CLC – NU.CLEAR [Mini Album Vol. 4]
1. What Planet Are You From?
2. No Oh Oh
3. One, Two, Three
4. Day By Day
5. Dear My Friend
CLC (CrystaL Clear) is back with fresh summer sounds with their fourth mini-album "Nu.Clear." The title of the album is a portmanteau of "new" and "clear," indicating a new start for CLC. And it's definitely a new chapter as two new members join up: Eunbin (now that 'Produce 101' is over) and Elkie. This is their first release in months, and their first official promotion as a seven-member group.
There was some controversy over physical copies of this album being destroyed by CUBE, but digital consumers are apparently unaffected. It apparently was due to a badly mastered CD, rather than the music.
The group's title track is "No Oh Oh," a giddy, bouncy pop number that is definitely a great choice for a hot lead-in. Why does it work? The catchy grooves of the main verses are awesome, including some time-changes that keep you off-balance, but never in a bad way. The chorus is fierce and in-your-face, just the way I love it. Plus, there are staccato effects that make the tune even better.
It's neighbor, "What Planet Are You From?" starts the album off just right. One of the things that CLC does well is bright, upbeat pop, and this track fits the bill nicely. Again, there are sweet time changes and different chord progressions, but implemented differently from the title track. The result is a cheery pop confection, guaranteed to lift your mood.
The final tune is "Before," probably the closest thing to a ballad on here. Wafty and slow, it has a lot in common with most other similar tunes, but there's a tempo that still kept me listening. I like the simplicity of it; the girls get a chance to showcase their vocals, and they crush it here. It's a pretty song, with the right amount of regret given the subject. The boy should have called them 'before.'
The rest of the album is given over to lower-key songs, bright and poppy in their own way, but less exuberant than the first two. The placement is interesting, kind of a comedown from the energetic "No Oh Oh," but not a letdown at all. They're really slick songs, but nothing that jumped out at me.
If you were worried about the addition of two extra girls, this album should change your mind. It's a fuller disc than their previous EPs. It's a good collection of songs, and a great way to start your summer.
The video is the girls doing lots of nothing. Well, that might be a bit unfair. There are all sorts of shots of the individual girls doing everything from sitting next to a burning phone to digging into a huge sub sandwich. There's not a whole lot going on here, but that's okay...
That's right. Yeah, there are some shots that look outright cheap, with some neon dressing to hopefully make you forget (which, unfortunately adds to the cheapie effect). But there are some definite pluses. First off, the shots are varied enough to keep your interest, and you get good exposure of most of the girls. The next fun thing is the enthusiasm. The girls look like they're having a great time, which makes me smile much more than yet another sexy concept.
Are they really living it up? Who knows? But they look like it. The dancing is pretty sweet, too. While not groundbreaking, they kill it here. I had fun watching it, not the least of reasons being the song. It's not bad, but I think they could have done something more with the budget.