Photo Courtesy of Variety
Story by Makala Greene/Contributing Writer
Blackpink is finally back with their much-anticipated first full album, aptly titled “The Album.” This is the group’s first official release in over a year. The energetic EDM beats provide a sense of nostalgia on some songs, while other tracks bring back those girl-group grunge feelings from previous songs like “Stay” and “Playing with Fire.”
Blackpink has been around for a while, mostly known as an iconic girl-group from YG Entertainment in South Korea. The group contains four members: Jennie, Jisoo, Rose and Lisa.
Their last EP, “Kill This Love,” was full of bold lyrics and catchy melodies that broke records across the world. With eight tracks full of diverse beats in addition to two artist collaborations, “The Album” gives us a new idea of what the girls can do in all facets of their music.
The group’s 2016 debut saw the girls hit the K-pop scene running hard, with impressive tracks like “Whistle” and “Boombayah.” Somehow the dynamic feel of the new LP gives their previous music a run for its money. This release primarily differs from their previous work because it contains more English lyrics than normal.
“The Album” gives us a fresh look into the lives of Blackpink, and represents a step forward in the group’s layered sound. There isn’t a prevalent theme for this release, although it touches on being lovesick and finding a sense of individuality.
“Lovesick Girls,” a song released along with a music video Friday, already raised the bar for this new album. The single showcases the girls and their different stories of being lovesick and alone. “We are the lovesick girls/ But we were born to be alone,” sing the girls through staccato vocals and a mid-tempo chorus.
Cardi B is one of the artists featured on the album in “Bet You Wanna,” an unexpectedly flirty and cute collaboration. “One of a kind/ You can’t replace me/ Time to shine, I bust down the AP/ Let’s do what we both desire,” raps Cardi on her well-tooled verse, displaying her cleaner side.
A more emotionally rich track is “You Never Know,” with a message about being judged on what others say about you, and people believing them. The lyrics of this song are sensitive, and the chorus talks about the danger of only knowing second-hand information: “But you’ll never know unless you walk in my shoes/ Cause everybody sees what they wanna see/ It’s easier to judge me than to believe.”
“How You Like That” is the album’s standout song. It displays the throbbing beats and bangin’ lyrics that we are used to hearing from Blackpink, but a highly anticipated collab, “Ice Cream” with Selena Gomez, was a total let down. The song feels off-beat and the line distribution takes away from the group, making it feel more like Selena’s song featuring Blackpink.
Outside of that one dud, “The Album” still gives us our Blackpink fix with their trademark bold beats and musical diversity. Hopefully the group will return sooner than later.
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