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2NE1 – was their debut hot like Fire?

Are you a fan of Epik High? Over at KoME we’re in the final stages of putting together a video shoutout for Epik High and MYK, consisting of videos, pictures, and messages from fans. You can participate in English, or in your native language. If you’re interested in taking part, you can check out the project here. Submission deadlines are May 10th but if you really want to take part but need a few extra days then just email me and I’ll wait for you.

So, YG Entertainment have a new group. Marketed as the ‘female Big Bang’, 2NE1 first appeared not too long ago, promoting one of the new LG cellphones. The promotion campaign involved the catchy song Lollipop, which they performed with Big Bang, and an accompanying MV. Although I quite liked the outfits, as eye-meltingly bright as they were, Sandara’s outfit and palm-tree hair pretty much ruined the whole look for me.

Fast forward several weeks to the beginning of May, where a new look for 2NE1 was revealed, as well as 10 second teasers for their proper debut song Fire. Each day another 10 seconds of the song was released, until yesterday when the whole thing was made available and MVs released. Yes, MVs. They made a Space Version and a Street Version. Written by Teddy, of 1TYM fame, I was expecting a pretty awesome song. I wasn’t alone with this expectation, though others had their hopes up for a variety of reasons – it’s YG, it’s the female Big Bang, etc. YG helped get hopes up higher by promising that 2NE1 would be like nothing we had ever seen before. There were promises of fresh, new, awesomeness from CL, Dara, Bom and Minzy.

So, did they deliver?

Street Version:

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Space Version:

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What do you think?

I personally think no. The potential is there, but so is that freaking palm-tree hair. CL (the chick on the bike in the space version) doesn’t seem to know if she’s G-Dragon, T.O.P or herself – it feels like YG has decided “alright, you’re the jailbait, you’re the sexy bunny girl, you get the palmtree hair, and you’re the GD/TOP clone”. I personally would rather see the girls displaying an image that is their own, and I don’t feel they are. Yet. I’ll keep my eye on them, but I’m really not digging them as much as I was hoping that I would. They have a mini-album coming out later this year, so maybe that will deliver what the single doesn’t quite manage. To me, they just don’t quite manage to stand out.