All jokes aside, CL has finally made her American debut with “Lifted” and has produced one of her best solo efforts yet, but I’m left wondering how much that’s saying and if it’s enough in the end.
“Lifted” starts off as bare bones as possible, and CL’s sing-rapping dominates the track over finger snaps and what sounds like a whistle toy. It’s unconventional, but I think it actually works, even in the face of my dislike for the vocal effects they’ve put her through.
My main complaint is that neither the instrumental nor the performance itself goes anywhere and almost the entire song is rather flat. No, not every song needs to have a gigantic build or a huge finish, but this was generally monotonous all the way through (except for a brief moment where some reggae influence interjects) and there wasn’t anything catchy that I could really latch onto.
I mean, it’s actually a rather nice chill-out song, and miles more enjoyable for me than “Dr. Pepper” or “Hello Bitches“, but it’s more than fair to find yourself generally disinterested or unimpressed by this effort. Did they really use Wu-Tang Clan‘s “Method Man” for this? Eh.
Also worth noting, because this is definitely important to American audiences, is the fact that her English is on point. Any indications that she’s not native are modulated out or passed off as part of her swag, and if I didn’t know any better I’d think she was Asian-American. That’s a definite positive.
The music video is … interesting? It’s a mix of stuff that comes off tryhard and cringe because it’s so out of place…
…or reminds us that we’re not in the K-pop world anymore…
…and hammering home the fact that Vape Nation is in the house!
It’s honestly confusing. It’s like the music video is made to get as much sweg and bad-ass female out of it as possible, but it doesn’t match the song itself at all, which actually sort of ends up sounding like a low-key cute concept.
It’s been a long time since I’ve thought a CL solo release couldn’t be used to violate the Geneva Conventions, but I could actually see myself listening to “Lifted”. Is it a bop? Absolutely not, but it’s a safe, pleasant chill-out track. However, at its core, the song is still rather unremarkable, and when paired with a music video that comes off cringe at times to a person that’s used to K-pop cringe, I somehow doubt it would go over better with an American audience. And for a debut single from a pop artist, I just don’t see this as anything special and it comes off as an album track rather than something that’s supposed to propel an artist to stardom.