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The Top Ten Best Songs by CLC

CLC have run the gamut when it comes to K-pop styles, making for an eclectic singles run with a little something for everyone. Ranking their songs is — at times — like comparing apples to oranges.

Like all of these lists, a song must be accompanied by a music video to qualify, so even though CLC have released several performance or practice videos, I’m counting songs like To The Sky and I Like It as album tracks. With that in mind, here are the group’s best title tracks and follow-ups.


10. Hobgoblin (2017)

Marking a complete u-turn in concept, Hobgoblin positioned CLC as heirs to HyunA’s bratty hip-pop style. It succeeded in gaining the group international attention, but still feels too derivative and noisy to rank high on their singles list. (full review)

9. Me (2019)

Though its repetitive, beat-drop chorus is still a disappointing buzzkill, the rest of Me pulses with enough musical playfulness to (almost) compensate. (full review)

8. Distance (2018)

Though it was a non-promoted album follow-up, it’s easy to see why this swirling, evocative mid-tempo was given a polished music video. With a focus on the group’s vocals, Distance offered a glimpse at a more refined — almost theatrical — side to CLC.

7. Like (2015)

Moving toward a brighter, pop-informed sound, Like may be generic but succeeds on the strength of its expressive chorus and splashy arrangement.

6. No Oh Oh (2016)

Turning to mega-producer Shinsadong Tiger for the kind of explosive, brassy material that revived fellow girl group EXID’s career, No Oh Oh has hooks to spare and an enjoyably bombastic atmosphere. It’s not quite the right fit for CLC, but its standing has improved with age. (full review)

5. Where Are You? (2017)

Drawing from the down-tempo side of synth-dripped city pop, Where You Are’s 80’s aesthetic initially felt too subdued to stand out. Time has treated the song well. It sounds like nothing else in CLC’s arsenal. (full review)

4. Black Dress (2018)

The first single to successfully merge all of CLC’s charms into one, Black Dress goes hard but doesn’t forget a sense of melodicism and unique character. I wasn’t too smitten with it at the time, but there’s no denying that this track represented the start of a second life for the group. (full review)

3. Devil (2019)

Throwing back to their earlier years, the retro-pop of Devil offered a refreshing shot of pure, sugary melody — married to the kind of edgy delivery we’ve come to expect from CLC. Its persistent use of catchy bass guitar is an especially welcome departure for the group. (full review)

2. Pepe (2015)

Though CLC have navigated through many different styles, the brassy bubblegum pop of Pepe still feels like their best fit. Riding on a sassy beat, the track’s quirky hook towed the line between cute and vivacious.

1. No (2019)

Driven almost entirely by attitude, No delivered an instantly iconic series of spoken-word hooks, positioned over a catwalk-ready electro thump that gives the girls plenty to work with. If 2018’s Black Dress was the sound of CLC coming into their own, No is their coronation. Within an ultra-diverse discography, it’s easily their most scene-stealing moment. (full review)

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8 thoughts on “The Top Ten Best Songs by CLC

  1. I would rate “Me” and “Hobgoblin” much better than their cuter song but other than that, list that i can agree with.

    They’re definitely one of the more…..unpredictable girl group around with how they swings from one sound to another

    Like

  2. Hobgoblin dead last is WRONG hahaha

    If you’re putting in Distance (a GREAT song) you might as well put in their true best song which is To The Sky (a prerelease they did promote on music shows afaik)

    Like

    • Honestly, I went back and forth on decided whether to include it or not. Same thing with Distance. In the end, I just had to stick with what I’ve done in the past. A song has to have a music video to be on the list, unless it was a fully promoted title track that didn’t have an mv (which is very rare).

      To The Sky is great, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s something to be said about the sheer variety found in this list (and their discography in general). Regardless, Pepe will always be their best song in my heart- a true timeless gem.

    Like

  4. To be 100% honest, I didn’t care about CLC for the first few years that they existed. Sure, “Hobgoblin” was okay, but the group didn’t really have songs. Then they released “To The Sky” and everything changed. Since then, they haven’t had a miss for me, and I have no idea what sparked it – but I’m certainly glad! For me (excluding “To The Sky”, and “I Like It”) the list would go something like:

    10. High Heels
    9. Like
    8. Pepe
    7. Where Are You?
    6. Hobgoblin
    5. Devil
    4. Me
    3. Black Dress
    2. Distance
    1. No

    As you can tell, we disagree pretty heavily on the order here – but at least we can both agree that “No” is the centerpiece of the CLC oeuvre!

    Like

  5. “Where Are You?” is one of my favorite Kpop songs in sound and concept, I found it haunting from the first listen. I kind of wish that they (or some other group) had done more like it.

    Like

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