Amidst a time of crisis in the Kpop industry, BLACKPINK have made their well anticipated comeback. Here’s what I thought.
Overall, I have very mixed feelings about the title track, Kill This Love. There were some great parts to the song, but the majority of it was quite disappointing. I liked the booming, military style brass instrumental that it starts off with, and Lisa’s rap in the first verse was fresh and versatile. I liked how the song’s producer Teddy Park tried to push the boat out with the hip-hop/trap-influenced pre-chorus, and I think that Jisoo really rose to the challenge.
However, the chorus itself was quite mediocre – I didn’t really like the childish shouting of “Let’s kill this love”. I find it quite contradictory, since I assume BLACKPINK are trying to go for a powerful concept with this song. The bridge and ending parts were my least favourite overall – they made the end of the song quite anticlimactic, and Rosé’s voice in the bridge was frankly quite painful to listen to. I can see that this song was supposed to have the same impact as legendary hits like 2NE1’s Come Back Home & I Am The Best, but in my opinion, Kill This Love missed the mark. It’s disappointing, because Teddy was the producer of all of the songs mentioned. Perhaps it comes down to BLACKPINK not being mature enough as artists. Only time will tell if they will improve.
The next song is called Don’t Know What To Do. This song is not bad… but overall follows pretty standard trends that appear in current popular Western music. To be honest I don’t have much to say about this song, because it’s pretty unoriginal and not emotive at all.
Kick It moves BLACKPINK slightly back on the right track: with a funky bass-heavy beat and bad-ass verses. The chorus was a little boring, but Lisa’s rap in the second verse was awesome; I think after this comeback she has become my official bias! I really hated the Charlie-XCX’s-Boom-Clap-esque-shout-singing at the end of the song – I just don’t think this concept suits BLACKPINK at all.
Hope Not is a typical slow-tempo pop song, nothing special really. Personally, I don’t think BLACKPINK are suited to ballad songs – they just don’t seem to have the emotional maturity that is required to pull one off. It’s not Teddy’s fault this time, because he has made amazing ballads in the past that have been quite similar to the concept of this song (see 2NE1’s Lonely and Ugly). The “yeahs” in the bridge were completely unnecessary as well.
With the DDU-DU DDU-DU Remix, we finally reach a song on the album that I can actually praise! I loved this remix, as it managed to make an already kickass song kick even more ass! This was a much appreciated addition to the mini album, which would have been a disaster without it.
As you can probably tell, I didn’t like this comeback very much. I take no pleasure in writing these things, because I love all of BLACKPINK and I really want them to make good music. It’s such a shame, because they come from a company that is literally filled with legends and trendsetters of the music industry. Also, I know that Teddy has the capability to produce some of the best songs ever (e.g. BIGBANG’s Fantastic Baby, G-DRAGON’s Crayon & 2NE1’s Gotta Be You), so I don’t really know why his songs for BLACKPINK just don’t compare to his older hits.
It is clear that BLACKPINK, or a least their management, are really keen for them to make a successful crossover into the US market. Whilst I am happy for them, I don’t what this to mean that they lose any originality that they once had. Also, to be brutally honest, I don’t listen to Kpop because I want hear Western-sounding music…
That being said, I really enjoyed the music video to Kill This Love – I absolutely adored the make up, fashion and acting skills of all the members. I know I will really enjoy watching performances of Kill This Love, but I probably won’t be listening to this album very much.
Kpop Review Cafe’s Overall Album Ranking: 2.5/10
Written by Jessica