Friday, July 12, 2013

Watch This: 2NE1 - "Falling In Love"

Like many pop groups, 2NE1 tends to focus on love; unlike many pop groups, however, it espouses the gospel of love as empowerment. "I Am The Best" takes themes of self-confidence and sharpens them into a dance-floor stomper brimming with swag. Meanwhile, last year's hit single "I Love You" dwells on the pain of longing but in its last minute cauterizes its own wounds with a sudden blast of electronica--not coincidentally, it's only when rapper CL declares "I LOVE YOU EVERYDAY! DON'T GET AWAY! TAKE ME AWAY!" that the girls can finally soar, unburdened from self-doubt and questioning.

New single "Falling In Love" is yet another fresh take on 2NE1's unique brand of powerful but all-too-relatable pop. The group has tapped into its kinship to reggae and hip-hop in equal measures, which is why the tropical guitar melodies wield so much force when the trap beat's bolstering them. Likewise, the lyrics explore feelings of vulnerability, of being "lost in the streets of love" and powerless to desire, but they're delivered with such sparkle and wit that you forget who's falling for who (one particularly charming moment in the chorus illustrates being stunned speechless through onomatepoeia).

The video illustrates this well: alternating between three different locations, it shows off a host of different sides to the group. They're feminists who'd rather bump booties than measure them, ladies with the power and agency to go for what they like, and individuals whose identities supersede repressive dichotomies of flighty emotion versus calculated reason, girly girl versus tomboy, grotesque loner versus trophy wife. No wonder the subject of 2NE1's affections only exists in fleeting glimpses: "Falling In Love" is really about the empowerment inherent in allowing yourself to fall, and surrendering to the gravity of our emotions has rarely sounded and looked so sweet.

"Falling In Love" is available on iTunes right now. You ready?

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