In the 21st century, otherwise known as the Asian century, K-Pop has become huge. It is now an international phenomenon fuelled by South Korean idols and pop stars that rival many English speaking stars. Some K-Pop musicians are good, some are not-so-good. Blackpink is one of the more popular artists out there. This is their album, which is less than half an hour long. Let’s take a listen to it and hear how it sounds in comparison to other music stars of today.
The album begins with How You Like That. It begins with an electronic sounding string section, before launching into quite a good sounding piece. This is actually surprisingly good for today’s low standards of many other Pop musicians. There are a lot of English lyrics, intertwined with some Korean as well. There are some very intricate sounds and textures throughout, and this piece sounds quite enjoyable and interesting. Although this is music clearly aimed at young teenagers, it is very good quality listening.
Next up is Ice Cream (with Selena Gomez) which is an odd combination for a K-Pop group. It begins with some weird melodies and sounds, before launching into a fairly strange and honestly somewhat throwaway song. The guest appearance and RnB sound reek of selling out. If music these days is so artificial and fake with songs such as this, the future of music is very grim indeed. It’s sell-out nonsense. Not all music is like this, and it sounds pretty pathetic for these reasons.
Pretty Savage sounds interesting at the start, with Classical Piano. It is a better piece without the guest star approach from the previous song and is actually fairly listenable. It is still a total sell-out but is good for what it is. These girls obviously were best on their own songs. Anyway, it’s catchy and sounds like the stuff of Korean nightclubs. Not a bad effort, it is actually an interesting listen. There are some interesting sounds in the breakdown in the second half of the song, including acoustic guitars. A good song, despite the fact it is a really mainstream and short term sounding tune in terms of listenable popularity.
Bet You Wanna (feat. Cardi B) is not very good from the start, being cheesy and unoriginal. Why on earth it features Cardi B is a big mystery as well. Cardi B is a Rapper, not a K-Pop idol. It doesn’t sound good at all, and this is an embarrassment to anyone who enjoys Blackpink’s music. It sounds interesting, but this is not anything but laughable. This album sadly would be better without the guests, Blackpink sound better on their own.
Next along is Lovesick Girls which is another fairly average K-Pop song. This one has a more authentic feel to it, with Korean lyrics and acoustic guitars. It has a good bunch of electronic textures and sounds, but one cannot help but feel that this is really only acceptable to young teenagers or young adults in nightclubs. Despite it being catchy, this sounds so digital and autotuned that it is unpleasant to listen to. A bit of an embarrassing song really.
After that is Crazy Over You which has a looped Korean traditional instrument, before launching into a very K-Pop tune that sounds very consistent and uplifting compared to some of the stinkers on this album. It’s still far from perfect, however, and sounds like a sell-out K-Pop piece. It’s okay, but has no long term value, sadly. A very weird piece of music, but it is a little interesting to listen to.
Love To Hate Me begins with a load of autotuned vocals and really terrible lyrics. Obviously, this song is kind of catchy, but it falls flat for being such a sell-out piece of music. There is nothing particularly special or good about this music, it is manufactured Pop music. It is hard not to laugh at the nonsensical music here, it is fairly awful.
You Never Know is the last song here, and actually sounds very beautiful at the start. It is likely the best tune from this rather disappointing collection of songs as it actually sounds a lot better than expected. The lyrics, sounds and textures here actually sound okay. The piano and other instrumentation are a nice touch. The girls here play tag team and do a good job at conveying emotions nicely. In any case, an okay listen but nothing groundbreaking. It drags on a bit towards the end.
This is not a good recommendation for people to listen to today. Why? It is purely sell-out music under the K-Pop branding which neither innovates nor sounds naturally good. The guests on this album are really shockingly bad as well, not for being guests themselves, but for collaborating for all the wrong reasons. One can only hope that artists such as Blackpink lift their game. This is an album you should avoid.
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