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BLACKPINK’s Album: What We Learned


ICalling BLACKPINK is no exaggeration The album one of the most anticipated releases of 2020. The album of the four-member ensemble exceeded one million pre-orders—The first Korean girl group to reach this milestone — and her music video for new title track “Lovesick Girls” surpassed 100 million views on YouTube a few days after its release. These numbers (and the very simple title) make sense given that The album, released on October 2, is the K-pop phenomenon’s first full-length album since Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa debuted in 2016. Over the past four years, BLACKPINK has released singles and mini-albums with up to ‘in five ways. While The album is compact, with eight songs and half of them under the three-minute mark, that’s a lot more substantial than anything the K-pop group has delivered in the past.

In the months leading up The album, BLACKPINK released two pre-release singles: the sassy anthem “How You Like That” in June and the alluring pop song “Ice cream” with Selena Gomez in August. These two tracks set a new set of records – “How You Like That” has become Most viewed YouTube video in 24 hours at the time, and “Ice Cream” debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the highest position of the graph of a K-pop girl group. The latter also marks one of two dazzling collaborations on The album: the other is with Cardi B on the sweet seductive “Bet You Wanna”.

Here are our main takeaways from The album, from the return of a title song with a daring vocal chorus to varied musical and visual styles across the eight tracks.

The instrumental choirs take a back seatand we don’t miss them

BLACKPINK’s last two tracks, “Kill this love” and “Black and black” featured choirs with heavy instrumentals that made way for catchy choreography to shine but left more to be desired – namely, the voices of the members. While “How You Like That” followed a similar pattern, the subsequent release of “Ice Cream” raised a question in part due to its unconventional structure: Does this song to have a chorus? Where the choruses were dominated by electronic sounds and rhythms, the pre-chorus sections of BLACKPINK’s main tracks were often where the members practiced their singing skills.

Fast forward to “Lovesick Girls,” which delivers a chorus with sung melodic lines just as dynamic as the pre-chorus – and even more catchy tunes in the post-chorus as the members sing, “We were born to be. alone. ” Meanwhile, “You Never Know,” the album’s moving ballad, features vocal melodies in the choir as the performers sing about the hardships of public scrutiny. Another star, the Cardi B collaboration “Bet You Wanna”, also forgoes the instrumental chorus for a highlighting voice. In a rare example of harmonization in the band’s discography, Rosé’s voice is superimposed on Jennie’s in a symphonic end to the track.

A more intimate look at what it is above

To this day, the lyrics of BLACKPINK’s tracks are known more for their confidence and daring than for their openness to the personal lives of the four artists. The message in “You never know” is a rude start. “I’ve heard enough, I’ve heard enough of the things I’m not,” Lisa sings at the opening of the track, as she and Jisoo set the tone for one of the most emotionally raw tracks in BLACKPINK since their inception. “You’ll never know if you don’t walk in my shoes,” the chorus says. “Because everyone sees what they want to see, it’s easier to judge me than to believe.” As with all of the tracks on the album besides “Lovesick Girls” – which lyrics Jisoo and Jennie contributed – BLACKPINK didn’t write those words. But that doesn’t take away from their power. “It was definitely more of a song related to our personal life,” Rosé said in an interview with Amazon Music. “You Never Know” is a rare glimpse into artists’ experiences in the face of criticism and the pressures of fame as a leading musical group with an international audience of millions.

Elsewhere on The album, the titles “Love to Hate Me” and “Pretty Savage” are negotiated in a different kind of candor. “A little sad that you’ve always been like this / Watch me make waves and you don’t like that”, sings Rosé in a verse of “Love to Hate Me”; “I’ll let you melt into the background / Baby, all my shows are too loud,” Jisoo sings in another. Those words – along with the chorus line, “you’re not worth my love if you only love to hate me” – seem like a cheeky response to those who voice their disapproval as the group ascends. The sentiment is also present in “Pretty Savage”. “The carpet is laid as we appear / From black to pink change it when we want / Your jealousy is the problem,” Jisoo says in a verse describing the act’s envy to fame. And, perhaps in the album’s most inventive line, Jennie raps, “If you name the wrong guy, get hit like ddu-du ddu-du” – smoothly referencing the band’s record track. the most watched. the enemies.

The tracks entirely in English are not a sudden change but a natural progression

Eight tracks on The album, three are entirely in English: “Bet You Wanna (feat. Cardi B)”, “Crazy Over You” and “Love To Hate Me”. “Ice Cream (with Selena Gomez)” is primarily in English, with the exception of a Korean rap verse by Lisa. These tracks seem like a natural progression for the band given BLACKPINK’s previous collaborations on bilingual projects like “Sour Candy” with Lady Gaga and “Kiss and put on makeup” with Dua Lipa, as well as three of the fluent English speaking members. But it is not clear what the next step in the linguistic direction of the whole is. Every member has substantial Korean verses everywhere The album, and some of the more piercing lines – like Jennie’s “The brighter the light, the longer my shadow gets” in “You Never Know” – are in that language. If anything, with the smooth transitions between Korean and English in the latest release, the members of BLACKPINK have established themselves more as comfortable bilingual performers capable of creating hits in any language.

A display of variety, musically and visually

What The album lack of cohesion – there isn’t really an overall theme linking the tracks together – that makes up for in variety. The eight songs offer an array of genres, which was signaled by the pre-release singles. The sound of the punchy hip-hop music “How You Like That” contrasts with the sweet, summery bubblegum pop of “Ice Cream”. Among the new numbers, the sound variety ranges from retro-style electro-pop “Lovesick Girls” to dance-pop “Love to Hate Me” to stripped-down “You Never Know”, where everything except piano chords and the voice fades into the background.

The variety is also reflected in the visual presentation of The album. The three music videos released for “How You Like That”, “Ice Cream” and “Lovesick Girls” – as well as the accompanying “teaser posters” – show the four artists in a totally different style. A fashion highlight of “How You Like It” were the modernized, black and pink hanbok, or traditional Korean clothing. Meanwhile, “Ice Cream” features flashy colors in the form of flowery crochet tops, hair accessories and manicure designs – nail artist Eunkyung Park posted to close Pictures from some of the elaborate looks. Unlike the themes of previous releases, “Lovesick Girls” features punk rock vibes as the performers perform in leather and denim jackets, and lots of checks. “We think fashion plays a very important role in the expression of our music,” BLACKPINK told TIME in June for the release of “How You Like That”. “Our stylists are very involved in the album creation process with us.” For this release, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé and Lisa successfully offer versatility in musical genres and aesthetics. If “black” represents a darker and sharper side of the four artists and “pink” represents a brighter and softer side, The album serves as a colorful palette of not only the group’s trademark colors, but also the spectrum of shades in between.

Write to Kat Moon on album& body = https% 3A% 2F% 2F5896487% 2Fblackpink-the-album% 2F “target =” _ self “rel =” noopener noreferrer “> [email protected].

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