2ne1 just released a new single entitled I Love You and you can’t just imagine what lengths I did just to make sure I get a copy of the song at exactly 12 MN KST. Yes, I signed up for a paid Soribada account and this is the first time I actually did something like this.
Anyway, I’m digressing. Back to the song. When YG released the series of audio teasers for I Love You, I had a hard time figuring out how the song will turn out because the three teasers sounded like three different songs. And I wasn’t wrong about that. I didn’t like the song when I first played it. I thought it sounded disjointed and there was hardly continuity. You are welcomed by CL telling you “Love is the only way”, then a reggae-ish exchange between CL and Minzy at 0:07, then a change to the electronic repetitive “I love You” and series of verses at 0:36, then back to the reggae-ish feel at 2:46 then electronica to the max at 3:19. I thought I was hearing four songs that were chopped at random parts and were glued together to make the final I Love You product.
Several repeats after… It’s a totally different story. When I thought I couldn’t put the song on repeat, now I am so addicted. I don’t know what’s in this song that makes me want to play over and over again! Is it the beat? Is it the loopy verses? I just can’t pinpoint it. Teddy and Lydia has a done a good job of creating a song that is not entirely ground breaking but enough to make people addicted to it and love it—the very requirements of a smash hit.
While I don’t like the structure of the song itself, I like it that the electronic element is just right—not too loud, abrasive and auto- tuned. It’s still pleasing to the ears not unlike the mess I’m Busy from their To Anyone album. From the looks of it, YG has learned to balance their addiction of bass and synths with the commercial expectation/satisfaction of its consumers. Interestingly, there’s such a stark contrast to the message conveyed by the song to the overall feel of the song itself. They are asking their loved one to pay attention to them but the song was constructed to be a dance/party song.
Vocally, 2NE1 delivered again, as always. No astounding adlibs and middle eight for this song. I could do with less CL and more Bom and Dara. No, I don’t hate CL and I think she was okay on this song but I would like hearing more of Bom and Minzy’s rich timbre in the reggae-ish parts. CL’s middle eight was also not so impressive. Where are the days when she could effortlessly do a high note ala I don’t Care reggae version. Dara had no vocally challenging parts but mind you, her parts were the most addicting one. If 2NE1 has another song that follows the format of Dara’s part from 0:55 to 1:26, I think I would totally love it.
Overall, I Love You is another solid release from 2NE1. As I have mentioned earlier, it’s a hit in the making. 2NE1 has already tackled so many genres in their career and they often deliver more than what is expected so there is constant big pressure on them to bring something new. While I Love You’s genre is something you would expect from 2NE1, it is an entirely different song on its own. It’s not another I am the Best, Fire, Lonely or It Hurts. For that alone, I appreciate I love You. I don’t mind if a singer stays within the genres or ranges he is most comfortable with but with every release, he must try to give his song its own identity. Thankfully, I Love You has that and much props to 2NE1, Teddy and Lydia and YG for that.
Now, where’s that mind-boggling MV?