Review: Pepe – CLC

Hey y’all! Cube Entertainment recently debuted a new girl group, and as a fan of Apink, I was really excited to see how this group would do. CLC (Crystal Clear)’s debut MV was released a week ago, so I’m a bit behind on the times, but I’ve finally seen the video and I can’t wait to talk about it! Without further ado, let’s take a look at CLC’s debut single, Pepe!

clc first love cover

There aren’t any videos with English subtitles yet, so here’s the official MV and you can read the translated lyrics here!

The song has a retro vibe, a bit like TaeTiSeo’s first song, Twinkle, as well as some Wonder Girls songs. I don’t think this is a bad thing- I think it was really well done, and the song is really fun to listen to. It’s upbeat, and showcases each member’s singing abilities. After a few listens, I already had the chorus stuck in my head, and I didn’t mind having it there.

When I first watched the video, I wondered how similar CLC would be to Apink. At first, it seems like they’re going for the same cute concept Apink has been known for, with high ponytails and flouncy dresses. But when the chorus kicks in, the concept grows up a bit. They aren’t full-out sexy, but in their pink letterman jackets, they look more like your average girl group.

clc pepe sexier concept

The most popular jacket style in K-pop.

The lyrics talk a boy who’s keeping a girl on the hook. I’m not sure what “Pepe” has to do with this, to be honest. It seems like the trend to use words that don’t necessarily have a meaning or any connection to the song’s message, just that they sound cute (La Cha Ta by f(x), Bubibu by Apink, so on and so forth). Maybe Pepe is his name?

This guy continues to play with the girl’s emotions and leave her hanging, and this song is about the breaking point when she says she won’t take it anymore. She recognizes his immaturity and isn’t going to stand for it anymore. It’s a bit of a break up song, but not a sad one, and it’s really fun to see something like this as a debut song.

clc pepe cute concept

“Peace, I’m out.”

The style of this video is young and fresh, with bright colors and fun outfits. The sets all stand out, and the video is entertaining, even though it’s incredibly simple. It really makes the individual members of the group stand out. At the end of the video, there’s even a section where they introduce the members with faux-polaroids. I thought that it was really clever for a rookie group to include something like that.

The video puts a new spin of the “music video in a box” trop (pun intended). Rather than be in a standard room or set, the girls are in various rooms that are furnished such that it looks like they’re standing on the ceiling, or one of the walls.

Some shots are static, some show the rooms spinning around. I thought it was a cute and simple, and also fit the lyrics- the upside down and spinning rooms reflecting how the girl feels being played by this guy. It doesn’t take a lot of money and effort to make a video that fits its song, and this video is only proof of that.

clc pepe seung yeon upside down

Gravity is broken!!

All in all, I think this was a very promising debut, and I can’t wait to see more from these girls. The song is catchy, the video is colorful and fun, and they don’t fall into every single K-pop trope in the book. It’s not the most original release, but I like that it wasn’t gimicky. It’s just a fun pop song, from a group of talented girls. I definitely recommend you check it out!


-A catchy, retro song.

-Pure pop: no gimicks!


-Not super original.

Rating: 4/5




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