DEBUT SHOWDOWN: CLC vs. SUS4
We had two new girl groups debut recently, Cube's CLC, and SUS4 under TK Entertainment. While Cube already has a stable of talented artists, fledgeling TK Entertainment has three so far. CLC is short for "CrystaL Clear," and SUS4, as near as I can tell, is a type of suspended chord. I dunno if they meant to do that or not. Both groups have dropped awesome spring releases, so let's take a look. CLC teamed up with Duble Sidekick for their single, and SUS4 collaborated with rap group Maboos.
CLC - 'First Love'
1. Caffe Mocha Please
4. First Love
5. Open The Window
SUS4 - 'Shake It'
2. Shake It (feat. Maboos)
3. Shake It (inst.)
PRESENTATION: In the videos and teaser pics, both groups seem to live and die by the adage "sex sells." Shamelessly shaking posteriors, showing bare legs, and sporting booty shorts, neither group can really be called "cute," though CLC takes more of a stab at aegyo than SUS4. "Shake It" seems to be a bit more honest about it, though, as byuntaes are seen gathering and getting excited by the girls. I wonder if they had to clean the drool off the carpets afterwards... Both videos are essentially plotless and are pretty much there to show off the obvious charms of both groups. Kinda creepy because of the maknaes, but they didn't ask me.
MUSICAL STYLE: SUS4 has a more synth-driven approach with repetition acting as the hook. It works well, though, and had me singing along. CLC had more room to showcase their music, having released an EP and not merely a single like SUS4. CLC went with analog; you can hear brass in a couple songs and an acoustic guitar and piano in a couple others. Both their singles had hip hop segments. Both "Pepe" and "Shake It" are great dance tracks, but I enjoyed "Shake It" more.
MV: "Shake It" basically has the thin plot with the pervy guys, and "Pepe" has the girls doing occasionally cute things, like literally climbing the walls or warding off cartoon rain in the bathroom with an umbrella. Both of them have sexy dances and girls in barely-there outfits. For pure visual enjoyment, I think I liked CLC's "Pepe" better. The breaks from the dancing seemed to be a little more for comic relief, and overall, it made for a better experience. Note to SUS4: guys dancing around with goofy grins and more sex-crazed than viewers of a 'Baywatch' marathon are not that funny -- or interesting.
ASSESSMENT: So who had the better debut? That's a tough call. I like the mix of songs on the mini-album, but I also really like "Shake It." Of the two singles, I think "Shake It" is stronger. They both had their strengths, but I'd like to see more from SUS4.