2NE1 Falling In Love

For her recent solo debut, “The Baddest Female,” 2NE1 frontwoman CL pulled away from Korea’s super safe hip-hop scene and took inspiration from the likes of A$AP Rocky and the non-RedOne Nicki Minaj. The result was a woozy, slow-burning rap track with an alien beat and a big money shot that doesn’t show itself until the final act. Naturally, K-pop fans hated it and were confused by the nonlinear production, just as they had been by Girls’ Generation’s “I Got a Boy,” 2PM’s “A.D.T.O.Y.,” EXO’s “Wolf,” and virtually every other song that dared to be part of the experimental trend that’s been so big in K-pop this past year.

Once “The Baddest Female” flopped, CL was quick to announce that 2NE1’s then-forthcoming new single would be “very 2NE1,” and “very different” from her own solo work. She was right, and that’s not a compliment.

Titled “Falling In Love,” 2NE1’s latest confection is late to the party in almost every way. It jacks the dancehall sirens from “I Got a Boy,” the dub wobbles from “A.D.T.O.Y.,” and the hip-hop drums from “The Baddest Female,” and then attempts to condense them all down into a beige paste that won’t scare off the sheltered K-pop fans like the aforementioned songs did. The final product is a breezy but boring summer jam that finds itself stuck on awkward middle-ground: it’s too behind the curb to be interesting, and too dull to work as generic fun. The vocals don’t help matters either, as CL’s piercing voice ends up overshadowing all of her bandmates but Dara, whose autotuned talk-singing stands out for all the wrong reasons.

Once again, 2NE1’s shot themselves in the foot by trying too hard. The group’s too scared to go all out cray cray like SM Entertainment, but they think they’re too good to just do something simple and fun like 4minute’s “Is It Poppin’?” What you’re left with is “Falling In Love,” which fits nowhere and barely works on any level.

To end on a positive note, kudos to 2NE1 for the Snoop Lion urban-reggae lilt. That bit was good, and could’ve been amazing if they hadn’t fucked everything else up.

5/10

  • Lin Misfits

    o0o0 it’s out of 10 now, not 5 :o

    • Lin Misfits

      Or was it always out of 10? LOL

      • Nope, I decided to change it and start doing out of 10. :)

  • meteor

    Proph, who else do you write for aside from your blog and Popdust? Seems to me that your review isn’t much of a review. It’s just a series of hate comments all masquerading as a critique. Where is all this hate coming from? :)

    • I see that the first pressed Blackjack has arrived.

  • Kris

    At least I wasn’t the only one who thought this was mediocre. If it isn’t bad enough that the song is a year old (it was the intro track to their “I Love You” comeback stage), it doesn’t have any appeal other than 2NE1’s name attached to it. And again, Dara gets the short end of the stick when it comes to styling. I was a bit lenient when I gave my review though because of CL and Dara.

  • I believe the only reason 2NE1 is still relevant is because there’re so many deluded YG stans who think anything that comes out of that label is superior than any other artist. It’s such a shame that rookie groups are releasing better songs than the ‘top idols’ but they still don’t get the recognition that they deserve.

    • as a YG stan, I know this statement is true. there are too many delulu YG stans who think YG artists and releases are always the best.
      yes, YG releases good shit but not all the time.

  • oppar is not yours

    i have mad respect for CL’s talent and charisma but never found her likeable til now. Love her in the MV! btw, how how bad was that aegyo shot Bom tried to pull? eeek

  • Nicole Naeun

    First things first, IGAB ADTOY and Wolf are indeed nonlinear production, but The Trashiest Female is far from being non-generic. If anything, it’s the messiest, try-hard failed song of the year. There’s no way it can be compared to SM’s experimental releases.

    As for Falling in Love, you described it perfectly. It’s not a bad song, but it definitely lacks of that ‘oomph’ factor that makes 2NE1 was so interesting back then, and it’s also not earworm-y enough to be a fun, summer jam like I Don’t Care. It’s not here
    nor there, just like 2NE1 itself.

    As for the video, God bless CL and Minzy because they look so damn good (esp. Minzy who’s not all grown up). Dara needs to find a new hairstyle cuz this one ain’t workin on her.
    And Bom… oh Bom, I know it’s already hard enough for you to put a smile on your face, so I appreciate that you’re trying. But next time, it’s better that you don’t. And that eyelashes, Bom, I can only wish you get your sanity back.

    • and that’s exactly where i disagree with the proph and am with you: the messiest female. that song managed to creep in i sometimes play it o nth e gym, but they’re far from the glorious SM efforts from this year.

      • Josh Chinnery

        I love IGAB, but I would have preferred if SM made the piano stomp section (the part that runs from 0:23 to 1:32) it’s own song.

        • well, who at this moment haven’t already thought on a IGAB maxi-single in which we’d have remixes that developed each section of that gorgeous song? something like clue + note became sherlock

          • Josh Chinnery

            lol That’s everything I wanted in I Got a Boy’s album XD I thought SM was going to deliver, but nope; they certainly know how to disappoint >_>

          • haha same here… but i actually loved the IGAB album, i think it’s the best from the girls with almost none gritty girly loud aegyo songs [i don’t hate those, but they tend to stale with time], the ballads are excelent and some songs follow the lead-single’s forward thinking mentality, even though they’re not as glorious.

            my favorite thing about the IGAB album is that it started this stream of great albums by SM. the agency has been stepping up their game and delivering LPs produced as a whole piece with meaningful filler tracks.

            shinee’s misconceptions project is the best so far and exo’s wasn’t a let down at all, so i’m really glad to be an SM stan this year. all they have to do now is stop shitting around and bring f(x) back for the whole next semester [which i hihgly doubt since krystal is already starring another k-drama].

          • Josh Chinnery

            I love how the main character in that drama is going to be a bitch, and (as said in the OmonaTheyDidn’t article) they practically chased Krystal down for the role. The ironies man XD

            *ahem* Anyway… I actually like quite a few tracks on the IGAB album, I just have to be in a mood to listen to them. At least with those aegyo infested fillers, they were good for anytime listening, even if they did get stale really quickly XD And I was made in a Shawol with SHINee’s music this year. Not only did they kill it with the Misconceptions album series (I like the Me part better than You, but both are solid), but the Boys Meet U album is decent too. It also has a hilarious cover :3 (They look like they’re stoned out of their minds XD)

          • i don’t give a shit for japanese shinee…actually, i only care about t-ara and snsd japanese and i like after school’s japanese album, though it’s mostly made of remakes.

          • Josh Chinnery

            I didn’t care for any K-Pop idol’s Japanese work until I heard SNSD’s; it was giving me everything their Korean material wasn’t :3 And Boys Meet U, sounds like a continuation of the Misconceptions series (like the material was the fruits of the same sessions that spawned the Misconceptions double album)

          • omg really? gonna try then

          • I love snsd korean albums but their Japanese song “the great escape” is one of the best things they’ve ever done

          • Josh Chinnery

            When I first listened to that song, I was about to call you cray cray for loving that song, but it slowly wore me down and took me over…

          • Josh Chinnery

            Okay, that’s pretty big of me to say, but when I was listening to the songs, they felt like they could have been album tracks on the Misconceptions double album. Especially Breaking News, Dazzling Girl, and Run with Me (which, surprise surprise, are my favorites). I actually thought that Dream Girl was going to be a Korean version of Dazzling Girl, but SM doesn’t like to troll us as hard as YGe does XD

          • toreesuh

            Lucas and Josh, you two are the most level headed, real, and not full-of-shit fans I have ever “met” in a forum/comments section of an article. I respect you two for being able to judge songs and artists honestly, and still be their fan. I can’t stand fans who follow their group blindly. When shit stinks, shit stinks. Thank you for restoring my faith in kpop fans!

          • Josh Chinnery

            Thank you ^^ I like to call it as I see it, when it comes to the music I listen to. I might listen to a lot of crap, but I’m not dumb enough to call it like I see it :3

          • toreesuh

            That’s how it should be! And you guys know how to handle stans respectfully (like that one blackjack in the previous 2ne1 falling in love article). Looking forward to reading your other comments in other articles :)

          • Josh Chinnery

            Uh… Which stan? There are quite a few that I’ve set straight XD

      • find_nothing_here

        I agree that the albums were nice. The title tracks, however…

  • DEIDAH

    I actually like it. love the reggae approach.

  • KingBeaArthur

    I thought the opposite, Proph. I felt Minzy’s effectively lazy verses made a bigger impact and matched the ‘reggae’ feel a bit better than CL’s rapping – which was good but not anything mind-blowing to me.

    As far as the mv goes: again, it was all about Minzy and CL (more CL than anyone). I really don’t want to say anything too mean about Bom & Dara, so I’ll just keep silent on the entirety of their contributions to both the song & the mv. Take that as you will.

    • Oh I agree what I meant was CL just overpowers coz her voice is so distinctive but that doesn’t mean that’s a good thing haha. Really she is just too powerful for this group, her mere presence overshadows everyone. Minzy voice def suited it best though

    • Justy

      Minzy just stole the show for me.

  • Giovanni Rasidy

    The title itself is 2000 and late. Why bother.

  • UncleFan

    I like it. Not great, not 2NE1’s best, but still a cute song. I think this song is a lot more appealing to someone who is *already* a longtime 2NE1 fan, if that makes any sense. It’s nice to see the girls turn down the volume and let their hair down for once, but that’s only worth something if you already care about them.

    Having said that, 2NE1 is suffering from the same sickness ailing almost every group other than SNSD: their label is way too insular and keeps trying to repeat their successes with the same old formulas. All that time spent screwing around with will.i.am, and their songs still sound like “2NE1” songs! YG needs to hire some Norwegians to straighten his shit out, you know what I mean?

    • Josh Chinnery

      This song is so lazy, it’s kind of insulting to us rational fans >_>

  • rio

    I have to agree that this comeback song is totally boring. I expect something new. We’ve heard the chant of this song a year ago. This comeback just made me realize that all I want is just CL, CL, & CL. She outshine everyone here thou Minzy did a great job too. Minzy gave me Gwen Stefani realness with the Pink-Colored-Wig and those gold stuffs just like Gwen did in Sweet Escape era. BTW 2NE1 didn’t steal anything from IGAB in fact they used this Major Lazer sirens-beat-whatsoever last year on I Love You performance. Geez, all I want is CL’s solo album and BEG comeback song! This one is meh! And for Bom, please stop doing plastic surgery or your face will be end up like this. :(

  • channelwithak

    I really, REALLY wanted to love this song – but I only like it. I like it a lot, but I just like it. The intro is stale, but the song tried its damndest; the one thing FIL has going for it is that it fits the season.

    The MV is cute and a nice departure from the contrived urban-heavy image YG usually furnishes for its groups (fingers crossed that Akdong Musician keep their image). 2NE1 looks stunning (even Dara – although some might disagree) – but Bom, sis, please PLEASE get off of the gurney!

    • Josh Chinnery

      It’s too late for Bom now…

  • ICONI3

    So I was hyped for the single, but after the hype died down I was able to think clearly again. Overall I like the song for what is..it’s cute to listen to on a lazy summer day and that’s pretty much it. CL’s rap was nothing new, I feel Bom’s voice could have been softer for the chorus it was a lil out of place, Minzy’s voice suited the track the best yet she had the least lines, and Dara was being…well Dara. IDK I feel just like with “I love you” that their songs aren’t really made for replay value. They’re good to listen to the first time but as you continue to replay you eventually get bored with the track.

    Anywho BEG drops a new track today so I won’t give a fuck about this after today.

    • Josh Chinnery

      ILY has way more replay value than song. And I’ve been playing this song *a lot* XD

  • Bubblegum Bitch.

    I quite like the song and the video. It’s definitely no I Am The Best, but it’s miles better than 4Minute’s What’s Your Name. .. I live for CL’s rapping!

  • MIKEE

    I love the song and the mv. With that said I feel like at this point 2NE1 has enough power that they could’ve gone completely left of center and everyone would still eat it up. Happy they’re back but if their next single is middle of the road like this I promise I will disown them.

  • Riley Biers

    I’m sorry but I can’t get over how ugly Minzy is :( She just looks so damn pedestrian, and very un-popstar.. I mean, CL is pretty beat but she can pull it off but Minzy.. damn. She’s definitely the Min of this group.

    • Josh Chinnery

      MINZY IS KWEEN!!! BOW DOWN, NAO!!!!

  • Naro Wk Longkumer

    i’m covering my ears like a kid,when your words mean nothing I go la la la :P #fallinginlove

  • Johnnyyy

    I’m really just here to stan for I Got A Boy & SNSD.

    • heauxbag

      literally me

  • heauxbag

    zZZZzzzzzzzzz all i could focus on was bom’s face.

    • T.

      her face scares me to death! I’m living in a ‘bom’s face curse’ right now! chucky’s just a toy, she’s the real shit! =X

  • heauxbag

    #DISBAND2NE1

    • UncleFan

      Don’t know if serious… but here’s how I think it should go down: 1) Dara should drop out, quit fucking with her hair and go back to acting; 2) Bom should accept her ajumma status, stop shooting shit into her face and enjoy a solo career singing soulful ballads; 3) CL and Minzy should continue as a “GD&TOP” style duo, replace Jeremy Scott with Giorgio Armani and grow the fuck up.

      • Josh Chinnery

        I can’t believe it, but I actually agree with you… *cries tears of self-hatred*

      • Cloudy

        plz tell this to YG. Damn, I’m Dara’s stan but whenever 2NE1 makes a comeback I always have a thought ‘Plz make Dara leave 2NE1, or just disband’. She’s even not counted as a backup dancer or backup singer for the others 3

  • Akie_Of_Winterfell

    I kinda like the song. There’s a feel-good vibe going on through the song and it feels like it have a bit of some reggae-ish jam to it. A good song to listen to if you just want to have some good time. I will take this over T-ara pretentious music any time of the day.

    • Lmao, T-ara’s music is the least pretentious in K-pop. All their music is silly and intentionally gaudy. 2NE1 are the pretentious ones thinking that they’re so much better than all the other K-pop acts when they’re actually one of the most overrated, uneven, and generic girl groups in all of Asia.

    • Josh Chinnery

      Me thinks you’re taking T-ARA *way* too seriously

    • FreakyFlyBri

      T-ara? Pretentious? Exactly what have you been smoking?

  • sayruq

    Hey, we were not confused by any of those songs. We just didn’t like them. As for the song it would have been better if CL didn’t rap and if they didn’t autotune the only ‘reggae’ part of it. Minzy killed it, revived it and finished it again. Bom was OK

  • The song’s pretty mellow, not what I was expecting. I’m all for trying something different from the usual, just this one isn’t really doing it for me. I rather dislike CL’s rap and agree it overshadowed the other’s vocals as I’ve never felt so noticeably bothered by her rap in previous songs.

  • MrsTOP

    The song and video is so disappointing. Bom looks sleepy in the video, Dara Blond hair only looks good from afar, Minzy was the only one that really performed. CL only gave about fifty percent. Is this really the best they could come up with? They need to stop relying on Teddy for beats and try other producers aside from will.i.am. YG has been sucking lately. I hope their second song is much better. I’m going to listen to MKS ‘Flatline’, now that’s what i call a comeback song.

  • Hoodpop

    I’m so disappoint in this :-( well at least all them looked flawless in the video even wax face Bom. What’s really funny is That Grape Juice is doing post on them now lmao they are like 4 years late

    • byoing~byoing.

      of course that rape juice would be posting about the lamest song released in K-Pop this year. Seriously, I’d rather listen to BBPOP than this. *twerks to ‘Wild – Nine Muses’*

  • gawd… i just can’t. officially ignoring 2NE1 until they return with a decent song

  • Justy

    Falling In Love >>> CL’s solo. Sorry, but TBF (while annoyingly catchy), was a ratchet ass mess. It sounded like a cross between Trinadad James, Skrillex, and Travis Porter, i.e. everything I hate about mainstream rap/hip-hop songs here in the US. On another note, I agree with Falling In Love, it’s good but way too forgettable and kinda bland. I think as a group they kinda lost their spark, like their presence isn’t as strong or appealing as it used to be. But since they’re 2NE1, the song will inevitable do well regardless, especially with 2NE1’s crazy stans running all around the damn place claiming FIL is the best kpop song this year.

  • Josh Chinnery

    It’s like I’m reading reviews from two different people XD I know this is more of a personal blog, but you tone down errthang I love about you in your PopDust posts >_>

    *ahem* That aside, this song is the current owner of soul after wrestling it from CL’s the Baddest Female, and I really don’t like that. I mean, I like this song. I really do. But it’s so incredibly lazy. The beat sounds like it was taken from the Baddest Female (yes, I know this song is at least year old) and just layered with a bunch of loops Teddy found on the Internet labeled reggae. The only parts of this song I *can* say are good are Minzy’s, which is a darn shame. Bom was actually singing in her range for once, but her tone is too heavy for this kind of song; she overpowered the beat. CL needs to dial back these raps, because they clash with songs like this and ILY. And Dara, I think YG is trying to tell you something since your parts are *always* autotuned and dubbed over 9238409234 times XD

    Overal, this song is cute. It felt like they were going for something different, but it just sounds like 2NE1 being 2NE1. I’ll save the “I am disappoint” for later, since summer singles are usually unforgettable and by the books, but you chicks better come correct next time around. Or else -_-

  • Andi

    I think you’re being a bit harsh. Like you, 2NE1 has become a huge letdown for me; I loved their first mini album and basically everything up until “Hate You”, but everything since then has been kind of meh (except for “Scream”). This song definitely isn’t anything amazing but it’s not awful either; it’s got a pleasant vibe to it. I think 6.5/10 – 7/10 is more appropriate than 5/10.

    The MV on the other hand… I mean, I love Lee Soo Hyuk so I’m glad he’s back in a 2NE1 MV, but MInzy and Bom kill this for me. There’s no denying that Minzy is a talented singer and dancer but the poor girl is just not attractive, and don’t even get me started on Bom… She’s starting to give me serious Jocelyn Wildenstein vibes. I know Blackjacks are known for being delusional, but they really need to stop frontin’ when it comes to Minzy and Bom’s visuals. And I think I’m the only person who likes Dara as a blonde, particularly when it’s straight (that awful teased-out pigtail mess needs to be locked-up in the deepest circle of hell).

  • Sunny

    for a group thats been away for so long (in kpop time), i expected better. Minzy, the boring member, actually was the best here.

  • kiara

    This sounds like something that would appeal to the US music market. Actually I can see CL becoming the first female asian rapper in America. She’s a pretty good rapper and she can speak fluent english so I think she’s got what it takes. I actually like this better than they’re other songs. It’s probably boring to everyone else here because it’s not the childish kid like sound most asians love.

  • Allen Alexander

    This was definitely middle of the road. The practice video is nice too I guess but I just feel like their return as a group definitely just have been stronger. They don’t look like they’ve actually improved or…anything.

  • Josh Chinnery

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gceDuSLvCPU

    Dance practice video. Minzy and CL are slaying as usual, but Dara was getting it too. You go girl :3

  • cheoreom

    Bom’s parts were nice & Minzy’s parts were basically what I lived for. If I could cut out everything else from the song it would be perfect.

    If 2NE1 went ‘all out cray cray’ a la SM groups, they’d be slapped in the face with the same criticisms the Korean public is throwing at SNSD & EXO for their songs. Especially EXO & that weird line about cheese or whatever. No.

    Your bias is showing. ):