Crystyle (2017) - CLC - Album Review

Friday, January 20, 2017

Crystyle is the fifth mini-album by the South Korean girl group CLC. It contains six new songs and features a new concept for the girls.

Tracks & Individual Rating:
1. Liar 4/5
3. Mistake 3/5
5. 말이야 (I Mean) 3.5/5
6. 눈물병 (Tears Bottle/Depression) 4/5

I have been following CLC since their debut. They started out very strong, but the three albums they released since have been a little lackluster. Like many of the new female groups, they were trying really hard to pull off the super cute concept and it was not working very well for them. For CLC's fifth Korean release, they seem to be trying out the more badass "girl crush" concept. Unfortunately for them, this is a concept that their now disbanded sister group, 4Minute, was known for. This led to a bit of backlash before the album was even released. I admit to being a little skeptical about the situation, especially after the video teaser for "Hobgoblin" was released.

gif from the music video for CLC's Hobgoblin

It turns out, though, that part of the reason for the 4Minute vibe is due to HyunA being a large part of the creative force behind the title song. In fact, after listening to the song several times now, it sounds like a song that HyunA would have released. The video does feel like a combination of several of 4Minute's though. Most of the members of CLC pull off the new concept pretty well and Yeeun sounds like a mini HyunA. "Mistake" is quite simply forgettable. It is not bad, but there is also nothing that amazing about it either. "Meow Meow" and "I Mean" are both pretty good, but like most of CLC's discography, are lacking something. I really like "Liar" and love the vocals on "Tears Bottle". The songs on this ep show potential, but what I really want from CLC is for them to discover their own special sound that helps them stand out amongst the huge influx of newer girl groups. Overall, I think Crystyle is a pretty solid release, and probably my favorite album by CLC so far.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ 3.75/5

Artist & Album Information: Spotify, Apple Music

Released: January 17, 2017

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