Review: 2NE1 – “Happy” is the Filleriest Filler to Ever Fill

2ne1 happy cover

2NE1 decided to go all out with the release of Crush by releasing two music videos for it. While one could understand the sentiment of wanting to go big, “Happy” (definitely lacking compared to “Come Back Home”) doesn’t justify it’s own music video release.

It all starts with the song which was reviewed on this site here:

“Happy” is a more straight-forward pop song. The percussion is cultivated to a marching beat, demanding the listener to two-step with 2NE1. While this runs the danger of being too-cute by half, the staccato delivery of some of the vocals at rapid fire pace play off the production and Bom’s penchant for vocal embellishment well. “Happy” is another song that make great use of the snare cymbal and drum but the real star of the show is the bass drum which thumps along and drags “Happy” from the very start to finish. “Happy” is passable but one of the most forgettable tracks on Crush.

The problem with “Happy” as a single is that it seems purposely cultivated to be warm and disposable, as if it’s determined to leave one with general feelings of contentment rather than any fully realized impression.

Feel happy or CL will beat you up.

Feel happy or CL will beat you up.

This is born out in the video which has the look and feel of something which took all of one afternoon to film and a day or two to edit. Remove the wardrobe that circles all the way from ridiculous to whimsical and back to atrocious and Dara’s horrible (drawn on) hair and you have four girls prancing about in the sun . Because they’re happy you see (the group misses a nice opportunity to even hint at context given that the song is essentially a breakup song). The extra editing effects to give everything a more cartoonish look works well with the vibrantly bright colors but it also cheapens the aesthetic of an already bare video by making “Happy” look like a three and a half minute blingee video. It’s not the worst thing in the world as “Happy” seems to be aiming for “OK” and “OK” can be forgiven when “Happy” gives the world non-jacked-up Dara with normal hair:

MOAR of this please.

MOAR of this please.

In all, “Happy” is not close to being 2NE1’s best song, video or even the best song named “Happy” released in the past year (Pharrell was robbed at the Oscars, I tell you what). What it is is predictable, boilerplate and alright. If this has seemed somewhat perfunctory, it’s because it’s hard to work up much adulation or indignation for something that seems fine with simply just existing.

Rating: 3 ehs out of 4 mehs. Almost all the ehs are earned from Dara’s moments of perfection.



  1. Fleur De Seoul · · Reply

    Honestly, it wasn’t a slated single, so when I saw it I figured it was a 3 minute video of 2ne1 set to some music that they at one point had recorded. I think it was a way for YG to say, “Here. Sorry for the delay. Watch 2ne1 jump around in Jeremy Scott stuff.”

    My other theory is that they took all the filler out of “come back home” in order to put all that plot in, so they made an extra video out of all the filler.

  2. I must be in the minority because I actually like the song more after seeing the MV

  3. You know, everyone’s kinda missing the point. This MV is really just a ‘thank you’ note to Jeremy Scott for designing all those hideous clothes that only 2NE1 can wear.

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