I’ve always lived by the motto that no song is truly bad–songs are either instantly likable, or forcibly likable–as in, you haven’t heard it enough. The brain is really amazing at creating continuity where its lacking, and I’ve warmed up to many, many songs by virtue of listening to it ten more times than necessary. “Missing You” happens to be the anomaly in all of this. The more I listen to the song, the more I things I find out of place, and the worse I feel about disliking it; it has all the right intentions and all the wrong execution. It just kills me to see 2NE1 fall to the wayside because of poor composition and stagnation due to the song writing skills of Teddy. He has literally sucked the life out of 2NE1 with every song he has put his pen to in recent memory. “Lonely” continues to be the epitome of YG “ballads,” and even that was an auto-tune fest. (Well, it was at least an enjoyable auto-tune fest.)[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG0jlKdB1s0#t=209]
But to call it 2NE1’s issue is short sighted, because it’s not. “Lonely” worked because it had a clear direction and decided to stick it guns to the basics. “Missing You,” et.al. on the other hand, is a reflection of the YG obsession with the idea of “artistry.” This happened in “Rose” and it happens again in “Missing You;” they think that melancholic melodies and stoic, flowing videos create emotion and the perfect ballad. This isn’t wrong necessarily, but it is incredibly incomplete a thought. In fact, if YG is tasked with writing a ballad, nine times out of ten, the song is going to go nowhere. Sure, bits and pieces sound great in “Missing You,” and there is a theme pulling through the piece, I’ll admit to that. Nonetheless, the transitions suck between verses, and there isn’t any sense of climatic satisfaction. They forgot the song in the process of creating ambiance.
[Oh, and did I not-mention that hideous key change at 2:59? Because I most certainly did not hear such a thing screw up the tone and momentum of the song and end the thing in WTH-land. Nope, not at all.]
It’s not all bad though, because the song shines in the introduction and the pre-chorus. I actually had high hopes for this song right up until the chorus hit and then they all crashed and burned. I’m not going to deny that CL, Minzy, and Bom are good singers (Dara exists upon the musical world only as autotune, so I make no statements about her) and are worthy of singing songs that are emotional and claim to “make us cry.” What I do take issue with is the perception that music is one dimensional; that the singer’s interaction with the composition is simply a case of singing all the right notes while tossing in “personal style.” Because it isn’t.
And that’s where “Missing You” falters. It’s contrived. They shed fake tears and expect me to believe it.
I can’t. I won’t.
The notes were not made with enough craftsmanship, care, love.
Acceptance of the whole. Belief.
Like the way “Fire” was made. Like “Ugly,” like “Lonely.”
I guess the conclusion to all of this is that I’m “Missing you,” 2NE1. I miss the self-confident representation of yourself that isn’t trying to be “relevant,” “hip,” and “cool,” yet manages to be that anyway. I hope that you take time to rediscover the essence of 2NE1, and what made it so great and beloved.
In any case, I’ll be waiting.
(YGEntertainment, 2NE1 YouTube Channel)