CLC - No
It’s been almost a full year since we last heard from CLC when they dropped “Black Dress” early last year, a song that ended up really high in my personal favorite tracks of 2018. Since then there have been a few developments within Cube, namely (G)I-DLE, that had many fans worrying for CLC’s future, but it seems all that is being put to rest with their new comeback. Unfortunately I haven’t really been paying too much attention, so I didn’t catch any teasers for this song. However, seeing as since Hobgoblin we’ve been seeing a darker, more mature side of CLC, I didn’t think that would change all too much.
I have to say, I’m actually rather surprised with the direction that this song took, at least in part. I don’t think I can recall a time where I’ve heard a K-pop song, much less a title track, going for a style that’s heavily influenced by Vogue. There’s definitely been times where there are inspirations for teasers and other snips of content, but as far as title tracks go, I think this is the first I’ve seen it. Personally I love that they went with something so different, because I think that musically the K-pop scene has stagnated heavily in the past year or so, and to see some more branches developing on the ever-growing tree is a nice change of pace.
Unfortunately, I think that’s really about where my compliments for the song would end. I’m really not that big of a fan of the Vogue genre, so this was already hard to swallow for me as was, but the incorporation of heavier wubs and dubs didn’t really do this track any favors in my opinion. The chorus is actually kind of sleek and groovy, but when it’s paired up with the aforementioned aspects, it actually feels like it’s the least impactful portion of the song, which is unfortunate as I think it’s the best portion that this track has to offer.
The verses are fairly catchy, and I definitely loved the ascending progressions leading up to the other portions of the track, so I think it’s unfortunate that I couldn’t enjoy many of the other parts to this song. The genre mixing actually works suitably well, but not only am I not really a fan of the whole fluctuating bass tones, I’m also just kind of tired of hearing them being used so often.
All in all, this song is a mixed bag for me. The verses and chorus themselves are wonderful and great on the ears, but when the clashing heavier side of things rolls in, I think things just get too muddled for it to be enjoyable. I didn’t necessarily dislike the Vogue aspects of the track, either, but it really just wasn’t my cup of tea.
At first I thought that this video was some kind of sequel to Black Dress, but mostly all it carries over (aside from black dresses) are a handful of color palette choices. Apart from that, there were some similar themes and ideas incorporated as well, albeit with a new set of visuals to represent them. From what I interpret, it’s another video where CLC is showing that they’re getting rid of everything their innocence and maturing to become women instead of girls. They even go so far as to burn all of the items along with some roses later.
I won’t really get too far into the details of that because there’s a lot of other aspects to talk about here. I mentioned some transferred color palettes earlier, but the new vibrant hues used here are really nice on the eyes. They’re easy to look at while also popping enough to have you focus their attention on them, and that in turn helps the girls really captivate you, not that they need much help when they’re looking as incredible as ever in this video. In particular Sorn stood out as having a major visual upgrade, which I don’t know how many times I’ve said that already before, but it’s true yet again. (All of them look gorgeous, though, of course.)
Unfortunately I think that the choreography that we got to see didn’t really seem to stand out too much. A lot of the motions seemed too subtle during the chorus, and I don’t know that I could point out anything in the way of being the point dance. Admittedly I did watch the showcase prior to writing this review so I know that the full choreography is actually pretty solid, but I wish the music video showed it more.
Overall the video was okay, I don’t know that I can really say that I found it particularly interesting apart from the visual of the girls literally carrying a coffin and burying their old selves in effect. The concept of them throwing away their past has been done a few times here already, so I’m kind of wanting to see them do something a bit different and show where they’re going instead of just destroying their previous image (which I’m fairly sure a lot of people have basically forgotten.)
“No” is another track that follows in the steps that “Hobgoblin” and “Black Dress” had taken before it. Unfortunately it doesn’t really do much to further those steps in a meaningful way past the slight change up in musical genre. While I absolutely love that this song tried something that really hasn’t been touched on in K-pop before, it ventured into a territory that I also have very little if any interest in to begin with, so it wasn’t really a track for me. If you enjoy Vogue music as well as the occasional wubstep, this actually is probably a perfect track for you to start your year off with.