With over 2,300 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2013
2NE1 spent their 2013 releasing one-off singles, with a promised album never materializing until the following year. Sound familiar, BLACKPINK fans?
In 2NE1’s case, this trilogy of songs displayed three distinct flavors to their sound, culminating in the disarmingly gorgeous Missing You (그리워해요). The girls had delivered ballads in the past, but none had unfolded with quite the majestic heft found here. They were undoubtedly a group maturing into their next (and sadly, last) phase.
Missing You introduces itself with sweeping harmonies and sinuous bass before moving onto a slow roil verse that uses the sound of popping bubbles as percussion. The dramatic pre-chorus offers an impressive build that results in a stripped back, piano-led refrain. It’s here that the full effect of 2NE1’s harmonies are felt. The girls had a way of cutting through the noise with their performance, conveying a piercing emotional vulnerability that few idol groups approach. This is no more apparent than during Missing You’s final moments, when the structure transforms into a stunning, harmony-led coda that feels more like a hymn than a pop song. It’s undoubtedly one of 2NE1’s finest moments, and doesn’t even need a bombastic hip-hop beat to get there.