With incredible vocals, impeccable dancing and just all round stunning visuals, 2NE1 were once the top of the game and were the crown jewel in YG Entertainment’s girl group stable. Everything they touched turned to gold, and they consistently released fantastic songs. Debuting in 2009 with “Fire”, each song has brought something new to the table, and upped the ante for all other girl groups. They have had their fare share of controversy and scandal. However, we all thought, or maybe naively hoped, that they would be able to come back with new music, and usher in a new era for 2NE1 and Blackjacks, (their fandom). Alas, this was not the case, and now we have their final single to remember their time together. For the final time, let’s see what 2NE1 have brought to us.

Goodbye

Song

Right from the get go, you know this is going to be a sad song. Knowing the circumstances and the title is enough to set my heart on edge. However, there is something missing. Anyone that is not familiar with 2NE1 could be mistaken for thinking that this was always a three person group, when it most certainly was not. There is no Minzy in this track. Nothing but her image on the old concert footage behind playing behind CL. It also taints the song a little bit to know that Minzy wasn’t involved from the beginning and only found out about the final song through the media.

The song starts with an almost classical sounding acoustic guitar riff that evokes a sort of lost love feeling. It’s soft and sharp at the same time, and works perfectly with the deep tones of CL’s singing. I’m always a bit surprised when I hear her sing. I’m so used to hearing her rapping in her solo stuff, so it’s great to hear her sing. Her voice is impeccable and suits this slow melody. She sings of the pain of letting go, and knowing that nothing lasts forever, but she wishes it could. She reminds us that spring comes after winter, even if we don’t want it to. Dara comes in on the bridge. Her voice is higher than CL’s, but no less perfect. She asks if she can possibly go on, on her own, without us all. And it’s so fitting for her voice. The chorus follows and we have CL singing again, and this is easily one of my favourite parts of the song. She absolutely needs to sing more in her solo stuff. The repetition of the chorus, the simple melody and the message of “goodbye until we meet again”, gives me goosebumps every-time I hear it. It chokes me up knowing that this is their finale.

Then we come to Park Bom. Bom has one of the most unique voices in all of music. I never knew how much I missed listening to her sing until I heard her again in this. She has gotten so much blame for a multitude of things, from a multitude of people, and she does not deserve it. She has gotten so much hate for her plastic surgery, her drug scandal, her voice, her existence, from newspapers, the internet and even her own CEO. She deserves so much better, and to hear her sing in this song broke my heart. Bom tells us that it’s going to be ok, even if things are rough right now. Lean on her and don’t lose faith, she will be with us. Knowing how hard she has had it the last couple of years really hits home with these lyrics.

Following Bom is Dara again, then CL for the final chorus, and this song is perfection. It does everything it needed to and more. I cannot recommend it enough, even if it pulls my heart apart.

Video

With such a heavy and emotional song, the video was always going to be a challenge. It needs to match the tone of the song without it appearing to be sappy or hollow, and this video manages it beautifully. Shot in black and white, and utilizing shadows to highlight the girls, lends an air of melancholic romance to to an otherwise simple video. The girls are only seen together in the old performance clips we see of them being projected in the background, aside from that they are always apart, until the very end, with CL, Bom and Dara in the bed together. There is nothing light hearted in this video;  no release from the feeling of both the song and the video. Rightly so. This is not a happy time for any of them, and this video reflects that.

I wish that each of the members got a little bit more of chance to shine. A lot of the attention is put on CL in this video, given that she sings the first verse and the chorus each time. She looks incredible but I wish the others get a little more screen time.

The projected images of 2NE1 on the background was a nice touch, and showed some of Minzy, which was really nice. Reminded me a lot of their earlier work and brought a whole new air of regret and sadness to the video.

We will never know what truly caused the disbandment of 2NE1. We can speculate forever and it won’t change anything. I really wish Minzy was in this. It would have made an already incredibly touching moment even more touching and sad. It was awful to hear that she didn’t even know that 2NE1 were having one final single and that she read about in the newspaper, just like everyone else. Understandably she was upset, and the whole situation tarnishes this last song a little bit for me.

In saying that, this was almost the perfect ending for 2NE1, and I wish them all the best, regardless of what they want to do. I’m sure we will see more of each of the members.

If you liked “Goodbye”, check out 2NE1’s entire discography. I’m not kidding, it’s all phenomenal. My favorites are “Come Back Home”, “I am the Best” andMissing You