‘THE ALBUM’ review: BLACKPINK finally unleashed

After four long years, the BLACKPINK full album is in our area. And if we were to sum up our "THE ALBUM" review, it would be simply: It was definitely worth the wait. Image credit: YG Entertainment
Image credit: YG Entertainment

After four long years, the BLACKPINK full album is in our area. And if we were to sum up our “THE ALBUM” review, it would be: Definitely worth the wait.

“THE ALBUM” has already set a K-pop girl group record, with more than one million stock pre-orders. The music video of the title track “Lovesick Girls” has also become the fastest K-pop girl group MV to reach 10 million views on YouTube, breaking their own record for “Ice Cream”. More than the records and accolades, however, you can tell that Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa truly poured their heart and soul into making this album. As fans we can feel the sheer joy of finally experiencing BLACKPINK unleashed. Every song is powerful and meaningful. Now we can finally understand what they meant all these years when they insisted on quality over quantity.

They are the lovesick girls

“‘THE ALBUM’ is full of surprises.”

This is what Rosé said on the Zach Sang Show when he interviewed BLACKPINK and their “Ice Cream” collaborator Selena Gomez.

And if you’ve already watched the “Lovesick Girls” MV and listened to all the songs on “THE ALBUM”, then you now understand what Rosé didn’t want to spoil.

The “Lovesick Girls” song and MV have taken BLACKPINK into darker territory than their previous tracks, as they sing about working through the pain by leaning on each other.

“No love letters, no X and O’s
No love, never, my exes know
No diamond rings, that set in stone
To the left, better left alone
Didn’t wanna be a princess, I’m priceless
A prince not even on my list
Love is a drug that I quit
No doctor could help when I’m lovesick”

The savage lines of “Lovesick Girls”, whose writing credits include Jisoo and Jennie, contrast with the wonderful voices and melody. This song is my earworm now, and I’m sure the same goes for most of the people who have heard it.

It’s fitting that this is the title track, because the song and the aesthetic of the MV seem to perfectly capture all the challenges and hardships that Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa have faced over the years, and how they overcame all these by leaning on each other.

Pretty and savage

As BLINKS, we aren’t used to getting so many BLACKPINK songs in one go. Or to having them make more than one comeback in a year. So “THE ALBUM” is somewhat overwhelming, even if there are “only” eight songs. Two of which YG Entertainment released before the launch: “How You Like That” and “Ice Cream”.

But again, BLACKPINK has always been about quality over quantity. They don’t have any filler songs. And I can honestly say that our “THE ALBUM” review is hard to do because I’m having a hard time choosing which song is the best. Each track is powerful in its own right.

Let me get this out of the way in this “THE ALBUM” review: “How You Like That” and “Ice Cream” are not the best tracks on this album. They’re not bad — it’s just that the six new songs are really, really good.

I’m pretty torn between “Lovesick Girls” and “Pretty Savage” as the best track. “Pretty Savage” is just so wonderfully quirky and sassy, and a big middle finger to their haters, to boot. It also helps that Lisa is my bias and she truly owns “Pretty Savage”. But biases aside, it really is a pretty savage song. And how about these lyrics?

All my diamonds, they yellow or bright white (Bing)
Got ’em blind can’t find me, I’m outta sight (Sight)
If you mad stay mad, we not alike (Uh-uh)
S-A-V-A-G-E, keep it pretty, pretty savage

The demented circus-like melody is stuck in my head. I feel that “Pretty Savage” is their most outrageous song on “THE ALBUM”, and they nailed it perfectly.

Plus, come on, for the first time since their debut, Jisoo finally gets to say, “BLACKPINK in your area.” And she raps!

Hard to choose

Then of course how can we discount another strong contender in “Bet You Wanna“? BLACKPINK’s collaboration with Cardi B is sheer magic. To be honest, I never would have thought of Cardi B as a good fit for BLACKPINK. But that to me is the whole point of “THE ALBUM”. It’s all about showing us the pretty (pink) and savage (black) aspects of BLACKPINK, and treating us fans to a wider range of music.

You can truly tell that BLACKPINK had fun making “THE ALBUM”, and being able to collaborate with their idols Selena Gomez and Cardi for their first full album.

“‘[Cardi B] is our first rap feature,’ Jennie said, while breaking out into cheers and clapping. ‘We are so excited to share this music with you guys.'”

And while these three songs are my favorites, I am also amazed by how good “Crazy Over You”, “Love To Hate Me”, and “You Never Know” are. In fact, “You Never Know” caught me off guard and made me cry. I honestly think all of the songs in “THE ALBUM” deserve to be released as a single, and that they should each have an MV.

So, yes, as I’ve said from the start, that’s our “THE ALBUM” review: Definitely worth the wait.

“THE ALBUM” is BLACKPINK finally unleashed. And what a wonderful thing that is.