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)