This January, CLC out-(G)IDLE’d (G)-IDLE with the Soyeon-composed No. That quirky, attitude-driven track seemed to spark a sonic revolution in the group, drawing upon their charisma for an ear-catching performance. New single Me (美) harnesses that same vibe, but comes across as diminished returns.
The first time through, it’s easy to compare Me to 4minute’s 2016 hit Hate. Both center around a similarly aggressive beat drop, hammering their choruses with an electronic attack that feels more noisy than creative. As exciting as Me’s energy is, it’s also a case of style over substance. Beyond all of the hard-hitting production flourishes, there’s not much of a song to be found. The verses pulse with attitude, but fade from memory as soon as they’ve passed. The main hook hinges on one under-cooked phrase, repeated without variation. This simplistic construction is at odds with the maelstrom of sound swirling around it, and gives Me an unbalanced (and ultimately unfulfilling) presence.
Within all of the song’s bombast, there are a few interesting instrumental quirks to be found. The percussion stands out, moving from intense drum fills during the chorus to more hesitant, disjointed patterns in the verses. I particularly like how the beat drop modulates to trace the girls’ vocal line during Me’s final few seconds. It’s a gratifying bow tied on an altogether messy package. But in the end, the song is just too one-note to stand out. It’s powered by one of the least engaging refrains in CLC’s arsenal, and its brash production choices will likely polarize listeners.