Review: Clara Lee – “Fear” Won’t Change How Anyone Feels About Clara Lee

clara lee fear

The heated debate over Clara Lee (as much as one exists) is whether she “should” be as famous as her resume warrants. She’s an actor without a major breakout role and a model who has had more ink devoted to her than a Kardashian cousin. Now, she’s extended her ubiquitous presence to music. The wait is over and Clara Lee has finally dropped her first single, “Fear.” As for that debate over Clara’s fame, “Fear” will do little to settle it. The good news about “Fear”? It’s not a disaster! The bad news? It’s not a disaster!

For a song entitled “Fear”, everything about Clara’s first single sounds safe. For those hoping for something a little more turnt up, “Fear” will be a disappointment. The tempo is more suited for a ballad which gives “Fear” a ready-made structure and plug-and-play instrumentation as an extremely effective drum machine marches to the mournful beat of a piano beat and some string synths. The slower pace allows Clara and something called a Yasu to “rap” at a more laborious pace, which in hindsight, isn’t that surprising given Clara’s lack of… any history making hip-hop music.

For her first attempt at a single, Clara acquits herself nicely on the mic. Her rapping is a bit stilted and she doesn’t try to play with the bars at all (Clara’s attempts at mixing it up essentially boil down to raising her voice).  The song mitigates this by not having Clara rap too much, as they start the song off with a rather long introductory feature from Yasu – over one minute of track time – and bookend Clara’s hot rhymes with some surprisingly effective choruses which are produced with just enough hollowness to give “Fear” some needed personality. “Fear” may not inspire awe but it’s hardly a train-wreck either. The song understands its limitations and works through them in unimaginative but practical ways. It’s hip-pop complete with training wheels.

The visuals need no such coddling.

The visuals need no such coddling.

As for the visual aspects, “Fear” doesn’t so much look like a music video as it looks like a compilation of some Clara photo shoots. The general train of thought appears to be “Clara is happy and then she is sad. Then she’s wet. Oh yeah, french fries.” Attempts at editing and direction are limited to some light Instagram filters and a general slow motion effect that’s supposed to impose some gravitas on images which hold no weight. All the video has going for it is Clara and enjoyment of the video will entirely depend on whether one finds that suitable.

Exhibit A: Suitable.

Exhibit A: Suitable.

Examined through that lens, “Fear” is the perfect Clara Lee music video. The song is entirely perfunctory and could have been sung by nearly anyone in K-Pop. The video  is a glorified photo shoot that frames Clara as an impossibly pretty empty canvas. It’s perversely incredible in its empty audacity. Clara lovers (and I count myself among them) can gleefully point to this as an example that Clara can do whatever your basic K-Pop bias can do and do it well. Her detractors will also get plenty of ammo out of “Fear” given that it’s a cookie-cutter production overlaying a Clara pictorial. Gleefully, no opinions of Clara Lee will be altered due to “Fear”. In fact, the only that will change is that posts will be written about Clara and people will talk about Clara.

And something tells me that was the whole point of this.

The world is a stage and Clara is its sexual goddess of a mastermind.



  1. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t get why Clara is such a big deal. I’m not saying she is unattractive, I just don’t get people thinking she is so hot as I could probably pick dozens of actresses, idols, and soloists that I think are much prettier or sexier, who have a lot more talent. If she had not worn some skintight leggings to a baseball game for the first pitch with a very tight shirt and made a show of showing off her tits and ass, she’d just be another model among many in Korea. As you have pointed out though, she does seem to have the talent of drawing attention to herself and I guess one could argue that is a talent to some extent. After all, that appears to be the Kardashian family’s only talent and they have made millions from it (Though for the life of me I don’t know why anyone gives a rat’s ass about them and makes them wealthy by buying their crap, watching their shows, and following their tweets). Best of luck to Clara, but I have a feeling she is going to end up a bit like the long list of Playboy Playmates that try to become singers, actresses, or mainstream models, and within a few years the world has basically forgotten them as people figured out they aren’t that talented and looking hot only goes so far eventually.

    1. +1 with what Kent said.

      Only thing I would add is that instead of doing a music video, she would be better off to actually pose for Playboy.

      1. I don’t know if Playboy is available officially in South Korea. My understanding is the laws regarding nudity and sexual content are very restrictive in South Korea, but maybe there is a Korean version of Playboy that is much tamer. She would probably have to go do a shoot for Playboy in Japan or the US if she wanted to go nude, but then it likely wouldn’t get much coverage or be seen in Korea. Even the lad magazines like FHM and Maxim in Korea are really toned down it seems based on the photos I have seen online when some idol or group does a shoot for them. Part of the reason that Clara is probably so popular is she is one of the few celebrities that dares to be photographed without a cover-up when wearing a bikini and doesn’t play peek-a-boo with lingerie by wearing clothing over it and just showing a little of it.

  2. The MV is just like ‘Noah’… except that it’s missing Jay Park, and a nice tune, and would not be something I’d would watch more than once.
    Seriously though, it’s not too bad for a 28 year old (ah-jum-ma by K-Pop standards) since I don’t think she’s trying so much as to become a serious artist but rather to still relevant for as long as she possibly can.
    @Kent – hey, one more Cara Lee tile to the top right panel of this blog couldn’t hurt.

  3. I feel like Clara is a really target. Almost like one of those, “famous because she’s famouse types”. But I mean this song is just bad.

    1. Song is OK, I’m not sure if it’s THAT bad. My expectations were low considering that the music scene hasn’t been one she’s been involved in that much. The rapping is elementary and she often sounds like she’s reading from a sheet but the whole thing isn’t a disaster.

  4. Okay, here is a clip that will have you guys thinking bad thoughts.

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