Photo Credit: BLACKPINK
One of the world’s biggest K-pop girl groups releases their debut album filled with silky beats and soaring vocals
Mayesha Chowdhury, Associate Arts Editor
K-pop girl group Blackpink’s new album titled “The Album”, released on October 2 2020, has finally arrived in style featuring glittery pop songs with infectious beats. Blackpink consists of the members Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa. In their debut album, the girls lyrically expand on their thoughts about heartbreak, love, self-empowerment and fighting back against haters. All eight of the tracks on the record have managed to chart within the top 25 on Spotify’s Daily Global Top 50 on the day of its release. Furthermore, “The Album” is expected to debut at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and lead with the biggest pure sales of the week. In this track-by-track review I’ll highlight some of the high points in the album and breakdown Blackpink’s sound.
How You Like That
The Project opens up with the explosive pre-release single “How You Like That” which perfectly represents Blackpink’s girl-crush concept. The song lyrically talks about finding the strength to rise up against your adversaries and find light even in the hardest of times. Lisa’s rap verse flows especially well and switches up the tempo of the verses. The hip-hop and trap elements of the song add to the catchy vibe and after a few repeats you find yourself singing along to the chorus. Overall, this is a strong introduction to the album and Blackpink as a group.
Ice Cream (feat. Selena Gomez)
“Ice-Cream” is a bubble-gum pop song featuring vocals from superstar Selena Gomez. The track is comprised of ice-cream filled innuendos over a tooth-achingly sweet melody. The music video is fun, colourful and girly. However, the song lacks lyrical depth. Although snappy, the songs end up being overtly repetitive. It does not provide enough lines for members Rosé and Jisoo to sing and is a let-down to “The Album” in terms of its cohesiveness.
This song perfectly fits the group’s image; expounding that while they are “pretty” they won’t take anything lying down. They’ll give it back as good as they get it, hence the “savage” reference. Once again experimenting with trap elements, Jennie and Lisa, the rappers of the group, both deliver impeccable raps. Surprisingly, Jisoo, who is also part of the vocal line, delivers a rap verse that is a definite highlight.
Bet You Wanna (feat. Cardi B)
Bet You Wanna is an up-tempo club anthem which has an appearance from Cardi-B who surprisingly keeps it PG. It is another all English song from the group. Rosé and Jennie really shine showcasing their vocals in the chorus and pre-chorus. The song is fun, playful and gets you dancing on the spot.
This song is definitely my favourite from the album! The lyrics are so deep speaking about the longing for love although it ends up hurting you over and over again. Here, all the members shine equally: Lisa and Jennie serve impeccable rap verses. Rosé and Jisoo’s vocals on this song are very powerful getting the emotions of the song across to the audience. This is a track many people can relate to, but Blackpink doesn’t just dwell on the negative. Over an upbeat dance-pop chorus with the strumming of a guitar, the group accepts that love comes with pain and growing up means accepting the good and bad sides of it. In short, Blackpink delivers a pop-masterpiece in “Lovesick Girls”.
Crazy Over You
Another all English song! The production on this track is interesting as it comprises of a fusion of Indian, Japanese and oriental beats. The girls’ vocals and rapping skills are all highlighted on this song. However, I did feel a bit let down by the chorus. This song seemed lacklustre and although choruses with empty noise is popular these days, something felt a bit off about this record.
Love To Hate Me
With its synth pop and EDM chorus “Love to Hate Me” is another empowering track. It celebrates the girls leaving behind toxic relationships where the other party only brings them down. Instead they choose to not share their love, time and energy on this person.
You Never Know
With lyrics like “Sunday night, I’ve been swallowed by my bed, I’ve been all over my head, Wonderin’ if I gotta try and pretend” and “You’ll never know unless you walk in my shoes, You’ll never know, my tangled strings” in You’ll Never Know, Blackpink delivers their most personal and poignant track in their whole career. The lyrics, heartbreaking and powerful, outline the pressures the girls go through daily due to being part of the music industry. Each member delivers beautiful vocals that mesh together harmoniously and this is the first time Jisoo has the most lines in a song!
With “The Album” Blackpink proves exactly why they’re regarded as one of the most Successful K-pop Girl Groups Worldwide. They produce fun yet meaningful songs with distinct vocals and quirky production. I’m so glad Blackpink has a full body of work out and I’m sure Blinks around the world will agree!
Overall Album Rating: 8/10