CL – 'IN THE NAME OF LOVE'
CL is back! For those of you who missed her (and even for those who didn't), she's released the first two songs from her first album since she left YG Entertainment. The full EP will contain a total of six tracks, and the former 2NE1 singer will release the rest over the next couple weeks -- 2 songs a week if you're counting.
The first track is "+DONE161201+," and I don't know what it was, but it reminded me a lot of 2NE1. I know that artists hate comparisons like that, but CL was an integral part of that band. I like some of the pop leanings of this mid-tempo tune, and the backing track is pretty unique. It sounds like an odd blend of lowing synths and an accordion. I love the lines at the end: "That’s the last word/that I'm ever gonna sing about you/I’m done." Drenched. In. Attitude.
"+REWIND170205+" is another fairly slow tune. There's a lot of percussions, at least in the beginning. It eventually morphs into a more high-sounding, epic tune. It gives you that inspiring feeling, like the tune is one of hope. But lyrically, it's a pensive tune, asking a lover if they can start over. It's a pretty good tune, and CL's vocals give it some punch.
I have a kind of love-hate relationship with CL's career. I loved her in 2NE1 and was not a fan of her solo work. But then again, I have that problem with many solo artists, so it's not just her. She's redeemed herself in my ears with this outing. And the song titles -- they easily map to dates, so is she telling us that she wrote these at the end of 2016/beginning of 2017? And if she did, then was YG unwilling to release them? The more I hear about that company, the less I wonder why it's hemorrhaging artists. Still, regardless of all that, this is a pretty strong start to a promising solo career. If these tracks are any indication, CL is back, and better than ever.
I thought I'd discuss the MVs briefly because there isn't much you can say about them. Particularly "+DONE161201+".
"+DONE161201+" is set up like a mobile phone app. After the credit sequence (opened in a notepad app), the whole thing turns into a TikTok-style MV where various people lip-sync to the song. They even have filters on so there's no shortage of things to keep your interest. While it gets a point for cultural relevance, I don't see how it has much to do with the song. And while some of the clips are mildly amusing, it's largely forgettable. I can't see myself even really wanting to watch it again.
Now "+REWIND170205+" is another matter entirely. And I liked it a lot better than "+DONE161201+" Why? Because we got to see CL. It was structured like a scrapbook and took us on a walk down memory lane. Her memory lane, at any rate. The timing was pretty well done, and it synced up with the highs and lows of the song. I'm a sucker for MVs like that -- the ones designed to look like home movies. This one falls into that category. And there was one particular image at the end that was designed to hit us right in the feels: 2NE1, together again. It's been three years, but their abrupt disbandment still stings.
So what do I think? "+DONE161201+" was okay, and "+REWIND170205+" was stellar. I like nostalgia pieces, and that last one was pretty masterfully handled. We got to see a look inside the singer's life, and maybe what she's been doing with her time. I'm a sucker for things like that, even the faux MVs that have an actual story. And that last image was pretty powerful.
MV SCORE: 8.0
ALBUM SCORE: 8.0