2NE1 Unveil New Smooth R&B Sound On ‘Crush’ With The CL-Composed ‘Baby I Miss You’
For anyone familiar with the music of 2NE1, the words “mellow” or “smooth jam” aren’t usually the first words you think of.
That’s not to say they don’t have slow songs. The four-member girl group may have more ballads then they have dance singles.
But 2NE1 didn’t build their international army of devoted fan with slow jams.
They did with their fire, their flare for the dramatic and their impressive vocal ability.
Much like how Mariah Carey did her most listenable music at the end of the 1990s Jay-Z collaboration “Heartbreaker” after she had sung every pitch the human voice was capable of, 2NE1 seems to have crossed over into a new sonic zone.
And the slow jam suits them.
And though there are plenty of the group’s trademark fireworks on “Crush,” the group’s second full-length album, released on Thursday, (including those in the album’s title-track) the standout song would have to be the mellow but not melodramatic “Baby I Miss You.”
The song has a strong beat that will doubtlessly make heads bop, but there is something more underneath it.
With a somber retro keyboard sound that manages to have shades of 1970s groovy instrumentals by artists like Bob James along with the sound of 1990s R&B dance ballads like “Creep” by TLC, there is an understated emotion in “Baby I Miss You” that is quite powerful.
Like any great dish, music is all about the ingredients and 2NE1 and producer Teddy Park use some excellently selected grooves and styles to create something quite new and exciting for the group.
A lot of the credit should go to the group’s frontwoman CL, who stepped up and wrote three songs for “Crush.”
And considering Teddy claims CL has at least another 17 songs already waiting, this is a very promising new direction for 2NE1.
It’s been six years since the group debuted in a cellphone commercial with Big Bang. But one gets the feeling they are just getting started.