Over the last few weeks, 2NE1 expressed themselves with the swaggering “I Am The Best,” and then the resentful “Hate You.” But they perhaps saved their most surprising track with the unexpectedly self-mocking follow-up, “Ugly.” Slated to be released at midnight on July 28th, 2NE1’s “Ugly” is full of self-contempt yet it’s plotted with light and upbeat rock sounds, giving the fans a completely new look of the group. Deviating from the hip-hop and electronic sounds they established in earlier tracks, 2NE1 attempts to expand their horizons and exemplify their versatility with this rock-heavy single.

“Ugly” opens up with CL’s soft vocals and acoustic sound in the background. It slowly leads into a soft beat with Park Bom, Dara, and Minzy each coming in. In between Dara and Minzy’s lines, however, drum beats jump in, signifying the forthcoming rock-inspired tunes. The background beat continues to speed up in the following Park Bom’s lines, which culminates into the ascending chorus part that goes: “I think I’m ugly. And nobody wants to love me. Just like her I wanna be pretty, I wanna be pretty. Don’t lie to my face tellin’ me I’m pretty.”

The song follows the same pattern until the second repeat of the chorus part, where the powerful and emotional breakdown by Dara fades in. Repeating “I’m all alone,” Dara’s final lines epitomize the dejected emotions and contempt of a girl who lacks self-confidence in her appearance. After her last screaming verse, “There’s no one to embrace me,” the song reaches the climax, taking a two-second pause before going back to the third repeat of the chorus, which wraps up the song.


The idea that 2NE1 is trying a new genre in rock is quite astonishing. However, if you remember Big Bang’s “Love Song,” which had a heavy rock sound as well, this might just be something YG Entertainment and Teddy (who wrote the song) are trying to make a habit out of their top artists. Despite being their first attempt at rock, 2NE1 sounds vocally comfortable and at ease in “Ugly.” The song is precisely-crafted as it takes flawless transitions throughout the four minute track. Also, unlike some of their previous songs, where CL or Park Bom would just completely take over with their vocals, “Ugly” has a good balance of each member’s distinctive colors, perhaps explaining why it was picked as the title track of their new album.


YGE said they tried to include more English lyrics in “Ugly” because of their growing overseas fan base. But the English part of this song is something international fans would never have imagined coming from 2NE1, let alone any other girl group. Only an artist of 2NE1’s caliber would so smoothly pull it off, which goes on to prove how talented—and confident—these beautiful girls are.

You can purchase this song at iTunes here!


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