From massive success in Korea and then overseas, the girls of BLACKPINK have come back with their first full album, and they’re better than ever. Made up of four members; Jennie, Lisa, Rosé, and Jisoo debuted with their first mini-album “Square One” in 2016, the music video reaching an all-time high of 987,887,475 views at the time of this writing. They didn’t stop there, as they released more music, with every song getting more and more popular by the minute. They have sold out shows, broken records, and managed to stun everyone who walks by with their many talents. After years of waiting, fans were excited about their new music, and after a long listen, it’s safe to say that they didn’t disappoint.
The album consists of 8 songs, bringing the total minutes to 24. When comparing this to their past mini albums, the sound has changed—in a good way. Instead of an algorithmic pattern laid into their songs that would guarantee them a fun, new hit, they experimented with new sounds, vocal tracks, and even features. The first song, “How you like that,” was re-released as a single first, with a music video that racked up over 500 million views in only a little over two months. It seemed to take heavy influence from EDM, the chorus housing a vocal drop along with a funky sectioned offbeat. The rap portion of the song focuses on older instruments, such as the Japanese Koto and the Chinese guzheng, allowing listeners of such music to find an appreciation in the music background choices. While this song was heavy and hard-hitting- a fitting song for a workout or a run, their second pre-release single, “Ice Cream,” was on the softer side. Featuring Selena Gomez, the soft serve song was light, fun, and just what we had all needed during the stress of a global pandemic. With 302 million views in less than a month, the track featured light vocals, a simple bass line, and a colorful music video which had surprised many fans, some enjoying it, while others preferred if they stuck to what was usual. The next song, “Pretty Savage,” was more along those lines, with an insane rift, in the beginning, starting with piano before it dips into a guitar sequence, setting in stone for the catchy and steady rap flow that followed through the entire listen.
The next song was more calming, a complete 360 switch from the intimidating style that’s so popular for them. “Bet You Wanna” is a feature song with Cardi B that includes a smooth guitar and simple background, as well as a poppy chorus and a well put together rap verse by Cardi B, who is notoriously popular here in the States. The song charted right away, similarly to their feature with Selena Gomez on American music charts and streaming platforms, and the ranking seems to be sticking. Coming in at number 5 was their title track called “Lovesick Girls,” which garnered over 50 million views in the first 24 hours and over 135 million views in one week. Jennie and Jisoo also wrote the lyrics and produced the tune as well, making it a memorable moment for not just the girls but the fans of Blackpink as well. The bridge of this song is similar to “Bet You Wanna” with the use of guitar and light vocals, but the atmosphere of the song feels nostalgic like it is a summer evening, and it is the best time of your life. The 6th track on the list is “Crazy Over You.” This one is a grower. When I first heard it, I did not think much of it. However, listening to it again made me rethink my album ranking, and now it is one of my favorite songs on the album. Ironically enough, on the opposite end of my ranking was “Love To Hate Me,” the seventh spot contender. This song was high on my list immediately; it’s addicting, powerful, and the chorus is immaculate. Public opinion was high on this song as well, as many fans had this ranked as either number one or number two when looking through the songs. Lastly, the album has a nice finish with “You’ll Never Know,” a ballad with hearty piano and heavy vocals; Blackpink has endured hate waves and rumors, and this song is a response to that-People never really understand what other people go through unless they walk in their shoes.
The promise of an album had been something fans were looking forward to for years, and it was well worth the wait. The songs have something for everyone: whether you love the teen pop sound, an EDM based track, something with light guitar, or a ballad with heavy piano, there is a song on there for you. The balance and blending of so many different genres in a shorter album are impressive to me, and I believe that they executed it excellently. The Album might be their best seller to date.