Album Review: Blackpink

After a two year break, Blackpink has returned and filled their fandom with content. Their last album was released in 2020, which has made fans desperate for their return. 

Blackpink is a South Korean girl group under YG entertainment. The group consists of four members – Jisoo, Jennie, Rose and Lisa. Blackpink is one of the biggest Kpop girl groups today. They officially debuted on August 8, 2016. Shortly after their debut, they got their first award on the Korean music show “Inkigayo” where artists are ranked by digital and physical album sales, social networking services (SNS), streams, and votes. 

The group released a promotional single music video for the game PUBG mobile. The music video, titled “Ready For Love” was released on July 27, 2022. Soon after, they announced their plans for a new single titled “Pink Venom.” 

Pink Venom was released on August 19 and peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Global 200. The music video gained 90.4 million views in 24 hours. It became the third largest 24-hour music video debut and the biggest MV debut of 2022. They later released another music video single, “Shut down” along with an album titled Born Pink.

Born Pink is Blackpink’s second studio album. It consists of 8 tracks: Pink Venom, Shut down, Typa girl, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Hard to love, The Happiest Girl, Tally, and Ready for Love. The album has a girl crush concept, which is a constant concept seen in their music. This album is a mixture of Pop, Hip-hop, Rock and EDM, which is not much different from their previous music. Four out of the eight songs are fully English, which is not something you often see in a Kpop album. 

“Pink Venom”, their title track, is a bit of dance-pop and hip-hop. This song got backlash over its lyrical references. The song was influenced by a few artists and songs. However many netizens deemed it as copying instead of being influenced and criticized the song saying “the originals were better.” Some lyrical references in the song were Notorious B.I.G. ‘s “Kick In the Door”, 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P” and Rihanna’s “Pon de Replay”. The song in itself was just what you’d expect from Blackpink. The song starts with all four members singing “Blackpink” repeatedly which I found very catchy. Another catchy part of the song was the outro where two members repeated the line “Brra-ta-ta-ta”. 

Track #2, “Shut down” is more of a hip-hop based song. In the beginning, the song starts off with a sample of Niccolo Paganini’s “La Campanella.” It then moves on to their signature catchphrase “BLACKPINK in your area.” The instrumental in itself was very pleasing to listen to and I enjoyed the melodious violin in the beginning. The members sing about their success and wealth which comes through as confidence. You can see this with the lyrics “Bunch of wannabes that wanna be me, me three if I was you.” Shut down is a song addressing the hate they get and it’s like a clapback. 

This album has a nostalgic feeling to it. The music video for “Shut down” incorporates this. If you are familiar with Blackpink you would notice a few familiar scenes in the music video. A scene in the music video shows Rose on top of earth which references their music video “Whistle”. The difference between them is that in the Shut Down music video the Earth is black and pink. The color scheme of the Earth matches their name Blackpink. The last scene in the music video shows the group going up an elevator which symbolizes that they will keep going up. 

The album’s 6th track was very different from the previous songs. Contrasting to the upbeat and hype songs, “The Happiest Girl” is a mesmerizing ballad. “The Happiest Girl” is an all English song. The group showcased strong vocals and their voice complimented the lyrics well. This song is my personal favorite from this album. The song is about a complicated love relationship. I felt the emotion through their voices, from Rose’s raspy voice to Jisoo’s steady vocals. 

Overall, I give this album an 8/10. Blackpink has shown a steady and strong comeback and has amazed me with their return. They exceeded my expectations as they managed to keep a girl crush concept while also incorporating an edgier cooler side.