2NE1 1st Mini Album is2NE1’s 1st mini-album and it was released on July 8, 2009.
2. I Don’t Care♠
3. In The Club♠♠♠
4. Let’s Go Party
5. Pretty Boy
6. Stay Together
7. Lollipop w/ BIG BANG
Kicking off this amazing mini-album is the song that 2NE1 is known for, the insanely catchy Fire. It’s a crossover of typical K-Pop synth with an amazing R&B beat, giving birth to this high energy, extremely danceable and just oh so fun to listen to song. Each girl shines in their particular vocal parts, Minzi and CL take care of the rapping with their amazing charisma while Bom and Dara show their best as vocalists with extraordinary voices. Fire really is the best way to introduce someone to 2NE1, it has a little bit of everything, plus, who doesn’t love a good Dara “CHALLA CHALLA CHALLA CHALLA!”?
Next is the heavenly I Don’t Care, an R&B pop song, almost on the point of being a ballad with an infectious chorus. I really like the harp in the instrumental, it adds a feeling of gentleness to the song, which when contrasted with the R&B beats make for a very unique combination. The girls give their best performance in the vocals, particularly Bom who dominates the chorus perfectly with that infamous “I don’t care-e-e-e-e-e-e” line. CL’s and Minzy’s rap before the final chorus is also notable. The only negative thing I could say about the song is the sudden ending. I thought that the I don’t care line could have been repeated just a bit more, or at least had the song fade out, as it kind of ends abruptly.
My all time favorite 2NE1 song has to be In The Club. You could say it’s the “saddest” song on the album, and indeed it is. You’d expect an upbeat club song when looking at the song name but while it does have a very heavy deep club sound, the song is actually pretty slow-tempo’d, focusing on the vocals and emotions the girls express. I love the acoustic guitar in the background and the faraway synth. I also have to mention Dara’s outstanding job in the bridge. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Korean artist express so much emotion through their voice than she has in this track. Bom once again shines in that great chorus.
Let’s Go Party adopts that same club style featured in the previous song but instead makes it an upbeat, party track. I wasn’t too fond of this song at first but then slowly began to appreciate the above average instrumental the song has. You also can’t deny that the chorus is pretty darn catchy as well. This type of club sound for 2NE1 really works great for them. The ending of this song is something similar of what I Don’t Care should have had.
The award to fiercest instrumental is no doubt for Pretty Boy. That brass driven instrumental is made to spell out instant hit. The song, with its heavy bass, beats and synth just make for a really fierce song in the similar road as Fire. CL really makes the song though, her voice and charisma are what make the song as good as it is. The chorus is different though, as it drops the bass-line and turns more to the pop genre(with Bom leading, of course). Another great track.
finishing off the album is the half ballad/club track Stay Together. The hybrid of that club style with a slower, almost ballad like(for 2NE1 standards) make for a very special result and accompanied with each girl giving their best performance in their respective fields(Bom singing, Minzy rapping…), its one heck of an album finisher. Absolutely love the chorus in this song, “we gotta stay together”~.
Featured as a bonus track on the album is Lollipop, a duet song between 2NE1 and BIG BANG. While I really enjoyed this club-like pop, very YG Teddy like song at the beginning, it kind of grew annoying for me as the girls began to release better music. While the instrumental is in no way an annoyance, it must be because of the vocals. Maybe it’s G-Dragon’s slightly annoying rapping or maybe Dara’s “lolli, lolli, oh lollipop” high-pitched lines. The chorus can have it’s catchy moments and the song isn’t a total failure but it gets overshadowed by the rest of the tracks.
2NE1 was my first official release in the K-Pop industry and I’m more than proud to say that they definitely left me wanting to hear more of this new style of music. Every song easily had the potential to be released as a title track and the variety between all of them was just outstanding. The songs(minus Fire) are all structured very similarly but the different was the girls sing, the hooks and chorus make them all distinguishable. The girls should stick in this direction and they’ll be all set for that new album coming out soon.