2NE1 has caught the attention of both the East and West with forward-thinking music, fierce fashion and carefree attitudes. But the K-pop girl group is showcasing their most vulnerable and mature side yet in new single “Missing You,” which brings surprises in the song composition and video.
Opening with subtle bass and guitar plucks — recalling productions by The xx — the first verse adds in bubble pops, hip-hop shouting and woozy harmonies over a swelling electro-pop production. But soon, soft piano chords get thrown into the mix, growing louder with each measure before listeners find themselves at an acoustic chorus featuring piano pounding and guitar strumming, letting the vocals shine.
2NE1’s singles from earlier this year “Falling in Love” and “Do You Love Me?” — both of which found big success on the K-Pop Hot 100, peaking at No. 2 — were crafted around catchy, repetitive choruses. But “Missing You” is just a striking, perhaps more so, even without a simple hook.
The music video also shows a softer different side for the group — particularly leader CL. Dressed in fashionable, at times witch-like, winter gear, the girls spend most of the video on the verge of tears singing the heartbreakingly bitter lyrics. The video’s talking point is undoubtedly when CL goes nude for a daring naked scene during the second chorus. The rapper/singer wistfully sits in a room of deteriorating cement, covering herself with only her arms and legs.
Look out for haters to call out the comparisons from Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” but CL does sad and naked with way more class.
In February, CL first told Billboard about the track, saying, “I was really connected to that song because I was missing my fans and the stage. I love that song. I know people will love it.” Look out for it to make a splash on the K-Pop Hot 100 this week or next.
Despite 2NE1’s label initially promising a single every month until an October album release, 2NE1 fell silent after the August release of “Do You Love Me?” But apparently moving right along, the group has revealed plans for a new world tour in 2014, announcing the Asia stops today. Member Dara added, “Wherever Blackjack fans are is a reason for us to visit. So, foreign promoters, give us a call.”
2NE1 was and still is the only K-pop girl group to hold an arena tour in the U.S. after two concerts in summer of 2012.