2NE1 happens to be one of our few mutual favorite groups, so this is a collaborative post!
On July 5th, 2NE1 released their latest single “I Love You”, and on the 6th they released the accompanying video. Stylistically it’s in between “I Am the Best” and “Lonely”, if that’s possible – once you hear the song, you’ll understand why we say that. At first we were curious to see if the song would be able to live up to 2NE1’s last mini-album, which was full of hits. The previews had us nervous and excited, and once we heard the culmination of the bits and pieces, it didn’t disappoint.
As always, the arrangement does a good job of showcasing each girl’s style. CL, as always, is our rapper and has a strong voice that carries through the song. Interestingly, we both agree that this song is closest to Bom’s style and probably could’ve been a solo for her, but the producers did an excellent job of arranging it to encompass all the girls and make it a true group effort. Because of this, you would expect that maybe the song would be Bom-centric, but actually there’s a pretty even spread between all four girls.
The most compelling part is that neither of us knew the lyrics in their entirety, but our first feelings were to say the song is bittersweet, building up to a fast-paced dance that feels frenetic with the emotions the singer feels. Then CL says “Bring it back” and we return to the calm, listless feeling from the beginning of the song. When we looked up the lyrics and discovered that they are indeed about the bittersweetness and rollercoaster of emotions involved with being in a possibly unrequited love, we were impressed with the songwriter/producer for proving that with good writing/arranging skills, it’s possible for music to truly transcend language barriers.
As for the video, YG does a good job of keeping with the feeling of the song, but it’s not anything really spectacular. The color scheme and style are very much “2NE1” and enjoyable to watch, but it’s not anything too memorable. We would’ve preferred something more dramatic, maybe in line with “Go Away”, where there was something of a plotline. This video is very “idol-like”, which isn’t a bad thing since 2NE1 IS an idol group. There’s a lot of individual face-time for each girl, some sexy dancing, out-of-place scenery, and cool/flashy costumes.
Overall, our rating for the song “I Love You” is an A. It’s not an A-plus because it’s not quite as strong as, say, “I Am the Best”, but it’s definitely up there with some of 2NE1’s best work, like “Hate You” and “Ugly”. We would give the video a B, mainly because it doesn’t stand out as a more interesting idol video – there’s no theatricality and no story.
It will be very interesting to see if their follow-up singles will match up or even surpass this one. Aren’t you excited?! We are! 🙂
Hugs & kimchi,
Annie and Kelli
Annie’s side note: I like the song and the video’s all right. Musically the song’s great – the build-up and arrangement are really something to be commended. CL’s part in this song is really great – in fact, I think it’s what pulls the song together for me. As for the video, I wish CL wouldn’t use the color contacts – she’s almost cross-eyed as it is, and the color contacts make that even more apparent, haha.
Kelli’s side note: Sorry, I’m going to fangirl just slightly, even though I just told Annie about a minute ago NOT to fangirl too much! I love Dara’s hair in this video. Dara is notorious for having really funky hair in music videos, but this style has to be my favorite, both the brightly colored and the half shaven look. And as the ultimate final note… this song has me super super excited about going to see 2NE1 in Los Angeles in a little over a month! I can’t wait! 🙂