solo. When it drops in the middle of the chorus, it breaks the entire mood of the piece with its abrasive womp. The tune of the song still has that reggae beat we’ve seen in their The vocals are as strong as ever, though the girls never sing together so there’s no real harmony, but the lyrics are sung with a lot of soul and passion, which really elevates the song from good to great.
Come Back Home is a powerful ballad full of soul and longing that has a gorgeous video. For a comeback single, that’s all you could ask for in terms of production. While I wouldn’t say this is their best song but it’s certainly up there in terms of quality. This can only mean the group is back on track with a new plan, though whether it will be as stronger as some of their other singles has yet to be seen.
– Great song overall.
– Great video.
– Random EDM is distracting.
– Vague, cookie-cutter lyrics.