Born PinkBlackpink’s second album, “Blackpink,” sparkles with all of the charm that made it the largest girl band in the world. Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé’s sweet, two-faced “black” and “pink” duality, door-busting attitude, and fierce independence are all accounted for, and their immense charm remains undiminished. However, the thrill has worn off. Blackpink’s musical evolution is stalled as they have become more of a company than a group. Pink bornBlackpink still delivers that same classic sound that made them so popular. It will please some while it may bore others. Whatever camp you are in, the bottom line remains that Pink bornA group with a history of bursting at the seams cannot unlock new levels in musical development or depth.
Blackpink: The Business of Being Blackpink
We can’t talk about “Born Pink” The album without mentioning Blackpink the band. Since their 2016 debut, the star power and sway of Blackpink’s individual members have at times eclipsed their music, which has been doled out sparingly. There are fewer songs by the quartet than they have tracks. Pink bornJust eight of these songs come from the United States. Taylor Swift has released 60 or more songs between 2017 and 2018. DojaCat has released at least 47 tracks since 2018, while Justin Bieber has released more than 40 songs since 2020.
There are many options. Pink born underscores that Blackpink’s music now serves to bolster their reputation as a brand, not the other way around. Vogue declared that “no one loved Blackpink more in 2021 than the fashion industry” and on “Born Pink”The love between you is mutual. The group was dressed by Mugler in the teasers for lead single “Pink Venom,” and Lisa name-drops Celine on the track (she has been an ambassador for the brand since 2019). On “Shut Down,” Jennie raps, “See these dresses? We don’t buy it, we request it” as a nod to their economic force as front-row fixtures and muses for fashion houses.
You can also get endorsements for other types of products. “Born Pink”These are also affirmations that the album can be considered a commercial venture as well as a musical project. The track “Ready for Love,” for example, was released as a collaboration with gaming heavyweight PUBG before appearing on Pink bornSpotify has co-branded a Los Angeles pop up store to celebrate the release of the album.
Continue reading: Here are the Top K-Pop Songs and Albums from 2022
BLACKPINK in the Spotify x BLACKPINK BORN PINK Pop-up Experience LA
An unwavering commitment to “Blackpink-core”
Blackpink’s production team at YG Entertainment, led by the inexhaustible Teddy Park, have always delivered solid pop that revels in brash individuality and swaggering superiority before retreating to heartbroken corners for wounded laments. Pink born solidifies this musical and lyrical perspective as Blackpink’s very identity, Blackpink-core.
The album’s tracks would sound as good as any Blackpink record. “Pink Venom” sweetly threatens to inject “pink venom… straight to ya dome” and ends with the group’s signature vocal percussion, this time a repeated “ra-ta-ta-ta.” “Shut Down” is a boastful kiss off to naysayers while “Tally” is an apathetic sex-positive declaration of self-worth (and contains several “f-cks,” perhaps the most thrilling surprise of the album). “Typa Girl” is an “I’m not like other girls” anthem accented by punchy snaps and piano.
The ‘80s synth-tinged “Yeah Yeah Yeah” is a welcome switch-up, since musical elements of that era are rare within Blackpink’s discography. Rosé’s “Hard to Love,” a strange addition as the only solo track on the album, is still a solid pop-rock bop. “The Happiest Girl” is a palatable ballad, with the girls nursing a wounded ego and an ailing love. The song features a beautiful sung line by Lisa, the rapper. “Ready for Love,” the PUBG collaboration, rounds out the album as a straightforward dance track without adornment.
Pink bornThis also helps to cement a visual aesthetic. In our walk-up to the album, we called pre-release single “Pink Venom” an “on-the-nose extension of the group’s visual universe” for its use of the color palettes, earth, fire, and water elements, combat imagery, and large group dance finale we’ve seen from the group in the past.
The music video for second single “Shut Down” is even more straightforward, intentionally referencing past visuals from older music videos: a chair-sized globe from “Whistle,” a trash bag-laden pickup truck from “BOOMBAYAH,” “DDU-DU DDU-DU’s” mirrored tank and pink shopping bags for Jennie, umbrella for Jisoo, Blackpink-branded katana for Lisa, and chandelier swing for Rosé. The scenes have been drained of color and recast in black and pink, to underscore them as key iconography of Blackpink’s visual universe.
Here, there’s a straight line to be drawn to the other biggest band in the world, BTS, whose recent anthology album Do you have proof? plucked tracks from across the more than dozen albums they’ve released since 2013. Do you have proof?’s lead single, “The Best is Yet to Come,” also saw them relaxing amongst iconic imagery from their past music videos. These scenes represent a decade in their growth, from nobodies who macho-pose to stylish, soft Top-40 stars.
Blackpink was not given agency to develop in the same fashion, although they are capable. Pink born may be YG’s way of sketching the blueprint of the group’s musical legacy, but the members should be empowered to build on top of it soon.
What are the pros and cons to using the Blackpink blueprint?
Artists often evolve in front of our eyes. We expect them to test new styles, personality and expressions. Every new release brings us more insight, better stories and dramatic lows. These expectations are met. Pink born falls flat.
But what if evolution isn’t the point? Blackpink, a girl group that has been wildly popularized by fewer than 30 songs, is now a style icon and a superstar. Why, some might argue, would they change what they’re doing?
Still, I found myself listening to the album thinking, “After so much time, how do they still sound the same?” Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie, and Rosé have traveled the world and have surely experienced their share of pain, loss, joy, and melancholy. It’s hard to believe that things wouldn’t have shifted inside them, that new love wouldn’t have bloomed in their hearts, that challenging thoughts wouldn’t have troubled their minds. They don’t owe us anything, but they do have their own stories to tell. Blackpink may have been born pink, but the world is still waiting to hear all the new colors they’ve grown into.
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