Like her career itself, it’s hard to make heads or tails of Clara Lee’s “Gwiyomi Song 2.” It’s certainly not very “original” and the usage of Clara seems to be at odds with how she’s marketed herself in her modeling and music career thus far. Truthfully, I’m not quite sure if this warrants a full-fledged review as it often vacillates between an honest attempt at pop and a winking joke. While it in no way bears any resemblance to her hard-hitting attempt at rapping, Clara Lee’s “Gwiyomi Song 2” has a much more polished look that at least looks like a composed music video. Now, if only the song wasn’t so, unbelievably and aggressively aggravating.
“Gwiyomi Song 2” is so stubbornly cheerful that it ends up coming off as slightly stressful*. It’s as if Clara is trying to indoctrinate children into some sort of evil cult that solely speaks in aegyo. The synths and percussion march along with all the determined happiness of a sleep-deprived Stepford Wife. Clara’s vocals, a showcase of kinda-singing, kinda-rapping, kinda-speaking, turn an already syrupy song into some straight-up amber. Granted, a “pop” version of an aegyo showcase song was likely bound to lay on the “cute” a little thick but “Gwiyomi Song 2” doesn’t really try to do much interesting with the “Gwiyomi” except emphasize the elements of it that people already know inside and out. Yes, Gwiyomi is pretty much the definition of aegyo. No, adding even more staged cuteness isn’t going to make it better. There is such a thing as “too sweet.”
*Disclosure: For sanity’s sake, I had to listen to this song in 30 second intervals.
If there is a bright side to “Gwiyomi Song 2” it’s the video. And I’m not talking about the random Stan “I’ll Say Yes To Anything If It Includes A Cameo” Lee guest appearance which was the highlight of the entire affair. Unlike “Fear,” which looked like it was filmed in an afternoon at an apartment condo near a beach, “Gwiyomi Song 2” looks like some time was put into it. There’s a couple sets, some background extras, Stan Lee, some leftover garments and wigs from Katy Perry and Krary Pamyu Pamyu’s wardrobes, some “choreography” for lack of a better word, Stan Lee and cheesy video editing effects which fit the overall tenor of the video (did I mention Stan Lee? Because Stan Lee is in a freaking Clara Lee music video). It’s all faint praise (Wigs! Extras!) but those little details add up. As flimsy a concept as “Gwiyomi Song 2” is, it at least has the hints of a standard music video.
It’s still fairly difficult to decipher if Clara has plans to actually try and make in-roads in the music industry or if these sort of efforts are just labor-intensive means of staying in the news cycle. On the one hand, “Fear” has next to nothing in common with ‘Gwiyomi Song 2″ which, in turn, is a huge departure from Clara’s usual modeling and acting work which makes these gigs seem more like novelty efforts. In terms of building a musical voice, Clara might as well be on ground zero. On the other hand, she’s released two music videos in the last half of the year and that’s not the sort of thing that one usually does on a whim. The wildly different tones of her two music videos could suggest that Clara isn’t so much looking for her musical voice as much as she’s looking to crowd source one . “Gwiyomi Song 2” may be a chore to listen to but there is just enough effort being displayed in it to show that Clara’s music career may not be as much of a joke as “Gwiyomi Song 2” would like to suggest.