I’m a big fan of Cube artists like Phominnit, G-String, Rainonmyface, and G2kwang, but I felt no excitement for the launch of the label’s new girl group, CLC (short for Crystal Clear).
I think it was because Cube’s pre-debut promotional strategy was to have CLC busking around Seoul pretending to be a band, kind of like what AOA used to before they realized that shaking their ass to generically catchy Brave Brothers’ productions was the true path to superstardom in the K-pop world.
With my expectations so low, I was doubly blown away when CLC launched last week with one of the strongest female debuts in years.
It’s usually a given in K-pop that most retro songs are going to be great, but CLC’s first single, the Duble Sidekick-produced “Pepe,” is REALLLLLY great. I can’t get it out of my head and I literally can’t sit still when it’s on. I’m sitting in front of my laptop with headphones jammed in my ears bopping around and doing stupid aegyo moves while I’m trying to type this shit up.
I have no idea what the fuck “Pepe” means outside of it being the name of Madonna’s slave in the iconic Swept Away, but the chorus of “Hubiruae pepe pepe ooh cha!” is the kind of universally catchy hook that anybody anywhere can sing along to, like Kylie’s “La la la” or T-ara’s “Lovey dovey dovey, oh oh oh!” Maybe if they played it on the West Bank the Israelis and Palestinians could sing it together and become friends. #WorldPeace #MusicHeals
CLC’s live performances have been so on point (I refuse to say on fleek), with perfect choreography and lots of live vocals to show that the group can really sing. (Without question, CLC’s live stages trump both Lovelyz and Red Velvet.) The entire thing really reminds me of when Ladies’ Code debuted and blew everybody away with the impeccable performances of their flawless first single “Bad Girl.”
It’s like Ladies’ Code spawned a little sister group. Girls’ Code? There’s so many similarities between the two groups, from their sassy retro sound to their talent and number of members.
So yeah, CLC are great, but what isn’t lately? I’m loving all the rookies these days, from G-Spot and 1Punch to Lovelyz and Red Velvet. The only group I thought was trash was SONAMOO, but even they ended up growing on me.
Yay for K-pop!