Every 2NE1 Single Ranked From Worst to Best: Critic's Take

2NE1 perform on the stage during the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) at AsiaWorld-Expo on Dec. 2, 2015 in Hong Kong, China.
VCG/VCG via Getty Images

2NE1 perform on the stage during the 2015 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) at AsiaWorld-Expo on Dec. 2, 2015 in Hong Kong, China. 

With the release of "Goodbye," 2NE1 officially said farewell after nearly eight remarkable years together. The new single is the first new song from the K-pop outfit in almost four years and is the final release since announcing their official disbandment in November 2016.

But while weeping through our multiple listens of "Goodbye," one inevitably began considering where the touching ballad falls in comparison to the 2NE1's past material. After its premiere on Friday, Jan. 20, "Goodbye" marks the 18th official 2NE1 single and while there have been a ton of great B-sides and promotional songs (shout outs to "Don't Stop the Music," "Crush" and "If I Were You"), it's time to see how their farewell track fares in comparison to the quartet's past singles.

Continue on for Billboard's ranking of every one of 2NE1 singles:

18. "Clap Your Hands" 
A generic electro-pop track that tried too hard to sound like what was going on with Top 40 radio at the time -- which was still trying to figure itself out when this dropped in 2010. Even highlights like the catchy chorus get bogged down by saturated production and overuse of AutoTune. 2NE1 were worthy of such better bangers.

17. "Do You Love Me"
Sounding like a rehash of their earlier material, the throwaway single only highlighted a creative standstill 2NE1 was in at the time while trying to secure the sound for their sophomore full-length album.

16. "It Hurts"
When it dropped in 2010, this jazz-inspired track showcased a refreshing, rather soulful musical side of the group. Yet in comparison to all the other genres they've tackled through their careers, this one just didn't do them enough justice.

15. "I Don't Care" 
The reggae-inspired beat was a welcome addition into 2NE1's early sound, but the verses fall too flat in a song where the most remarkable part was the super-simple chorus.

14. "Fire"
Ah, the song that started it all. The group's leader opened the band's debut track, boasting, "I go by the name of CL of 2NE1" over exciting, twinkling synthesizers. "Fire" set the groundwork for much of the act's future singles -- catchy electro-pop bangers with loads of attitude -- with this track as our proper introduction.

13. "Falling in Love" 
A cute, reggae-lite bop for the 2NE1 ladies, "Falling in Love" was perfect song to soundtrack the summer when it dropped, but didn't particularly bring anything new to the table for the group despite Dara sounding as if she had found a new burst of confidence.

12. "Try to Follow Me"
The 2010 single felt like 2NE1 securing who they were as a group with each lady rising to the occasion on this snappy dance track with the underrated Minzy particularly stealing the spotlight during her lines.

11. "Go Away"
There's too much AutoTune on the verses to the songs detriment -- CL's un-AutoTuned moments are fierce as hell -- but Bom's chewy, bubblegum-y chorus is undeniable.

10. "Ugly"
"Ugly" is one of the most unexpected tracks in the group's discography which opens with simple electro-pop production before diving into it's rock-out chorus where the band deprecatingly yell, "Just like her I wanna be pretty / I wanna be pretty / Don't lie to my face / 'Cause I know I'm ugly." While it wasn't the most mature execution -- the guitars sound awfully fake -- it was a rare glimpse into the supergroup's human side and undoubtedly forged a deeper connection with empathizing fans.

9. "Can't Nobody"
Big choruses, fierce rap sections, hooks upon hooks: This is classic 2NE1. It's not as inventive as some of their other singles, but one can't deny it's explosiveness.

8. "Goodbye"
A smoky, heartbreak ballad, the first (and only) release for 2NE1 as a trio certainly stands up compared to the group's strong discography. Gone are the superwoman personas and instead the members cry, "Does anyone know? Does anyone know how it makes me feel?" over simple guitar strums. CL co-wrote the track and revealed it was originally a dedication to departed member Minzy, making the track all the more heartbreaking.

7. "Come Back Home"
Always ones to head straight forward into new trends, "Come Back Home" embraced zippy trap production with a nod to their reggae days. Trap and reggae elements are all over the songs at the top of the charts today and 2NE1 was all over that in 2014.

6. "Missing You"
As touching as "Goodbye" is, the best 2NE1 ballad would have to be "Missing You." While slow and tender at its core, the experimental track incorporates unexpected electronic flourishes and alien-like harmonies before its soaring guitar line brilliantly evolves into a pounding piano chords for the ladies to belt over. In 2013, CL first spoke to Billboard about the track, saying it doubled as a message for fans she missed seeing and we think fans might take more comfort listening to this gorgeous track than the bittersweet "Goodbye."

5. "Gotta Be You"
The underrated second single from Crush indicated the exciting new directions 2NE1 could have taken if they stayed together longer. The trappy, synth-pop cut was bordering on uber-trendy house music and saw Minzy effortlessly belting alongside the group's main vocalist Bom. If this track was hinting at where they could have gone with a third LP, who knows how much further their dominance would have extended.

4. "Lonely"
A cut that showcased the group's softer side and that underneath their glamorous getups, there were four women who could portray vulnerability just as well as ferocity with this single acting as the living proof.

3. "Hate You"
Everyone knew 2NE1 could slay bombastic club cuts, but this underrated, melancholy cut showed 2NE1 mastering the art of subtlety with this biting kiss-off track. The swelling electronica and controlled delivery only makes the song that much more icy.

2. "I Love You"
At the time, the 2012 single tackled a topic the quartet had never sung about -- love, of all things  -- and 2NE1 proved they boasted hearts screaming for affection with this lush, moody synth gem. Yet, brilliantly, in the last 30 seconds, the cut flips on itself for an all-out, punky-party jam that only the most formidable of pop acts could successfully pull off.

1. "I Am the Best"
The group's signature song, K-pop has much of its overseas travel to thank for this absolute monster of a pop smash. From its the simple-yet-incredibly-empowering chants to the Middle Eastern-inspired bridge, "I Am the Best" was an ambitious track that still anyone in the world to sink their teeth into. Even in 2017, the beat still sounds fresh and explains why huge brands and U.S. radio embraced it years after its release. One of the most recognizable K-pop songs around the world, the track speaks to 2NE1's legacy as a bonafide, complete act with each woman turning into a superstar on her section and proving why she's a necessary part of this perfect-pop product. Among all the K-pop bangers, ballads, synth jams and experimental musical moments, "I Am the Best" can still start a rush within you the moment those booming synthesizers begin. How could it not be No. 1?


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