After squeezing every possible rendition out of their smash hit I Don’t Care, 2NE1 fans were promised a full-on promotion of each of the remaining 4 songs on their debut mini-album that they have yet to promote (In The Club, Let’s Go Party, Pretty Boy and Stay Together).
So let’s take a look at 2NE1’s activities after they did I Don’t Care-Bob Marley style.
That’s a grand total of 3 performances in 1 week. Whew! That was hectic!
After the massive success of Fire and I Don’t Care, expectations were off-the-charts on what 2NE1 will be doing next. But after watching their comeback performance (1st vid), I felt a little lacking. Is it me or was that performance a big letdown? Oh the agony… where to begin?
First, the style. There was the outrageous futuristic BEG-inspired outfits. We all know YG talents for being fashionably loud. Most of the times, they are a hit. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of those times. I also didn’t like CL and Bom’s hairstyle in this one. It looked like a cow licked their bangs or something. What’s up with that? On the other hand, I guess they can’t think of a new way to style Minzy’s hair. It also didn’t help that CL seemed to have packed on a few pounds ever since they came from vacation. First Yoobin, then CL??! Nooooooo.
Fire + I Don’t Care = Pretty Boy
One reason I had huge expectations for this particular song is because their first performance of this song basically introduced the word “fierce” into the Kpop lexicon. Let me refresh your memory.
Pretty Boy is like the middle ground between Fire and I Don’t Care. The tone and intensity is just right. And since 2NE1 is supposed to be the epitome of original these days, I won’t even mention the fact that the intro of Pretty Boy sounds similar to the intro of this masterpiece (oops). It isn’t too upbeat like Fire and isn’t too mellow like I Don’t Care and the performance above, I think, captured the essence of the song.
However, when they performed Pretty Boy the second time around (September 06 perf), they changed the choreography. They retained the chairs but they eliminated the back-up dancers. Watching 2NE1 try to dance to an ideal club song gave me chills to the core. And please, let’s not blame the heels. That’s why we have these things called “practices.”
But that wasn’t really the most cringe-inducing part of their choreo. Check out the 1:55 to 2:25 part in their 09/06 perf.
We all know Minzy is an above-average dancer, but few will agree that she isn’t as good as she’s hyped up to be. It isn’t her fault that I expected too much. You can blame YG for that. Still, this was her chance to prove me wrong. But she didn’t. I mean, it made Hyoyeon’s little dance break in Genie look epic. Even her typical pedotastic routine couldn’t save her from this disaster. At this point, I’m not even sure which is better: this one or Hyun Ah’s dance break in Hot Issue.
Anyway, what’s with the YG ladies getting on the floor? Do they like cleaning the stage or something? Maybe even they thought their dance was so bad that they felt like they were literally littering on stage and had to clean it up. Just look at whatever CL was doing. A few months ago, that MIGHT (huge emphasis on might) have been sexy, but that outfit just made her look 15 lbs heavier.
If you listen closely, you’ll hear a “blech” at the start of her dance solo. That and all the rolling on the floor made it look as if she was reenacting a scene from The Grudge. Is she auditioning for a Korean version of that movie that we don’t know about? Also, during that “to the left, to the left” bit thing (no, they totally weren’t ripping off Beyoncé), CL really has to stop rolling her eyes upward. It makes her look cross-eyed even more.
Fortunately, it appeared as though the girls realized this as they removed the entire dance break in their Music Bank performance. However, somehow, they managed to top CL’s cowlick hairstyle with a more atrocious one by styling it as though a huge turd was placed on her head. There’s a fine line between looking cool and looking like a fool. CL usually pulls off the stuff Yang Seung Ho and Lee Hyun Jong hang around her body. Unfortunately, this wasn’t one of those times. I guess those two were compensating for the lack of accessories on the girls and put it out on their hairs instead.
Not 50 Cent’s In The Club
Contrary to 50 Cent’s In Da Club, In The Club is a slow song reminiscent of their previous hit, I Don’t Care. I liked this performance very much because they tweaked a few minor things that made it refreshing for me to watch 2NE1 again.
First, they brought back the back-up dancers so we finally get to see someone who can actually dance again aside from Minzy. Then they gave CL her shades back. Maybe she can’t express a sad look with her eyes? I dunno why they did it but I liked it. Third, Park Bom in pants! Now that’s a first (I think)! Finally, they incorporated a couple theatrical pieces to their perf. You have the mini-bar to set the mood right and the elevated platform for the actual performance. Nice touch indeed.
Nothing much I can say about Dara and Bom. Those two unnies are like the two constant in each 2NE1 performance. You always know what you’ll get from those two: a solid performance. Although, Dara’s voice cracked a little around the 1:58 to 2:02 mark of their perf above. Also, the two 26-year-olds don’t stand out much to me compared with CL and Minzy.
End of Promotions
So after those three performances, YG finally decided to pull the plug on the promotions for their mini-album. Although I was very disappointed with their comeback, I felt that it was premature for YG to end 2NE1’s mini-album promotions. Sure Pretty Boy was weak sauce. But they bounced back nicely with In The Club.
On the other hand, his cashcow (yet another cow reference) G-Dragon has been killing the charts since he came back, so no big loss for YG there. Fortunately for GD, music charts are based on popularity and not talent. Hehe.
What annoys me the most in all these is that YG keeps insisting that one reason 2NE1 is ending their mini-album promotion is because the girls need are exhausted and need a much-deserved break. Blah, blah, blah… Come on, is Sandara’s health really that bad? First, YG gave us announced that 2NE1 will only do one TV show a week. Now, he’s giving us the “much-needed” break crap again. Some thought this was brilliant. Well, I say BS. I understand that he wants to concentrate on promoting GD and Taeyang’s upcoming return because we all know YG is such a hands-on guy. But why feed us this BS?
Meanwhile, 4minute is surging, BEG is still the sexiest shiznit right now, Kara is still bootylicious and that latest group f(x) is also pretty good. Heck, even T-ARA is still relevant. Plus, that female Donghae Amber fella character raps well…and in ENGLISH too, even if she sounds too Fred Durst-ish. And this list doesn’t even include girl groups that are set to make a comeback/debut in the near future (After School (!!!), Secret) and groups that are seemingly ubiquitous (SNSD, Wonder Girls).
This begs the question: is YG starting to feel the heat from the insanely intense girl group competition?
Anyway, I’m still looking forward to 2NE1’s next album. Every girl group has stepped up its game so I’m very curious to see what trendsetting stuff 2NE1 will bring to the table next time because I’m already sold on the idea that there isn’t much to work around with the type of music they do and the kind of image they already have. But I’m still prepared for my jaw to drop. After all, this is a YG group, with actual talent, we’re talking about. Hopefully, this won’t end up as another overhyped but disappointing album.
Gotta go before 2NE1’s psycho fans find me.
I’m not anti-2NE1 ok? For a change, let’s be honest and keep things in a proper perspective when talking about 2NE1.
Also, please bear with me for the massive amount of links in this post instead of more videos and pics. I’ll update it when I can sneak in some free time. Thanks!