BLACKPINK – ‘Born Pink’ Album Review
Blackpink put an end to it
Blackpink must have heard that, because their song “Shut Down” is called “Shut Down.” The song sounds like hip hop with trap beats in all the right places. It also has a sample of Niccol Paganini’s classical piece La Campanella, which gives the song the classy vibe that the group is known for.
With its interesting production and catchy hooks, Shut Down sounds both new and very much like Blackpink. It’s not a copy, but it also doesn’t stray too far from the group’s usual smoothness in a way that’s unsettling.
The song is catchy and makes you want to listen to it over and over, just like any Blackpink title track, but it isn’t over the top and doesn’t use any cliche tricks. It feels fresh, but it’s also very Blackpink.
The sample is used in a smart and satisfying way here. It doesn’t take over and leave the beat to fend for itself; instead, it adds to the song’s sophisticated and exclusive style. It doesn’t take over the song, but it gives it a strong base that keeps the main part going in the right direction.
Shut Down has the perfect mix of a song and an earworm because it has the same basic structure throughout. It’s well-made enough to be appreciated for its musical quality, but it’s catchy enough to get stuck in your head.
Try that pink poison
About a month ago, the first single from the album Pink Venom came out, and it quickly became a worldwide hit.
The catchiest part of the song is the chorus, where the girls tell listeners to “taste that pink venom” over the song’s addictive beat. But even if the song wasn’t catchy, it would still be very interesting and intriguing, especially in terms of how it was made.
The song starts with an ominous chant of “Blackpink” over traditional Korean instruments. This stays the same for the first verse, where they sample Rihanna’s “Pon De Replay.” In the second verse, they use 90s rap with hints of hyper-pop, and the song ends with a bombastic “RA TA TA TA” that is cut off abruptly. It might sometimes make you scratch your head.
In all honesty, the ending of “RA TA TA TA” is not one of the most puzzling parts of the song, since it is more expected than surprising. We’ve heard chanted dance break endings in almost every Blackpink title track, which makes the song feel too familiar even though it sounds pretty different from the group’s other songs.
Pink Venom is made up of verses that don’t seem to go together, but actually do because of the way they are put together. Blackpink is trying a new style here, but using the same old formula for the ending takes away from that. It’s fun and catchy, and it sounds like a song by Blackpink. Maybe a little too much.
B-sides: a worryingly low number
Typa Girl is a trap/hip hop B-side with strong lyrics and an even stronger beat. It sounds very much like a Blackpink song, which is a trend that has been going on for a while. With its in-your-face attitude and nasty beat drops, the song fits right in with the rest of the group’s music, but it doesn’t sound too familiar.
With its simple, catchy sound, Typa Girl seems like the perfect follow-up to Shut Down. Both songs will get your attention without being too much for you.
When the record’s sound changes, there’s a pop song called “Yeah Yeah Yeah” that sounds like it was made in the 1980s. It has retro synths and a production style that sounds like 80s music. Even though this track is a nice change from the band’s usual B-sides, it feels more like another victim of Kpop’s obsession with the 1980s, which has been a problem for the past few years.
With its old-fashioned and flat progression, it doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It feels more like something you have to get through to get to the next dish than a full-fledged meal.
Fifth on the list is “Hard to Love,” a pop B-side that sounds old and was sung by the lead singer, Rosé. Like the last track, this solo is very close to the sound of disco. But the bright vocals and refreshing guitar tone bring the song to a more refined and interesting end, making it one of the best on Born Pink.
The next song is the expected The Happiest Girl, which is the required ballad on the record. The dark and gloomy tone of the song goes well with the members’ great singing, which does a good job of expressing the feelings in the lyrics.
Still, the production risks being a bit boring because it doesn’t do much more than the standard sad piano progression. Only in the last chorus does the song reach a more developed composition that makes it feel like it’s finished. This makes for a great ending, but it also makes the rest of the song seem like a chore you have to do to get to the end.
Last for the new tracks is Tally, a pop song with hip hop elements and a crisp guitar tone that gives it a more rock feel. With its repetitive production and circular progression, this b-side is easy to listen to, but its simplicity makes it memorable and unique. It’s easy to love and easy to listen to.
Prepared to be let down
We both did the same thing with Born Pink: we put the worst part at the end. Ready For Love is the last song on the album. It was first released as a PUBG Mobile song after it was taken off the group’s first album as a B-side (for understandable reasons). And if you ask me, it should have stayed on PUBG, not on the albums, and not on any of us.
The song isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s very generic and old, and it sounds like the people who made it were trying to remember what a song from 2018 sounded like. But even so, I wouldn’t give up on it just yet because it still has a few good points.
Ready For Love is so bad because it was put on the record, and especially because it was the last song on the album. Having Born Pink end with that song, out of all the songs they could have chosen, feels disappointing and anti-climactic. It’s like getting socks for Christmas. They’re not bad, but you were hoping for something better.
Craving for more Blackpink
Overall, Born Pink works in ways that its predecessor didn’t, but it also fails in the same way.
The Album felt more like a collection of good songs put together just to have an album with more than five songs. Born Pink, on the other hand, feels like a real album with a clear message for the listeners.
Even though there are many different sounds and subgenres, Blackpink’s sound is clear in every song. In every part of the record, they stay true to who they are, showing both their pink and black sides with grace.
But even so, both The Album and Born Pink have the same fatal flaw: they are too damn short. Both albums only have eight songs, so they are over in a flash and don’t give listeners much to look forward to.
Also, short albums make the flaws of the record stand out more because there isn’t enough time for the good parts to make up for the bad ones. The originality feels even less original, the flatness even flatter, and the old-fashionedness even more old-fashioned. Since the songs tend to sound the same, there isn’t enough to keep the listener full and happy.
If you don’t count Ready for Love, Born Pink is a more complete body of work than The Album. However, it still leaves you wanting more Blackpink.
On March 7, 2022, Jennie appeared on the variety show The Game Caterers in an episode with YG Entertainment artists. She said, “Blackpink is also making a comeback soon. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this, but since I’m the only Blackpink member here, I’ll just say it. Please look forward to it.”
“Ready for Love” was released as a promotional single from the album on July 29, 2022, along with an animated music video, in partnership with the battle royale video game PUBG Mobile. On July 31, 2022, YG Entertainment released the album trailer video through the group’s official social media accounts. They also announced that the world tour would start in October, after a pre-release single in August and the album itself in September. Later, the label confirmed that two music videos were made to support the album. According to reports, they were made with the most money ever spent on making a music video. “Pink Venom,” the album’s first single, came out on August 19. The lead single “Shut Down” came out on September 16.
Taking notes and making changes
In an interview with Rolling Stone that came out on May 23, 2022, Blackpink said, “They were working hard on the album and were ready to get back into the swing of things.” Ryan Tedder, who worked with Blackpink last on their first studio album, said in an interview with Good Morning America that he wrote songs for the new album with members Jennie and Rosé. Tedder said that Blackpink did most of the work, but that he helped out and made some contributions. Even though they worked on several songs, none of them made it onto the album.
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