[Review] CLC stand up and stand out with unconventional but successful “No”

CLC finally seemed to find the general direction they wanted to pursue with “Hobgoblin“, and the buy-in to a more mature and serious concept paid dividends with “Black Dress” last year. However, “No” takes things a step further, continuing the concept but taking their music in a more unconventional and experimental direction.

“No” doesn’t fit all that easily into the typical pop song structure we’re accustomed to getting, as it goes from sung verse at a brisk pace to rapping over an instrumental that has the bottom dropped out of it to a jubilant but short chorus that quickly segues into an elongated breakdown. It’s definitely interesting and at the very least ensures that it doesn’t get repetitive.

Despite the briefness of the most melodic section of the song, it definitely makes an impact, especially with the “I love me, I like it” refrain making an instant impression that sums up the song thematically as well. As for the instrumental, it’s sort of in a constant state of flux. Even the synths and bass it’s founded on seem to bounce all over the place, which matches surprisingly well with the arrangement itself. While the breakdown could easily kill any momentum the chorus generated, what kept it flowing was the booming bass and this echoing, creeping feel of the background effects that matches with their delivery. And a song like this requires a certain attitude conveyed to be effective, so thankfully CLC provide that sassy confidence well here.

“No” is interesting if for no other reason than a girl group who can’t really afford to take a risk did so anyway. It definitely stands out from the crowd, but it still ends up as successful song that seemed made for the club, and for now I cautiously say it has great replay value. I guess the best way to describe it right now would be absolutely refreshing, probably polarizing, and curious in the sense that I’m fascinated to see how this holds up over time.

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