Release Date: June 25, 2014
- Come Back Home
- Gotta Be You
- Do You Love Me
- Falling In Love
- I Love You
- If I Were You
- Missing You
- Come Back Home (Unplugged Version)
Crush is the second studio album by 2NE1 and features the singles Come Back Home, Happy, and Gotta Be You. It was first released in Korea in February 2014, then in Japan in June of the same year. The Japanese version features the singles I Love You and Crush.
The track listings will differ depending on what version of the album you get. This review will cover the Japanese version.
In 2012 2NE1’s Japanese debut was a compilation of their past Korean releases sung awkwardly in a different language. Fast forward 2 years, and we get Crush. A counterpart to the original Korean release with much improved Japanese language skills from the group members.
What hasn’t changed over those 2 years is 2NE1’s well-established sound. If you are new to the group (or stumbled upon them because of the Microsoft Surface ad), then be prepared for some slick, polished dance pop with a few sophisticated mid and low-tempo tracks thrown in for good measure.
The result of said improvement is a seamless listening experience that belies the album’s 36-minute running time. The album is perfectly paced in that respect.
In addition, none of the tracks can be considered filler and complement each other well when played in order. Of course, in the age of lesser attention spans and playing single tracks, the songs are strong enough to stand on their own.
Recommended listening would go to Gotta Be You and its insanely catchy hook, the mid-tempo pop of Happy, the ballad If I Were You and the Unplugged version of Come Back Home. The latter two songs show that 2NE1 can slow things down just as well as hype things up.
In the end, Crush proves that 2NE1 is much more than just another of the many Hallyu wave groups that invaded Japan at the movement’s peak. Much like KARA and Girls’ Generation, they have grown beyond that label and are a legitimate pop force to be reckoned with in Japan. Too bad this may be their last hurrah if the rumours are true.
If so, it’s a hell of a way to go out.