Blackpink’s ‘The Album’: The newest genre-challenging masterpiece in K-pop

Blackpink’s ‘The Album’: The newest genre-challenging masterpiece in K-pop
Blackpink’s ‘The Album’: The newest genre-challenging masterpiece in K-pop

On October 2nd, Blackpink released their first full-length album Debut album, simply titled “The Album”. Not really a surprise as they had been preparing to release since they released their comeback song on June 26, entitled “How do you like that?“Most views a YouTube video has ever received within 24 hours of its release (BTS would soon get that title back with its song”).Dynamit”).

To prepare you to understand the significance of this album, let me take you back to the early 2010s. If you’re something of a fan of Korean pop music (K-pop), you probably remember the time – especially in 2009 when groups like 2NE1, f (x) and 4minute made their debut and Miss A joined them a year later bumped. Regarded as the third generation of K-pop, these groups were the epitome of the Hallyu Wave.

Before these groups there was the second generation of K-Pop, consisting of Wonder Girls, known for their song “Nobody,“Or Girls Generation, responsible for”Gee”- bands known for their smooth pop mixes and happy dance rhythms. These cute, catchy tunes featured groups of teenage girls attacking a boy or hanging out with friends. Their messages were all branded and PG rated.

At the time, I believe their audience was mostly teenagers who enjoyed singing along to those simple tunes, but to reach a larger audience, K-pop had to evolve. It was around this time that 2NE1 began releasing music. Their songs, “I am the best,„“Fire” and “I do not careWere the forerunners to some of the harder electro-pop beats you hear today.

On “I Am the Best,” probably what I would consider most similar to “Pretty Savage” in Blackpink’s “The Album,” Park Bom and Minzy were responsible for the song’s rap verses. The level of Sass and Diva-esque attitudes may seem awkward today, but it was really a huge change from the cuter, poppier tunes of the previous generation. Essentially, they changed the industry, adding electronic dance music (EDM) and hip-hop elements to their songs.

If you thought 2NE1’s leather jackets and spiked outfits were a bit much, then 4minutes Song “Insane“Serves as another great example of a K-pop girls group going against the mold. With their heavy use of the twisted horn hooks and siren-like synthesizersThe track was a badass hip-hop single with infused traps and raps by Hyuna and Jiyoon.

Their groundbreaking track undoubtedly paved the way for similar songs and concepts. The cute, adorable pop blends were no longer the only way K-pop groups could thrive.

YG Entertainment, a South Korean conglomerate that is one of the largest entertainment production companies in Korea and only competes with JYP and SM Entertainment, is the label for 2NE1 before they broke up, and Blackpink. So it’s no wonder Lisa and Jennie, Blackpink’s two resident rappers, took inspiration from their predecessors.

The first song from Blackpink’s album is “How You Like That”. Bass drop heavy, the song is reminiscent of their previous tracks “GOD BLACK GOD BLACK” and “Kill this love. “As much as K-Pop is about being a revolutionary mix of Western musical influences and the Korean language, it’s really about dancing. For a banger who gives you a catchy dance move, like finger guns or punches, Blackpink never disappoints.

Groups are formed and succeed largely because of their dance skills. While some songs have really catchy verses that give you goosebumps, like Blackpink’s new song “Love to Hate Me,” they tend to drop the beat right before the chorus to allow for a more visual representation of their skills.

Musically, I think K-pop groups have a hard time getting more to do with their lyrics or melody. “How You Like That” seems like another iteration of the EDM tracks they became famous for, but this album surprised me with the introduction of some tracks that are reminiscent of strong female groups that weren’t that focused on heavy tracks .

Lovesick girls“Reminds me of a track by Mamamoo, another K-pop group that debuted in 2014 and”Starry night, “Or singer Taeyeons”I. “It’s the kind of song you play in the car, with the top down and the ocean breeze blowing by. With bubble pop synthesizers in the chorus, this fast paced song contrasts its sadder theme of being alone or in an ending relationship with the real over-it attitude of the singing girls.

They also tried to choose a Girls Generation or Twice Vibe when they sang “Ice cream, “The track with Selena Gomez. With its soft vocals and the overly catchy lyrics “Ice Cream Chillin ‘Chillin’ / Ice Cream Chillin ‘”, this song is not my favorite track on the album, but a sweet integration of an American pop artist into the world of K-Pop.

It feels like a slightly tense combo with Gomez ‘verse inserted with little flow between the artists.

Instead I think “I bet you want“Using Cardi B is actually a better alternative to adding an American star to a K-pop track. Similar to Halsey in BTS’s “Boy With Luv” I think that Cardi B doesn’t lose her typical bravery and strength in the song, but actually is a great addition to the overall song.

“Crazy Over You” goes exactly the opposite direction as all the other songs on this album and mixes unexpected sounds in the background, which is known as “Crazy Over You”.Balkan whistle paired with surf rock guitar sounds. “Although I appreciate their efforts to experiment with their sound, the song has no real structure and mostly falls flat.

Another problem with adhering to a single trap concept is that the singers cannot demonstrate their skills on a large scale. What makes this whole album easy to listen to is the final track, “You Never Know”, on which singers Rosé and Jisoo sing some of the toughest falsettos they have ever made.

It also speaks to Blackpink’s ability that they are able to expertly interweave and rhyme English texts with Korean. Jennie lived in New Zealand Rosé grew up in Australia for a while, but all of the members are pretty good at English. These effortless mixes made me think that their last song on the album deserves more praise and attention.

The whole album is a genre-contradicting experiment by Blackpink when they try to go down with these more popping themes and tracks, but they never really lose sight of their ability to be independent, smart young women with a message to share.

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