A little more than four years after their debut in Seoul, South Korea, the world's biggest girl group just dropped their newest album on Friday, October 2, 2020, conveniently titled "The Album." The name may be simple, but this album contains 24 minutes' worth of pure musical ingenuity, each song channeling a different energy and leaving you feeling ready to conquer the world. Jennie, Lisa, Rosé, and Jisoo of BLACKPINK prove their musical prowess and ability to integrate the best elements of EDM, hip-hop, and even rock in this versatile and striking album. As a fan (or "Blink") relatively new to the world of BLACKPINK, I'm going to break down the album from a few different angles and highlight everything you need to know.
"The Album"'s cover picture consists of a pink, wispy tiara set against a pitch black, commanding background, with the band name "BLACKPINK" written in its signature font in bold, baby pink text underneath. The mere simplicity of the cover art screams "feminine mystique," combining BLACKPINK's femininity and beauty as leading female icons with their "power" in the form of influence, and finally capturing the mystique behind their multifaceted talents revealed in every song. Embodying the vibe of a feminine mystique, BLACKPINK definitely uses their pedestal in empowering girls and women, using bold melodies and lyrics such as "didn't wanna be a princess; I'm priceless. A prince not even on my list," combined with girly tones and bada** fashionista vibes.
Though there are 8 songs contained within "The Album," I will describe the ones that resonate with me most. The first song of the album is "How You Like That" (frequently referred to as HYLT among Blinks). Beginning with the powerfully confident "BLACKPINK in your area," the song soon dives into the catchy lines "look at you, now look at me" and the onomatopoeic lines "dum dum dum dururu." My newfound love for BLACKPINK was actually sparked by HYLT and its music video, which features enchanting images resembling an abandoned palace, a lush flowery backdrop, and a rich Middle Eastern marketplace.
The next song in the queue, "Ice Cream," takes on a nostalgic, little girl-ish tone, featuring a frisky electronic beginning and the rich vocals of none other than Selena Gomez. The music video is cute but sultry at the same time, Selena Gomez and BLACKPINK sporting bikini tops and/or chic tennis attire, and set in a typical childhood wonderland filled with pink streets, colorful candy houses, and of course, a chic ice cream truck. In my honest opinion, this song left me underwhelmed, but I will warn you that it is exceedingly catchy and will be stuck in your head for hours on end... so even if you don't like it at first, you may just end up loving it!
The fourth song in the album, "Bet You Wanna" is a complete banger. Not only does it feature the iconic Cardi B, but the girls' vocals are stellar, hitting high notes with ease and giving the song a playful, teasing tone. This song is sexy and confident— an embodiment of how every girl should feel!
The fifth song in "The Album" (and my personal favorite), "Lovesick Girls," struck me with nostalgia immediately. This song features electric guitar and EDM (totally a 2000s vibe) and brings you right back to carefree and lighthearted days. Despite the title being "Lovesick Girls," the girls sing about being "born to be alone" and Lisa's rap features the lines "no love letters...no diamond rings that set the stone." The music video offers killer visuals as the girls seemingly go through a whirlwind of emotions drowning in the inescapable lure of love, escaping to the countryside together, and rediscovering themselves with confident and out-of-this-world choreography in front of neon lights.
The seventh song on the list (and probably my favorite after "Lovesick Girls"), "Love to Hate Me," definitely channels Camila Cabello or even Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" energy. The song starts with Rosé's crooning voice, to a sultry, feminine voice whispering splish, splash, splish, splash, and then transitioning to Jennie's snappy "stressing over nothing, baby, relax." You're bound to keep this song on loop the entire time, especially for the lyrics "wake up? Yeah. Makeup? Maybe. I need you? Nah, I been good lately." We feel you on that one, Jennie.
These are just some of the songs featured in BLACKPINK's "The Album." I would highly recommend checking out the above songs! Other songs in the album include "Pretty Savage," "Crazy Over You," and "You Never Know." "The Album" channels a lot of "girl power" energy and has girls and women feeling more bada** than ever, and with its incredible versatility and range of music styles, BLACKPINK's album is designed to appeal to almost anyone!
You can listen to BLACKPINK's "The Album" here.