Released: February 2014
Tracklist: 1. Crush 2. Come Back Home 3. Gotta Be You 4. If I Were You 5. Good To You 6. MTBD (CL Solo) 7. Happy 8. Scream 9. Baby I Miss You 10. Come Back Home (Unplugged)
'Crush' is 2NE1's 2nd full album. The group's eclectic sound of r&b, reggae, electronic pop and hip-hop is displayed throughout. 2NE1 distanced themselves from other girl groups (once again) by showing sides of fierce independence and vulnerability, without forcing a concept. I love almost every single song on this, which makes it one of my favorite K-pop albums! Of course, this is all my personal opinion. My top five songs from the album are:
1. Come Back Home
First off, 2NE1 has two versions of 'Come Back Home' on the album; the original and the unplugged version, which is my favorite. They're the same song, so I put them both as number one!
Now about the song. The lyrics describe a girl missing her boyfriend or husband. He left her and hasn't come back. The original throws us a variety of sounds - reggae and hip-hop elements, bass drops, trap and electro-pop. Interestingly, the sporadic-ness and bounciness of the sounds downplays the sensitivity of the lyrics and makes it a great jam!
One the other hand, the unplugged version embraces the tear-jerking lyrics, making it officially a sad love song. With acoustic guitar, the member's vocals, especially Minzy's, are really displayed. Also, 'Come Back Home (Unplugged)' has a rap from CL that isn't in the original (for some reason, though it is in the music video).
2NE1's leader and rapper CL is by herself for this song. "Mental Breakdown' has an exotic flair and countless bass drops. It's quite different from her first solo "The Baddest Female", and she spits fire!
3. If I Were You
This is a ballad with crushing sentiment and is about a relationship that failed because of a emotional disconnect. It's one of those ballads that, instead of reaching a climax, it has intensity throughout. If you are a 2NE1 fan, you may find it reminiscent of their 2010 release 'It Hurts'.
In a sense, 2NE1 hide their pain behind a smile. The beat is jumpy, vibrant and well, happy, but the lyrics are anything but. It describes wishing the best for your ex, but being miserable yourself. I love the playfulness of 'Happy', though a tiny bit of something is missing. It's almost as if the song is begging for some reggae sounds. Despite that, 'Happy' is definitely an upgrade to the average pop song.
'Scream' is the Korean version of a Japanese single that they released in 2012. Though, I like both, this version is way better and is not in a awkward translation as one may expect. It's about a girl who just wants to dance at a party and have fun - and it's no surprise that this buzzing track is dance-pop.