Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

2NE1 – Scream

Singing deer heads: never a good sign…


Sabina Tang: A song about having enough self-awareness to realize one is caught in a pattern of destructive romantic behaviour, without the ability to stop — structured in do-you-SEE style as a series of earworms looping infinitely back on itself. The chorus, then, should theoretically invoke an actual scream of hapless frustration (“Why do I keep doing this to myself?”), but arrives as a stuttery hook that dissipates rather than releases energy. The middle eight is the one moment of stillness, as the cycle grinds to a halt in lucid self-loathing: “I’m in love with a man again,” sighs CL, “and it’s pathetic.”

Iain Mew: Piles an ingeniously infectious “aah aah aah aah!” hook on top of a scratchy spoken sample and beats for a great first impression, and never slows down from there. It’s not all hard edges though, with the noise cutting out for the group to sigh “itsumono situation” in unison for one of the most winning moments. Despite not speaking either language, I love the trend of Korean acts releasing Japanese albums because they’re always a great mix between recent hits collection and fine new material like this. Plus I can never get my head round listening to mini-albums.

Brad Shoup: So yes, they’re not screaming — not even close — but without the swag of the verses, we could be hearing an internal pep talk, a personal psych-up. But the verses are  there, and they require something a bit more authorially tossed-off. Or something more like the pre-chorus, with Bom loosing desire.

Alfred Soto: An intelligent “Just Lose It,” substituting mixing board smarts (scratches! vocal hysterics!) for angst.

Jonathan Bogart: It’s not 2NE1’s fault that the title to their song inevitably makes me want to listen to a high point in two different Jacksons’ careers. Not much is going to live up to that; so with expectations tamped down, we have what I’d call a second-tier 2NE1 song, with only a little bit of the gonzo I’m always rooting for from them. Another injustice, as not much is going to live up to “I Am the Best” either.

Frank Kogan: When our heroes in 2NE1 go “Scream, AA-AA-AA-A A-A-AAH!” it’s a groove, not a panic. Bom wails, “Come on let’s get away,” but what she means is that they gotta blow this room for another one, to find the next dance.

One Response to “2NE1 – Scream”

  1. I kinda think the reason the song doesn’t go for full-on screaming is because they are a girl group working under a lot of constraints at a dysfunctional production company, and this song – the chorus at least – is meant to express passive-aggressive frustration at a bad situation you have no choice but to put up with. They aren’t in a position where they can scream, even though they want to: they’re in a position where the most they can do is sing “Scream-ah-ah-ah” while smiling.