Blackpink’s Born Pink is more of their signature formula

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born pink, Blackpink’s second album, shines with all the seductive elements that have made the foursome the greatest girl group in the world. Lisa, Jisoo, Jennie and Rosé’s sweet two-faced “black” and “pink” duality, their go-getter attitude and fierce independence are all taken into account, and their immense charm remains intact. But the exciting novelty has worn off. As Blackpink became more of a brand than a band, their musical evolution stalled. born pink delivers the same proven Blackpink sound that cemented their success. This consistency will delight some and annoy others. Whichever camp you fall into, the bottom line is that born pink fails to unlock new dimensions of musical development and depth for a band that has always been brimming with potential.

The Business of Being Blackpink

We can’t talk about Born pink, the album, not to mention Blackpink, the brand. Since their debut in 2016, the power and influence of Blackpink’s individual members has sometimes overshadowed their music, which has been distributed sparingly. The quartet has less than 30 songs to their name, and the tracks on born pink only eight. Taylor Swift, by comparison, has released over 60 songs since 2017. Doja Cat has dropped at least 47 since 2018 and Justin Bieber has dropped over 40 since 2020 alone.

In many ways, born pink points out 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 in 2021 more than the fashion industry” and on Born pink, that love is reciprocal. The band were dressed by Mugler in teasers for the first single “Pink Venom,” and Lisa names Celine on the track (she’s been a brand ambassador since 2019). On “Shut Down,” Jennie raps, “See those dresses? We don’t buy it, we ask for it” in a nod to their economic strength as muses and essentials of fashion houses.

And there are other types of endorsements related to Born pink, also, who affirm the album as a commercial project as well as a musical one. The track “Ready for Love”, for example, was released in collaboration with gaming heavyweight PUBG before appearing on born pinkand a Los Angeles pop-up shop celebrating the album is co-branded with Spotify.

Read more: Best K-Pop Songs And Albums Of 2022 So Far

BLACKPINK at Spotify x BLACKPINK BORN PINK Pop-up Experience LA

Courtesy of Spotify

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 into broken corners for lamentations. injured. born pink solidifies this musical and lyrical perspective as the very identity of Blackpink, Blackpink-core.

Every track on the album would be as at home on any previous Blackpink release as this one. “Pink Venom” gently threatens to inject “pink venom…straight into your dome” and ends with the band’s signature vocal percussion, this time a repeated “ra-ta-ta-ta”. “Shut Down” is a boastful kiss for the nay-sayers while “Tally” is a listless, sex-positive statement of self-esteem (and contains several “f-cks”, perhaps the album’s most exciting surprise. ). “Typa Girl” is a “I’m not like other girls” anthem accented by hard-hitting snaps and piano.

The ’80s synth-tinged “Yeah Yeah Yeah” is a welcome change, as musical elements from that era are rare in Blackpink’s discography. Rosé’s “Hard to Love,” an odd addition as the album’s only solo track, is still solid pop-rock bop. “The Happiest Girl” is a palatable ballad, with the girls nursing a wounded ego and a sick love. It includes a rare verse sung by rapper Lisa, whose voice is beautiful. “Ready for Love,” the PUBG collaboration, completes the album as a simple, unadorned dance floor.

born pink also cements a visual aesthetic. In our album overview, we called the pre-release single “Pink Venom” an “over-the-nose extension of the band’s visual universe” for its use of color palettes, earth, fire and water elements. , fight footage and a large group dance finale that we’ve seen of the group in the past.

The music video for second single “Shut Down” is even simpler, intentionally referencing earlier visuals from old music videos: a chair-sized globe from “Whistle”, a van loaded with trash bags from “BOOMBAYAH” , “DDU-DU DDU-DU’s mirrored tank top and pink shopping bags for Jennie, umbrella for Jisoo, Blackpink-branded katana for Lisa, and chandelier swing for Rosé. Scenes were emptied of color and recast in black and pink , to highlight them as key iconography in the visual universe of Blackpink.

Here, there is a straight line to be drawn to the other biggest group in the world, BTS, whose recent anthology album Evidence selected tracks from more than a dozen albums they’ve released since 2013. EvidenceThe debut single from, “The Best Is Yet To Come”, also saw them relax amongst iconic footage from their old music videos. These scenes represented a decade of growth that took them from nothing at all scrappy and macho to sleek and sweet mainstays of the Top 40.

Blackpink haven’t been given the agency to scale in much the same way, though they’re more than capable of it. born pink This may be YG’s way of sketching out the blueprint for the band’s musical legacy, but the members should be empowered to draw inspiration from it soon.

The pros and cons of the Blackpink plan

We often expect artists to evolve before our eyes, testing new phases of personality, expression and style. Each new musical release offers greater insight, new stories, and more dramatic highs and lows. Faced with these expectations, born pink falls flat.

But what if evolution isn’t the point? On the back of less than three dozen songs, Blackpink have become style icons and superstars, the most popular girl group in the world. Why, some will say, would they change what they do?

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 surely experienced their share of pain, loss, joy and melancholy. It’s hard to believe that things wouldn’t have moved inside them, that new love would not have blossomed in their hearts, that difficult thoughts would not have clouded their minds. They owe us nothing, but they 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 become.

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contact us at letters@time.com.

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