After nearly a decade of anticipation, CL’s first full album has finally arrived! If I used gifs to illustrate my point, I’d paste a standing ovation after this sentence. Seriously, give the lady some applause. The industry has not always been kind to her, but she’s persisted and released three singles in 2021. Not all songs have been to my personal taste, but that doesn’t mean I’m not celebrating her accomplishment as an artist.
I’ll always have a soft spot for CL and 2NE1. I first developed an interest in K-pop during the group’s reign, and CL’s voice and artistry remain huge influences on my K-pop taste. Equally adept at singing and rapping, she’s able to bring a chameleon-like style to her tracks. Pre-releases Spicy and Lover Like Me did a nice job showcasing this diversity, even if I wish the songs themselves felt more unique. New single Tie A Cherry brings everything together, standing as a suitable title track for this long-awaited album.
Cherry’s production feels a bit generic, though I do like the synth tones used throughout the instrumental. The track is largely designed to create space for CL to do her thing. It doesn’t swerve in any inventive directions or even build toward a memorable crescendo. Instead, CL’s voice is the rightful star of this comeback. She modulates between singing and rapping in a natural flow that feels confident without being overly showy. As always, I long for a more dynamic hook. Even at three minutes, the song threatens to become monotonous before it finishes. Thankfully, CL’s switches in phrasing and energy keep things interesting.