The second studio album by K-Pop girl group Blackpink should come as no surprise, given the success and exposure of this group. Now that BTS has somewhat dissolved to the great sadness of all K-Pop fans, it seems that Blackpink are naturally the next lot of K-Pop stars to continue the flame. With eight new tracks, four in English and four in Korean, these girls may have a bright future in the often trashy genre of K-Pop. Still, let’s take a listen to the music present and hear what we have got.

Pink Venom begins with some traditional string instrumentation over the name of the group being chanted aloud. A weird intro, just before launching into an honestly rather laughable piece of Rap music that doesn’t make sense. Yes, you read that correctly. Still, there is a good sense of music and musicality here, it is just a really unusual and odd listen. The sounds and samples throughout are precise and interesting, even if this tune is a bit of a laugh. It is good and quite catchy, but for the most part, despite the effort, this is obviously a bit of a joke. Other K-Pop out there is a bit better than this, it just takes some laughing and tolerance to get used to. Strange music, and very much a joke.

Shut Down begins with a violin solo, before launching into an awful piece of music that sounds akin to Trap music, and doesn’t make sense. It is far worse than the first track, that’s for sure. It just will not age very well this music, and despite the fact that the production and musical values are very expensive sounding, the music comes across as trashy. Even with the English lyrics, this is McDonald’s Capitalist garbage. One can appreciate that this is postmodern Korean music and the less prejudice, the better. Still, you’d be better off listening to a good K-Pop mix on Spotify than this nonsense. The violin playing and some of the sounds are interesting, but the song is ruined by the fact that this…is awful. Do not listen to this in all seriousness, it’s not good. Forgettable, too.

Typa Girl begins with some better melodies and synthesised hand claps, before degenerating into a rather wannabe tune about self-worth. More Capitalism set to music, and only worth hearing if you care about $$$ and nothing else. Sure, the lyrics here are in English, in an attempt to get more listeners in and break down racism (which is a good thing), but this music isn’t really good. It is computerised junk and not really clever, confident or performance based. It’s just terrible. Sorry to disappoint, but there is much better music out there than this nonsense. A bit better than the first two songs, but still horrible. Avoid. Lame.

Yeah Yeah Yeah actually sounds quite good, for a change. It has some more traditional musical sounds from the start, including muted guitar playing and drums. There is a good mixture of English and Korean vocals throughout, which make this very interesting. It sounds like a sort of teenage romance style music, and it does work quite well, for a change. This is exactly what Blackpink should be doing musically, and it should be explored further into the future, rather than pretentious Rap music. Pleasant and romantic sounding, this is quite different and good sounding, dare say it. Interesting music to hear nonetheless. Worth it so far from this album, even though this is the only song really worth hearing on this album. It fades out gently.

Hard To Love begins with some autotuned and different vocals, before launching into some more teenage romance music, albeit this time less effective than before. It’s in English and has some musical promise with a basic band setting here. If only Blackpink weren’t such a sell-out musically, then this music would be better. Obviously, this tune is okay and one can hear the emotion in the singing and the performance overall. That doesn’t make it great though, and although K-Pop is a great postmodern phenomenon, like all types of music some songs age better than others. This music is okay, but already sounds terribly sell-out and dated, even not long after its release. Ordinary.

The Happiest Girl is a depressing piano ballad in the style of Adele. Seriously, why directly rip off a legend so obviously? The singing and music are really ordinary and morbid. This is a hypocritical joke for a song and it doesn’t do any K-Pop musician, let alone Blackpink justice. Sure, it is a break-up song but this isn’t really necessary here. If you need to be hypocritical musically, you would write songs like these for a K-Pop girl group. Olivia Rodrigo’s music is far better than this nonsense, and the reference to binge drinking to eliminate one’s problems is so stupid. A joke of a song, avoid avoid avoid. Terrible. A drag.

Tally begins with some rusty electric guitar parts and some atmospheric sounds. It launches into an okay-ish tune about relationship issues. Again, this sort of thing has been better done elsewhere. With a lot of profane swearing and nothing special musically about these songs, this music is pretty trashy, once again. With many references to selfish behaviour and non-monogamous relationships, one would be confused about these women being prostitutes in their behaviours as it seems they don’t value real monogamous love like most people do. Garbage music, just stay away from this and listen to someone much better than this instead. Again, ordinary.

Ready For Love is the last song here. It begins with some Korean and English vocals and symphonic sounds. This is a definite improvement on what has come before and actually sounds quite good musically. Still, don’t get your hopes up here, this is the last track on the album. It has a Latin American vibe to it, but again is teenage music that doesn’t seem hugely appealing. There is a pseudo-Rapped part before some Korean vocals are sung. This is fairly average music, and although this album has its low points, this is actually okay. Not sensational though. A sad finish to an awful album of music that could have been far better done.

Okay, this album isn’t the greatest, obviously. It is a trendy piece of rubbish, worse than indigestion and has a musical life of about six months. If you really want to explore K-Pop, seek out your average Spotify playlist and put that on shuffle instead, as mentioned before. Otherwise, avoid this and your brain and ears will thank you. Sorry, this is just not good enough.

Terrible music to listen to, avoid under any circumstances.