Lifted fails to soar
CL's latest track misses the US mark
CL, the feisty leader of K-pop girl group 2NE1, has never been shy about her ambition to crack the US market.
Last year, having teamed up with Hollywood manager Scooter Braun, who discovered Justin Bieber, the 25-year-old dropped two solo English singles, Doctor Pepper and Hello B****es.
Her latest track, Lifted, which will officially launch the campaign for her upcoming US-targeted debut album, was released on Aug 19.
South Korean media reported that Lifted fell short of the public's expectation and failed to get the singer-rapper's attempt at stardom in the US off the ground.
The Korea Times reported: "(CL) seems to struggle in breaking into the mainstream the American music industry."
It added that "it is doubtful whether she has enough potential to become a global celebrity like Psy, as she has not yet appeared on any American TV show".
The Korea Herald reported that 2NE1's South Korean fans "expressed disappointment" in CL for doing a song about drinking, partying, sex and marijuana.
The girl group are adored for their tough personas and female-empowering anthems, but many felt CL had crossed the line this time.
The song did not impress statistically.
Lifted topped the iTunes charts here, in Malaysia and Vietnam, but its overall chart performance was nothing to shout about - it ranked a middling No. 14 on iTunes' Top 40 Hip-Hop Chart.
Over in the US, reception to Lifted was mixed.
Entertainment Weekly called it a "solid-gold banger" and "one sweet seasonal cocktail".
But sports and culture site The Ringer panned it as "formulaic pop mishmash" that "feels undercooked and overdone at the same time".
When Doctor Pepper was released, I was vocal about my distaste for CL's blatant Americanisation.
More than a year on, I have come to the conclusion that it is near impossible for even the biggest female K-pop stars to achieve success in the US.
Look at the abysmal attempts by Wonder Girls, BoA and Girls' Generation - all of them are immensely talented in their own right.
So instead of trying in vain to cater to the US, I urge them to continue mastering their craft, doing what they do best in their native language.
Let the US singers come to you.
Who knows? Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj might provide guest vocals on your songs one day.