As all of you know (and if you don’t, you’ve been living under a rock!), 2NE1 released their 2nd full album, Crush, on February 27, 2014. Crush further cemented 2NE1’s place as a top girl group. After quite the bumpy ride in 2013, everyone was ready for 2NE1 to make the comeback that only they were capable of making.
Of course, Crush not only met, but exceeded expectations on the music front. Even though the Crush era was cut way too short (promo only lasted a month and 2NE1 stuck to the “two-show-a-week” promo plan), and the AON World Tour fell short (if World Tour means the Asian region, then 2NE1 did a wonderful job. In all seriousness, 2NE1 should have gone outside their standard Asian countries. Even during their New Evolution tour, they went to the US. Whatever happened to Brazil?), that doesn’t detract from the fact that 2NE1’s Crush is a wonderful album.
We start with Crush, a bit of an intro to the album. An absolute banger, you will get down to this lovely little number. As our members sing a bit about themselves (or at least their personas, if you will), new fans get a bit of a feel of how the girls are seen by the public. The chanting at the end (Nolza, hey hey hey, nolza!) brings this song together. In all, the title song could be considered as I AM THE BEST 2.0.
Next, we have Come Back Home. A great conglomerate of reggae, trap and dance, this song speaks of calling a loved one back. The aforementioned mixture is a good one. Everything element in this song comes together flawlessly. Not Come Back Home. The video is just the icing on the cake. With its futuristic themes, there’s no video quite like it.
Next, we have Gotta Be You, our upbeat love song. Gotta Be You is very much a dance song. The song talks about loving someone even after they’ve hurt and scarred you. But you’re probably not paying attention as you’re dancing and singing along to it. The music video also includes some pop art references.
Next, we have If I Were You, the big ballad on the album. Or at least the ballad that caught everyone’s attention. But of course, If I Were You is not just any ballad. It has a sound that 2NE1 is known for (Songs that just don’t sound like your normal, everyday songs, If I Were You has that something different to it. You’ll know it when you hear it.) Of course If I Were You just has that melancholic tone to it. Add the lyrics, which talks about a relationship that has somehow gone wrong, and this beautiful song might evoke some sort of feeling.
Next, we have Good To You, our other ballad. With its R&B sound, along with the sounds of the piano, which is sprinkled over the song, you have quite a beautifully simple song. The simplicity is what works with Good To You. Considering the fact that G-Dragon co-wrote the lyrics to this song, I still believe Good To You is a continuation, or at least a counterpart to That XX.
Next, we have MTBD, CL’s solo effort. With that banging beat, you’ll be guaranteed to at least nod your head to it. The breakdown (no pun intended!) is definitely a highlight of the song.
Next, we have Happy. On first listen, you would be fooled into thinking this is quite the upbeat song. Then, you get into the lyrics, you find out this song is about wishing a former loved one well, even though you might not feel the same way. So even though you’re singing along to such a chipper song, you fail to see that the instrumental is in stark contrast to such sad words.
Next, we have Scream, which sounds good in any language it’s in. I don’t have a preference. It’s a typical upbeat 2NE1 anthem about getting over some foolish guy who did you wrong. Scream, ah ah ah ah!
Next, we have Baby I Miss You, which has that 90s slick, sexy R&B pop feel, which is why this song is not to be skipped. Touching on a subject of a budding love, you’ll be bopping along to it.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Come Back Home (Unplugged Ver.). What’s there to say? The girls sound great on it. In fact, this stripped down version of the original highlights the very unique voices of our girls. Hopefully, 2NE1 will be encouraged to make more music with some instruments, as they have criminally underrated voices.
All in all, Crush is a great body of work. Even better, though these songs are made up of many genres, the songs don’t sound out of place. (Sometimes, a lot of albums fail in the track list. You just end up listening to a random collection of music.) Whether you’re new to K-Pop or a seasoned veteran who’s just new to 2NE1, Crush is a great place to start.