2NE1 - To Anyone

Let me try and put this nicely. 2NE1 have a very, VERY distinct style - they know who they are, what kind of music they make, and how to make it. Most of the time that's a very good thing, and even I acknowledge that they're more than worthy of their current success, for the simple reason that they have talent AND identity. But I'm sorry, I just don't respond well to the distinct style they have when it's just the song I'm listening to. For the most part.

I've said this before, but for the sake of it, I'll say it again. These girls are performers - you have to see them for the songs to all make sense, because they really do, the songs were made to be performed. But my new argument is that you don't always have the opportunity to see these girls sing/dance/stage huge productions of these songs, especially in a full-length album - there will be the "overlooked" songs. So what happens to them? Nothing. They continue to not make sense, and no one will see what they really are. A good album has tracks that are all at the same level, not carbon copies of each other, but complements. With those tracks that don't make sense, the album gets degraded.

There is/are song(s), and parts of songs, that I really like. And I think as a whole the album is cohesive, but that's more like a requirement rather than a "plus point", but I do have one observation about this album, something purely K-Pop fans might o.O over.

Majority of the songs remind me of a rapping version of a Girls Aloud song, a Xenomania creation. I don't know if that's just because European production is getting more attention in the US and they apparently worked with American producers on this, but even some of the lead singles sound like they came straight from Xenomania and YG just added a few rap parts here and there.

Take the opening, Can't Nobody. It sounds like a more "updated" cross between No Good Advice and something straight off Tangled Up. (just because I don't blog about them anymore doesn't mean I've forgotten everything I know!) The best part? Bom's lines without all the excessive autotune. I'm serious - I listened to this yesterday morning at 6AM and I almost puked with all the autotune and the annoying GaGa synths, my only salvation was Bom.

No matter how pretty the song is, or can be, if there's autotune I get turned off. There's a tasteful way of doing it, but too much is too much - I have a low tolerance level for autotune. The choruses of Go Away are pretty. They're not gorgeous or ground-breaking, but they're pretty, and then you go autotune the verses like crazy? No. And the same goes for 박수 쳐 - I ADORE the chorus, but the verses are not my type. Then again, the verses on these are better than the ones on Go Away - they sound more like their old stuff. And the chorus, oh the chorus - I didn't like it when I first heard it, but I saw the video and I was like "damn". It's like Fire with a better chorus.

I hate 난 바빠 with a passion. Once again, too much autotune in the wrong way. End of story.

아파 (Slow) is nice, it's not my favorite track on the album, but I'm VERY thankful that they laid off the autotune. If they didn't for this song, I'd go ballistic. I like the real-ish drums, and the fact that it's a ballad, but I'm not over the moon or anything. Don't get me wrong though, it's pretty.

Ah yes, they save my favorite track for last. 사랑은 아야야 is, in simple words, my favorite track on the album. And that says a lot. After hearing the previous tracks I wasn't really expecting anything anymore, but this took me completely by surprise. Once again, when you lay off the autotune everything just sounds a lot better. For me at least. 사랑은 아야야 is nice and pretty, but I like this more than Slow because that little bit more lively. It's still got that but of autotune on the hook, but it's not excessive. The piano loop, the pretty melody, and talented singers make for a song worth my time, and probably even yours. ;D

We've heard all the original versions of the next 6 tracks, and I've talked about most of them here and on Twitter, so I guess that's about it. I HAVE A JOJO MIXTAPE TO FREAK OUT OVER!

Best Track: 사랑은 아야야
Better Tracks: 박수 쳐, 아파 (Slow)
Worst Track: 난 바빠
The Rating: 4.4/5 For the simple fact that the direction of the album is very, very clear - even if I don't like majority of it.


  1. Good review as usual. I made a review of this album earlier today if you wish to read it (it's my first review, so constructive criticism is welcomed with open arms).


  2. Hi! I am a constant reader of your site but this is the first time I am leaving a comment. :)

    I'm glad we have the same opinion about 2ne1's album. This could have been better appreciated without the heavy processing.

    사랑은 아야야 is indeed the best track. It's simple. It's clean. I like them better that way.

    Thanks for the good insights. :) I am always looking forward to your reviews. :)

    Hope you can check out my review too.

  3. I was a bit disappointed with the album given the hype. First, way too auto-tuned for a bunch of talented girls (with 1 notable exception). Second, almost half of the album are previously released songs. I know most groups do the same when they release a full album but I thought 2NE1 sets its own way? Plus even Suju and SHINee had all new songs in their new albums so I thought YG would take up the challenge.

    I really only liked Go Away from the album.

    Lastly, I really think they give Teddy a break from producing. None of his new stuff is as ground breaking as last year.

  4. LOL i almost felt like 4.4 was too high. i was disappointed with this album. autotuneautotuneautotune. it's not like they're a completely vocally incapable girl group. le sighhhhhh.
    anyway, i absolutely love your blog and your review :)

  5. I was disappointed too!
    Where was all the catchy hooks they're known for. Clap your hands is probably the only track I rate. Maybe I have to listen to it more :(

  6. I thought only me that was dissapointed LOL...
    The better track for me is Love is Ouch ...


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