I initially compared CLC to Ladies’ Code because of their big talent and addictive retro music, but it quickly became crystal clear that their real influence was the Wonder Girls (who, by the way, also inspired Ladies’ Code).
On their new single, a zippy ditty about social media stalking called “Like,” CLC come off like a modernized version of JYP’s defining girl group. They rock mismatched tacky fashion like it’s haute couture, they’re retro pop enthusiasts, and they’ve even tried to coin their own version of “O-mona!“–“Jo-ah!”
Despite some similarities,”Like” is really a testament to just how much K-pop has changed since Wonder Girls changed the game with the “Tell Me” syndrome. Wonder Girls’ singles were all simple, straightforward pop songs–catchy, timeless, but rarely ever edgy or weird. These days K-pop is crazy and convoluted and too much is never enough. “PEPE” felt a little old-school, but “Like” is pepped up on Pop Rocks with speedy helium raps, jagged dubstep wobbles, and countless squeaks, chants, and chirps generously sprinkled on top.
The busy track is composed by the same team who did HyunA’s “Red” and 4minute’s “Crazy,” which were both equally as in your-face-face as “Like” is, just with sex appeal and bravado instead of concentrated aegyo.
It’s no “PEPE,” and it’s certainly no Wonder Girls classic (or even a Ladies’ Code hit), but “Like” is still fun and cute and feels like an appropriate second single for a rookie group that’s trying to build a young fanbase.
For me, this is going to be another LOVELYZ “Hi~”–a solid pop song from a group I love that’ll get some spins, but it won’t be on heavy rotation like their debut single was.