The long-awaited first studio album of K-pop girl band Blackpink is finally out in the world. With overall themes related to moving on and being confident and independent, The Album is 25 minutes of genre-bending music, complete with pop, hip-hop, club, and trap elements. The short, eight-song album definitely packs a punch.
The Album begins with two singles: “How You Like That” (you may recognize this as the song that broke the record for most YouTube views in under 24 hours – a whopping 86.3 million) and “Ice Cream” feat. Selena Gomez. Both are incredibly upbeat songs that ooze confidence and flirtatiousness and set a high bar for the remainder of the album. Following this, we get a bold song, full of attitude called “Pretty Savage.” This song makes it clear that Blackpink doesn’t care what the haters are saying. The fourth song was highly anticipated and features none other than Cardi B. This is definitely a cleaner song that Cardi is used to, but it allows Blackpink to play up their sex appeal, while maintaining their PG manner. This is also the only song on the album that is fully in English, most likely to draw in a more global fanbase.
While still upbeat and poppy, the second half of the album has a different tone when it comes to the lyrics. “Lovesick Girls” is a twist on a typical heartbreak song, turning it into a dance anthem, focusing on anger and denial. “Crazy Over You” is a greedy song, full of jealousy. The hollow strumming and whistle in the background of this one offer up a new sound that differs from the rest of the album. While “Lovesick Girls” was a song of heartbreak and grief, “Love To Hate Me” is about moving on and being better without your ex. It has an incredibly catchy chorus that makes me excited for when the clubs open back up. Rounding off the album, we have the closest thing to a ballad that we get from Blackpink: “You Never Know.” Much more minimalist and slow, with a piano being the main instrument, this song is a reminder for everybody that you never know what someone is going through.
Overall, the first studio album from Blackpink is what many expected: fun, upbeat, and the perfect compilation of songs to dance to at the club. I would have liked to hear more of a range in tempo throughout the album, as well as hear more of their voices without all of the effects and autotune. This, coupled with the fact that it is far too short, are the main downfalls to the album. Despite, or maybe because of this, Blackpink’s The Album leaves you wanting more. I for one am excited for what else they come up with in the future.