I haven't had much motivation to listen to it lately. Even my favorites 2NE1 haven't graced the stereo in months. Until this morning, that is. Listening to their disappointing new single "Falling in Love" brought to mind that no, they weren't always this obvious, this American, this nasal, and this club-baiting. CL's earlier single "The Baddest Female," should have been warning enough, but actually, the last track on their (excellent) second EP, "Don't Stop The Music" was the harbinger of change. On the EP, it was a not-so-good final track, so it got skipped more often than not because it sounded too much like an obvious club song.
2NE1 still stands as the best of the Kpop groups, and while it's foolish to expect them to remain the same, these changes don't bode well for them. Their rock and roll-style hard driving attitude of yore has shifted to cloying "ghetto fabulous" platitudes.* Whereas it used to be "We're badass because we do what we want," now it's "We're badass because we're rich and we're in the club." Well, great. They must've been clamoring for those fake 80s drum beats and shots of them looking rich and bored.
"Falling in Love"
CL - "나쁜 기집애" / "The Baddest Female"
"Don't Stop The Music"
"내가 제일 잘 나가" / "I am the Best"
Hard driving. A mission statement.
*R noted this point.