2NE1 – To Anyone

September 26, 2010 at 5:30 pm | Posted in 2NE1 | 6 Comments
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  1. Can’t Nobody
  2. Go Away
  3. Clap Your Hands
  4. I’m Busy
  5. It Hurts (Slow)
  6. Love is Ouch
  7. You And I
  8. Please Don’t Go
  9. Kiss
  10. Try to Follow Me
  11. I Don’t Care (Reggae Mix)
  12. Can’t Nobody (English Ver.)

To Anyone is 2NE1’s long awaited full-length album. The hype surrounding this album was intense and it’s understandable because their mini-album was completely incredible, setting the bar high for them. I fell into the hype and couldn’t wait for this to be released. To Anyone has not one, but three title tracks and they were all used for promotional purposes. 2NE1 are back fiercer, hotter, and better than ever.

On my first listen through the album I was slightly confused and disappointed. I was expecting something hot like Fire but I didn’t get that feeling from any of the songs on my initial listen. After sticking with the album and giving it more plays my opinion changed drastically. First thing you’ll notice with Can’t Nobody is the vocoder and synth overload which runs rampant in the other songs as well. I have no problem with that, a good song is a good song, and this is very good song filled with energy and sass. As usual CL gives a killer intro followed by her fierce and bad-ass verse. Minzy’s “’cause I’m so bad bad” part is my favourite because she sounds so sexy and it’s the catchiest part of the song. The chorus is kind of a let down compared to the verses because Bom doesn’t have the same attitude that Minzy and CL have when they sing. Dara sings the section right after the chorus and that’s pretty much all she gets in this song. The outro sounds like it belongs to a completely different song but I love it. It makes you want to move along with the beat, “let’s rock/just take it to the top/ain’t never gonna stop/now all I wanna do is make you rock.” The second title track, Go Away, is a mid-tempo similar to the ones from their mini-album but much better. CL and Minzy get the verses again while Bom and Dara sing the chorus. The girls sound awesome on this song especially Bom and Dara. The song has just the right amount of attitude to keep it interesting thanks to CL, “all you do is act a fool/you ain’t shit without your crew.” I love the gasp in the background when she swears and there’s even a little shout out to Beyoncé.

Clap Your Hands was the first title track to be revealed and it takes on a more hip-hop approach. The one thing that stood out to me the most was how much Dara sings in this song. This is the first time she’s stood out to me and she’s one of the driving forces in this song. Bom gets shafted, she’s only featured in the chorus and she doesn’t even get her own part in the bridge. The chorus has a great vibe to it and the clapping in the background works wonders. CL’s English lines in her verses are so addicting, “I wanna rock your body.” CL and Minzy own the bridge with their swagger and fierce singing and Dara finishes it with some vocoded vocals. I’m Busy is so crazy and messy but I can’t get enough of it. The opening “nan bappa, damn bappa/nan bappa, very bappa,” is pretty interesting and sets the song up nicely for its energetic chorus which is incredibly infectious. Minzy and CL’s verses are the highlight of this track because of their intense rap-like singing. Bom’s pre-chorus sounds a little too pop and brings the tone of the hip-hop down but it does transition into the chorus nicely. The shouting in the bridge reminds me of the outro from Can’t Nobody and I love the repetition of “get out the way” along with the crazy synths. This is easily one of the best tracks on the album.

I wasn’t expecting a song like It Hurts (Slow) from them. It’s a captivating jazzy down-tempo and it’s the slowest song they’ve ever done. This is one of the few songs that doesn’t have any vocal effects and they all sound fantastic. Bom sounds gorgeous and this type of song suits her voice perfectly. However, the one who surprised me the most is Minzy. I was speechless when I heard her vocals in the verses because she sings in such a deep and luscious voice. To be honest, it’s kind of amusing to see CL sing in such a serious way but she also nails her parts. I love Bom’s English line during the bridge, “no way, I can’t recognize/you’re not mine anymore.” This is her best vocal performance to date and I hope 2NE1 continues with this sound in the future. Love is Ouch begins with a lovely piano melody that leads into some light synths. The vocoder makes a return but it’s used lightly and it works with the arrangement very well and gives the song a refreshing feel. The arrangement is so soothing and their vocals are sweet and light. I just love the way they all sound and it makes the song completely irresistible. The chorus is carefree and Bom’s vocals flow smoothly when she sings “a-eeya-eeya apeumdo.” This is another one of my favorite tracks. You And I is Bom’s solo song and the first of the three that are on the album. Bom has never really stood out to me so I was extremely impressed when I heard this track when it was first released. This is a beautiful mid-tempo that’s both sweet and tragic. Her vocals are filled with emotion and she sings this song effortlessly. The English lyrics in the intro are touching and are a great set up for the song, “no matter what happens/even when the sky is falling down/I’ll promise you/that I’ll never let you go.” Bom’s song is a stunner and I love every minute of it.

At first I wasn’t feeling CL and Minzy’s solo, Please Don’t Go, but the more I listen to it the more I love it. Even though this isn’t as badass as I expected they still perform with their awesome swagger. Minzy’s distorted vocals in the pre-chorus are really nice and work as a great lead up to the chorus which I love. It’s light, carefree and their voices harmonize extremely well together. All the synths and digitized vocals are stripped away for the bridge and their voices sound so sweet. I’m surprised they went this route for their solo but I’m very glad that they did something unexpected. Even Dara’s solo, Kiss, is crazy good. This has a typical electropop sound but it suits Dara. I’ve always seen her as one of the weakest members in 2NE1 but damn she owns it on this song. CL makes an appearance and offers an interesting verse to keep things fresh and exciting. It would be an understatement to say this song is catchy because in my opinion this is the most infectious of the three solos. The ending is sick, it’s insanely addicting and the English lyrics, “dangerous,” “poisonous,” and “two of us” just get drilled into your head.

I didn’t check out Try to Follow Me immediately when it came out. I first heard the song when I watched the video but that was enough for me to get hooked on the song. This is the closest thing to Fire that’s on the album. I’ve said this so many times but CL and Minzy just kill all their parts and this is no exception. Bom and Dara started sticking out to me because of this song and their parts are just as excellent. There’s a ton of energy and the heavy use of vocoder and synth gives it some edge. An exotic sound is incorporated into the bridge and the repetitive “eh eh ehs” really play off that sound. I’m usually not that fond of remixes but I Don’t Care (Reggae Mix) is outstanding. It has a completely different feel than the original and I like it much more. Their vocals sound better and the chill arrangement makes it so relaxing. This is just a pleasure to listen to. I didn’t think Can’t Nobody (English Ver.) would be better than the Korean version but it’s vastly superior. They sound awesome in English and they’ve got even more attitude. CL shuts it down with her lines, “bitch you ain’t got shit on me,” and “I let them hoes know/I run this show show.” Everything good about the Korean version is made even better here and I hope they start releasing English music in the future.

Conclusion: To Anyone was definitely worth the wait. There isn’t one single girl group in Korea that can stand next to them. They’re on a whole different level. Before, I only had eyes for CL and Minzy but Dara and Bom really stood out to me on this album and I’m loving them a whole lot more than I did before. The mid-tempos on the album are phenomenal and I was surprised by how good they sounded. Sure, there’s a ton of vocal effects but that’s the style of their music and the fierce attitude that they bring is refreshing. This is an excellent album from start to finish.

Recommended Tracks: I’m Busy, It Hurts (Slow), Love is Ouch, Can’t Nobody (English Ver.), Try to Follow Me, Clap Your Hands, You And I and Please Don’t Go

Rating

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6 Comments »

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  1. I’ve only heard a few songs on this album, but your review makes me want to listen to them all! Of the songs I have listened to.. I completely agree with everything you said. CL and Minzy are just so.. fierce and it really shows when they sing. I think that’s why I love both versions of Can’t Nobody so much.

    Your reviews really are amazing. You put a lot of thought into them, I can’t wait to read more. (:

    • CL and Minzy are unstoppable lol. Bom and Dara have been growing on me but they lack the “oomph” that CL and Minzy bring to the group. If you liked the songs you listened to then you should try the other ones out. You’ll probably enjoy them. Thank you so much for your comment! It always feels good knowing people enjoy my reviews :).

  2. Another great review!~ It Hurts (Slow) is definitely one of my favorites! 😀 And that reggae mix of I Don’t Care is amazing! :]

    I was quite disappointed when I was listening to it the first time! They used a lot of auto-tune and I’m not a huge fan of auto-tune, but that didn’t stop me from listening. After listening to the album a few times, it grew on me and I have gotten over that auto-tune stage. 😄

    • Thanks! I was totally the same way. Thought the album was lacking and then after a few listens it grew on me <3.

  3. It Hurts and Can’t Nobody are probably my favorite tracks. The auto-tune was a turn off but after a few listens I got used to it

    • It Hurts is such a beautiful song. Jazz really works well with them so I hope they continue to explore that sound.


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