Cube Entertainment‘s new girl group CLC debuted with the music video for “Pepe“, which managed to live up to all the hype they drummed up for them.
The music video was constructed and shot well, the visuals were on point, and the song was safely consumable.
From the jump, the song starts off strong with the piano banging and a haunting vocal that caught my attention. It then breaks into more of a formulaic K-pop sound, but hook was impressively strong and it has the bonus of flowing well with the tempo of the track, helping transitions in-and-out of choruses and verses appear seamless. You know it’s the hook because it has impact, but at the same time it’s not jarring or sudden.
Also, by some miracle, even the rap verse seemed to fit into the overall tone of the track and wasn’t embarrassingly out of place.
As far the members themselves, I think Sorn, the Thai member, will catch grief for her odd looks, but I think that’s partially why it works. She looks so so so different from the standard that she stands out and draws you into what’s going on. I mean how can you not notice that she looks like Jimin crossed with Bonk from Bonk’s Adventure? Seunghee is the other one that stands out to me, and while the other three sort of mesh together, having two recognizable members after one music video is definitely a positive step.
It’s still on the relatively safe side of the fence, but it’s an understandable strategy and this was still more of a dynamic debut music video than most girl groups give us. “Pepe” gives CLC a rock solid base to build off of, as the group effectively showcased all their potential in one three-and-a-half minute audition to the public.
If I’m being honest, I saw all the hype and generally ignored it cause I wasn’t really interested. I was planning for my coverage of this track to be in the ‘Deep Reviews‘ section, but after watching it, I had to admit it deserved a more comprehensive look. The lasting impression I’m left with is that CLC have a lot of promise and are well worth following up on in the future, and that’s about all one can ask for from a debut.