The last two months were peculiarly amazing for K-pop fans because it was a time when K-pop acts reinvented themselves, especially certain girl groups. We can probably say the first group to start this reinvention trend was BP Rania. Formerly known as Rania, the re-debuting K-pop girl group consisted of six new members and one original member. The big hype for them was that their leader was Alex, the first African-American woman to debut in a K-pop girl group. Their re-debut extended play (EP) or mini-album Start A Fire didn’t do so well, but at least it was a start.
Another K-pop girl group to reinvent themselves is Dreamcatcher. Formerly known as Minx, the new girl group added two more members and went for a darker direction with their image and sound. This was fully realized with their re-debut album Nightmare. The title track song of the same name got everyone’s attention as it was likened to music on an anime OST.
However, there is one K-pop girl group who reinvented themselves last month and probably needed to more so than the others: CLC. Also known as Crystal Clear, the seven-member girl group consisting of Seunghee, Yujin, Seungyeon, Sorn, Yeeun, Elkie, and Eunbin struggled to make a name for themselves since they made their debut back in 2015. To put things into perspective, prior to Crystyle, CLC released six EPs with two in Japan and two in South Korea. Not one of them has sold over 6,000 copies total. As for single downloads, they rarely get past 50,000 downloads. Summarized, CLC was known but not that popular.
That all changed with CLC’s latest EP titled Crystyle and its title track song “Hobgoblin.” Right now, the EP is CLC’s most successful yet as it continues to top charts. As a matter of fact, it made it on the U.S. chart, a first for CLC throughout their collective careers.
During its debut week, Crystyle marked its appearance on Billboard‘s U.S. World Albums chart in which they ranked No. 4, as reported by Billboard. Not only that, but their song “Hobgoblin” became the best-selling K-pop song in its debut week too as it debuted at No. 4 on Billboard‘s World Digital Sales chart. It beat “FXXK IT” by Big Bang, “Stay With Me” by Chanyeol and Punch, “Blood, Sweat & Tears” by BTS, and “It’s Definitely You” by V and Jin (of BTS).
Take note that prior to Crystyle and its title track song “Hobgoblin,” none of CLC’s albums or songs have ever charted on any of the U.S. charts. This might be a sign of better things to come given the fact that the U.S. music industry is considered the biggest and most profitable internationally.
To be frank, it is as if the stars aligned perfectly for CLC to finally make a name for themselves. Their new image and style is technically nothing new in K-pop as it is a hallmark for both 4Minute and 2NE1. However, 4Minute disbanded right after their last K-pop comeback Act. 7 featuring title track song “Hate” technically flopped followed by 2NE1 disbanding too. There was a void left in their absence and CLC filled it. The only other K-pop girl groups who utilize the fierce girl group concept are Black Pink and to an extent, BP Rania.
Now that CLC has found success in their niche, all they have to do is continue forward with it. At this moment, they are still busy with post-release promotions. With their new sound, however, there will be more K-pop fans looking forward to what CLC comes out with next.
[Featured Image by Cube Entertainment]