It’s finally come. The moment we’ve all been waiting for: BLACKPINK, THE ALBUM.
After years of listening to the same 15 or so songs, features, and their numerous remixes on repeat, we have finally been gifted a whopping 8 new songs.
Now we don’t need to get into YG’s horrible management and neglect of this incredible group. So, let’s just talk about the album.
A total of eight tracks: two big features, one ballad, and a ton of super fun vibes.
We’ve all heard the first song, “How Ya Like That”, so I won’t talk about it too much. The song itself is an absolute banger, but I will say that the music video was disappointing. The beat drop near the end had so much potential for amazing choreography we’ve come to love and expect from Blackpink, however, that was really missing from this track in performances and in the video.
Next, we have “"Ice Cream"”, featuring Selena Gomez. Here’s where things get interesting. Simply put, "Ice Cream" is not a BlackPink song. It has almost no characteristics of a Blackpink song, production wise. I feel like the surprisingly large list of collaborators on this track (one of which happens to be Ariana Grande) were trying to conform to a more Western style, which is common in the industry. Upon my first listen, I didn’t love it. It was a little off putting because of how different it is from what I’m used to hearing from the girls. It has grown on me, however. It’s nice to see this sort of experimentation with what the group can do with a different sound. I do understand that the feature of Selena Gomez is a huge deal, and I really love this collaboration for both parties. The energy that this combination of vocals and rap creates is really interesting and really works. However, I think the concept ultimately fell short, especially with the music video. It doesn’t feel like it works cohesively with the rest of Blackpink’s tracks. I feel like, if left as a single, this song works. In the grand scheme of the album, though, it doesn’t quite fit.
The absolute best track on THE ALBUM is “Pretty Savage”. It’s the perfect combination of everything Blackpink is. Super fun and experimental sounds, bumpin’ percussion, nice interspersed acoustic guitar breaks that are reminiscent of Blackpink in Your Area, amazing rap lines from Jennie and Lisa, incredible vocals from Rosé and Jisoo, room for what is sure to be amazing choreography, and heaps of bad bitch vibes. This is everything I could hope for from a Blackpink track.
Track number four is “Bet You Wanna”. The most interesting part of this track to me is the experimentation with the girls’ vocals. Jenni and Rosé really get up there in the bridges and chorus, their voices get almost squeaky at certain points, and it really works for this track. Similarly to "Ice Cream", this song feels very Western. Which is likely due to the feature of Cardi B, whose verse is really short, sweet, simple, and fun. It almost reminds me of a Little Mix track. Like I mentioned with "Ice Cream", though, it’s fun to hear this different sound from them. I’m sure they’ll have tons of fun on stage with these two tracks if they ever get to perform them.
"Lovesick Girls" is a super fun, feel-good track despite the lyrics. Again, this one has that acoustic guitar that makes it really feel like a Blackpink song. It also has room for super fun Blackpink choreography we love to see, which was done justice in the music video. This song feels a lot like “As If It’s Your Last” with the girl anthem vibes and the echoing harmonies in the chorus. It’s also important to note that Jisoo and Jennie were involved in the writing of the lyrics of "Lovesick Girls”. Many of the other tracks touch on being uncomfortable with their subject matter ("Ice Cream" in particular) so I think the innocence of this song has something to do with the girls’ involvement. It’s a bop and it makes me want to jump around and pretend I’m at a Blackpink concert. I love it.
“Crazy Over You” consists of a lot of interesting string and flute sounds, as well as melodies, that are inspired by more Western Asian sounds. Which is concerning in light of K-Pop’s tendency to appropriate cultures for the sake of fun and cool looking concepts, so I’m glad there’s not going to be a video for this track. Potential cultural appropriation aside, this is a decent song.
“Love to Hate Me” is another just decent song. Jisoo’s deep vocals are very nice to hear on this track. Lisa’s rap is very interesting in this one as well, with simple piano in the background, it has a unique feeling. Overall, this is an alright song.
Lastly, the token ballad of the album. As is expected, the girls’ vocals are amazing. Perhaps I’m biased, but Rosé really owns this song. Some of the string sounds feel kind of cheap or poorly put together, but I love hearing the girls get to sing so I can look past it.
Overall, there are only a couple of really memorable tracks on THE ALBUM. My one major complaint has to be that the producers have done Kim Jisoo dirty yet again with the lack of substantial lines. We know she has the vocals, so it’s frustrating to see her being restricted to simple lines in the chorus while the other girls get to shine. The vibes of THE ALBUM are immaculate, though. I think it was mostly worth the very long and extremely painful wait.
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think about THE ALBUM! What was your favorite song?