Song Review: CLC – Helicopter

After a jam-packed 2019, CLC have been absent from the comeback slate this year. It’s not great timing, as they seemed to be building momentum. But, judging from their first-day album sales, fans were willing to wait. New single Helicopter skirts right past the throwback pop of prior single Devil and thrusts the group back into a harder-edged hip-hop sound. It’s successful in spurts, but hampered by its formulaic approach.

Helicopter is one of those tracks composed by a veritable army of creators. We’ve got representatives from the Joombas and TENTEN teams, plus ubiquitous husband-wife duo Melanie Fontana and Michel ‘Lindgren’ Schulz. With so many cooks in the kitchen, it’s hard to get really experimental or idiosyncratic. Thus, Helicopter’s verses retreat to the kind of blustering half-sung, half-rapped style favored by many idol groups this year. CLC are a good conduit for this approach, delivering attitude by the boatload. But, the instrumental doesn’t bring any unique character to the verses.

Once we hit the pre-chorus, the percussion becomes more of a stomp. It’s a decent set-up, buoyed by a dramatic vocal turn. The chorus itself is about as silly as you can imagine, leaning heavily on the “helicopter” metaphor. But, I kind of enjoy its unapologetically anthemic structure. Given different lyrics, and placed within a more dynamic song, I think this could have been a total standout. As is, the hook delivers a bit of goofy fun, bettered by a sudden tempo change during Helicopter’s finale. It’s not enough to make the song feel any less generic, but it’s nice to hear it build to a full-throated chorus.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25


42 thoughts on “Song Review: CLC – Helicopter

  1. I like the chorus, it’s definitely one of the better choruses of this year.

    The only part that bugs me is the part after the first chorus, it feels so disconnected. Otherwise I enjoy the song, especially Seungyeon’s part, she really owned it.

    I would rate it around 7.75. Far from their best, but also far from their worst.


  2. I like the song very much! For me, 2020 was quite a bit of a disappointment so far in the K-pop department. While 2019 brought great songs and spawned two of my fave girl groups (BVNDIT & EVERGLOW) many of the releases of my fave groups in 2020 ranged from mediocre (MORE & MORE) to „this group has some of my fave songs ever but the 2020 songs are totally not my taste at all“ (How You Like That, Ice Cream).
    CLC is an amazing group and it’s great that they still shine bright in 2020. The song is catchy, powerful and melodic. All the perks that I want from a song. I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There it is again, what is that noise, who thinks that sound is musical and pleasant.
    Noise posturing posing. This sort of thing is not for me.

    Rating is about right, but my bias would push it down to 6’s. Unless I give them a point more than I would normally for “I go up, Helicopter” because I can’t remember any other songs called “Helicopter”, and half a point for starting with the chorus. (Refrain?)


  4. I am actually totally in love with this song… it might be my favorite from them. I love the second part of the chorus and yeeun’s rap as well. It feels so powerful but it doesn’t sound like black dress or me pt2.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel the main problem here is the production? Too one-note, too generic to help the melodies to stand out.

    I love them and I think they have tons of potencial, but CUBE just seems to have focused on (G)I-DLE at this point…


    • cause gidle sells 100k albums on first day while clc can barely sell 10k. and gidle have soyeon so cube wont invest more money to buy them a song


  6. I think the chorus sounds mature, powerful, and stronger than before. It sounds like the music they wanted to approach from their interview. I’m quite confused with the verse after the first chorus. It sounds cute, but not in the right way. After all, they elevate the beats on the last chorus makes me excited and give me a climax that I expected before. I wish Elkie’s vocal shines here but it seems not her era, It’s more like Seunghee and Sorn’s era which are incredible.

    I would give 8.5 for this comeback, I think it’s one of their best songs, but not the top one.


  7. I actually really enjoyed it! CLC is really good at more attitude driven songs, and I’m a sucker for in your face, anthem style songs (if done right). Kinda reminded me of Hobgoblin through Black Dress’s lens. I dont know if it’ll stand the test of time, but for now, I’d give it a solid 8, maybe an 8.5.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m a big fan of this one. It’s rare that we hear anthems like this in Kpop. It reminds me of Salute by Little Mix, and kind of like The Boots by Gugudan, except this is way more successful.

    I like that the whole song rattles with power. It’s a big sound but but it isn’t noisy like Me or Black Dress (and I liked Black Dress). Plus Yeeun ate those verses.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I actually really like this song, it’s not my favorite title track but it’s in my top 3. Seunghee’s vocals were definitely my favorite part of the song. Hopefully CUBE will start paying more attention to them. Can you do a review of OH YA YA YA which is LUNARSOLAR’s debut song?


  10. I wish them the best but it’s been a long time since I have seen a girl group be this neglected. Also feel bad that I don’t recognize a single member by face or voice. That only happens to me with rookies.

    Oh right, the song. I listened to it an hour ago and already forgot how it goes.


    • It’s funny you say that, I’m notoriously bad with faces unless I REALLY invest in a group, but even with only a passing interest, I can generally recognize Sungyeon, Sorn, and Yeeun.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yup, same here. With some groups I’m having a real hard time memorizing and recognizing the members’ faces but CLC is actually one of most visually diverse girl groups I know.

        Liked by 3 people

    • I also really like it. It’s easily in the top 3 of CLC songs for me. I also love the structure (starts with the chorus, followed by the rap and the energetic ending is also awesome).
      Nice profile pic by the way 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  11. At this point in time, CLC simply exude more confidence and maturity than G-IDLE. This song is generic, true but still manages to be more enjoyable than most girl groups’ songs this year. Seungyeon and Seunghee’s vocals are absolutely gorgeous.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A big fan of CLC, however this is the first time I’ve stopped playing a new CLC song before it finished. I didn’t need to hear the rest of it, there was zero evidence it was ever going to be anything but formulaic and generic right from the get go. Not bad, per se, but not interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. i like how this comment section aint bad like youtube comment section. coz in youtube’s comment section you cant express your opinions without getting hate. imma safe here.


  14. I liked this quite a bit. It’s not up there with CLC’s best work, sure, but it throws me back to mid-10s “girl crush” which I enjoy more than what it is these days. Really dig that synth that underpins everything, I have a soft spot for that specific texture so it explains why I would gravitate towards it. Though with CLC I’m usually more invested in their album tracks (which is why I’m so frustrated that Cube keeps giving us singles and nothing more. I need a new Distance/To The Sky/Liar/I Need U/Show/Cafe Mocha Please to rave about!) and it’s just nice to hear from them again. Again, bias–CLC is one of the first girl groups I fell in love with. Yeeun is absolutely murdering us this era, almost tempted to swerve back into her lane lol. What did they do to my baby Seungyeon’s hair though. Omg. I hope she likes the hime cut more than I do.

    On another note, I am super amused that not only did A.C.E and CLC come back at the same time, A.C.E’s song has the lyrics “Ttak nawara wara ttukttak” which should remind you of CLC’s great Hobgoblin: “Neo nawara wara ttukttak nice!”

    (I know Nick and I are of completely opposite opinions on Hobgoblin lol. That’s the song that got me into CLC. It has accompanied me many a long night checking papers…)

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yeah I can’t lie, I like this! I’m not usually a fan of the posturing-style songs but this one is pretty catchy. Especially the chorus is nice- even though the opening lyrics made me laugh instantly. I love that they stuck with the helicopter metaphor throughout the chorus. “I make hella noise for the take-off” might even be funnier than Lisa’s “burr burr frozen you the one been chosen” in Ice Cream.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I actually loved everything about this on first listen. It was reminiscent of ATEEZ’s Say My Name, one of my favorite k-pop songs of all time. Sorn’s vocals were amazing and you know, nothing’s wrong if it sounds like a 2015 song. Things were easier back in 2015.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The song overall is just fine, nothing special. But I’m surprised not many people are talking about Yeeun’s rap verses, especially the second one. The flow was so fluid and cool, it’s one of my favourite raps from her.


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