Wednesday Music Deconstruction: 2NE1 – I Love You [Korean Music]


2NE1(pronounced “to anyone” or “21) is a K-pop girl band under YG Entertainment. Although they are often marketed as a hip-hop group, very few of their songs are in the hip-hop genre and generally fall in electro-pop or RnB(or a mix of everything). They are also thought of as the first Korean idol girl group to display a tough, non-cute image as a signature style. And you have to admit(I’m sorry for having to use this word) but they have swag.

Now I didn’t really want to write about 2NE1 because it is so mainstream and well known now that I’m not really promoting them. That said, their comeback single “I Love You” made me VERY confused. And since I haven’t since any similar views among fans or non-fans, I’ll write about it.

Note: I am a 2NE1 fan. I’m not hating. Just stating.

There are several different parts of the song that I really like. Namely: Dara’s part, Bom’s part, and the “song/dance” part CL and Minzy do about mid-way though the song. I also like the part when CL goes “we can’t go wrong-bring it back”. I don’t particularly care for the way CL’s voice catches in the beginning nor do I like the end that much(shockerrrrr! Everyone likes that part!).

That said, I would like those parts much better if they were in separate songs. Honestly, there are several moments during the song where the parts just don’t match up or don’t transition properly. I would say the chorus leading into Dara’s part was the most successful change without any transition.

Let’s go over each part shall weeeee?

0:00 Okay slower start…I am told the music is trot here(good job on making it more mainstream)
0:41 the first transition to the chorus: it’s almost there…I wish the swooping nose was just a fraction of a second longer and it would be perfect
1:00 the second transition: it is THE transition. The four notes here sort of feel like a passageway to the next section
1:31 the third transition: the music transition is well done, the vocal transition is jarring. This piece just doesn’t fit with the previous section. If the ending of the last section had blended into the melody of Bom’s section it would have worked much better. Also, since the beat is faster, I get the feeling that the vocals here should be a little faster as well.
1:45 the fourth transition: well done transition because the music signals the change more obviously
2:01 the fifth transition: a non-transition. I didn’t like the transition, it makes this part jarring which is sad because it’s my favorite part.
2:34 the sixth transition: this actually worked quite well this time, even though it’s a non-transition. Perhaps because the beat change is more noticeable.
2:52 the seventh transition: another non-transition but it works well because of the abruptness i.e you can tell the next part isn’t going to sound the same as the last part
3:26 the eighth transition: works well because the pause draws your attention to the next part. That said I still feel like the last part of the song doesn’t fit with the rest.

So If I go over what I wrote above there’s only 3 transitions I outright didn’t like. But since it’s been a while since I’ve heard the song, I’ve become used to the rapid changes. When I first heard the song the majority of the transitions were jarring for me.

Did I write this for no reason then? I don’t know. The very fact that I still feel uncomfortable now may mean that a little more care should have been put into allowing the different parts of the song to flow together.

What did you think when you first heard “I Love You”? Did you love it straight away, or were you slightly confused like me?

In any case, here’s another 2NE1 song to bribe you into liking them!

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