This has got to be the most embarrassing release from a major company in recent memory. CLC are from Cube Entertainment, home to such icons as Beast and 4Minute. They struggled in their debut last year, despite releasing some songs I really enjoyed. Now, after a nine-month hiatus, they’ve come back with two new members. This isn’t unusual (especially from a group that needs more exposure), but among these new members is vocalist Eunbin, who is currently participating in the reality competition show Produce 101. This ties her up until at least April, and possibly much longer if she becomes a member of the girl group the show is creating. Not only is she unable to promote with CLC, but she can’t even appear in music videos or songs. So what does Cube do with this (as of now) useless member? Rather than shooting a music video with the rest of the girls, they cut out Eunbin’s parts, resulting in a two-minute video that covers only a fraction of the song and highlight’s none of the track’s choreography. It all feels incredibly sloppy, particularly from a company that at one time seemed poised to break into the “big three.” It’s a disservice to CLC, and makes it seem they’ve all but given up on the group.
But, I try not to factor the music videos or agency mismanagement too much into my rating, so how is the song itself? Well, it’s not great. It’s not horrible, either, but its main issue is that it has absolutely no identity of its own. The girls pivoted slightly from their previous tracks to embrace an even cutesier vibe. However, while both Pepe and (to a lesser degree) Like, had hooks that felt fresh and instant, High Heels never quite gets there.
That’s the big problem. There’s nothing offensively bad or unlikable in this track, but nothing really sticks, either. When an interesting melodic turn finally appears in the middle eight, it’s all but forgotten by the time the final chorus kicks in. It’s the same with the production. We’ve heard the touches of brass and staccato rhythm in dozens of tracks over the past few months. High Heels fails to do anything new or interesting with them, relying instead on formula and a beat not fast enough to dance to, nor impactful enough to draw listeners’ attention.