As a companion to my Top Ten Singles lists, it’s time to look at some of the best album tracks and b-sides from the best artists. In light of the very sad news of 2NE1’s disbandment today, it seems like a perfect time to take another look at their discography. In true YG style, they’ve released very few songs that didn’t become title tracks, but here are their best.
10. Please Don’t Go (CL + Minzy) (from To Anyone – 2010)
As a template for some of the harder edged tracks that would come later, Please Don’t Go shines full spotlight on 2NE1’s electro-hip-hop side.
9. Stay Together (from 2NE1 – 2009)
Though its 90’s dance instrumental doesn’t draw much attention to itself compared to the group’s trendier moments, Stay Together’s swirling chorus proves that the girls don’t need a gimmick to deliver a strong pop song.
8. In The Club (from 2NE1 – 2009)
Despite its party-infused title, In The Club is instead a gentle r&b midtempo, with one of the strongest melodies found on their debut mini album.
7. Good To You (from Crush – 2014)
A minimalist, vocal-driven ballad that crests on the members’ strong, emotive performances. Never builds to more than a tense undertone.
6. Baby I Miss You (from Crush – 2014)
The girls give an understated performance over a classic 90’s pop melody and a smooth beat of finger-snaps and warm synths.
5. Ah Yah Yah (Love Is Ouch) (from To Anyone – 2010)
A hybrid ballad/dance track, Ah Yah Yah floats along a lush electronic instrumental, pulling back until it hits the propulsive, sing-along chorus.
4. If I Were You (from Crush – 2014)
A soaring, throwback ballad with touches of jazz and classic soul music, delivered in the quintessential, attitude-infused 2NE1 style.
3. Pretty Boy (from 2NE1 – 2009)
As part of the group’s debut mini album, Pretty Boy’s commanding, ceremonial synth riff heralds a loose, take-no-prisoners performance and sticky pop hook.
2. Mental Breakdown (CL solo) (from Crush – 2014)
Before she attempted an American debut, CL offered her best solo track as part of 2014’s Crush album. Over a paranoid, alien soundscape, she delivers an addictive, charismatic performance.
1. I’m Busy (from To Anyone – 2010)
Kicking off with a robotic vocal riff, I’m Busy soon bursts into the bombast of its central hook, which feels like a precursor to singles like I Am The Best and Do You Love Me. The track snowballs with instrumental hooks and effects until it builds to an electronic freak out — the kind that only 2NE1 can deliver.