Ever since BLACKPINK’s debut in 2016 as a female Korean Pop group with sass and flair, evident by their work on their first EP, “SQUARE ONE,” K-Pop fans around the world gravitated toward them for their energetic, powerful style, reminiscent of the now-disbanded 2NE1.
All this positivity makes what I’m about to write very unfortunate.
Three years, three extended play records, and two Japanese-exclusive re-issued compilations later, BLACKPINK makes yet another “comeback” with “Kill This Love,” and, my goodness, this comeback is dreadful to get through.
The EP starts with the title track, as most of the group’s offerings do, and everything about this song just feels odd. Teddy Park – or “Teddy” as he’s often known – returns to the producer’s seat, and, I’m not sure about you, but this is not the same Teddy I remember listening to back in 2016.
Everything about the production on this album is just weird. Delayed and awkwardly placed beat drops, weird fade-ins – the works. This is no longer Teddy’s BLACKPINK – this sounds more like a generic EDM artist’s BLACKPINK.
If you look back at the initial release of “SQUARE ONE,” the production is danceable and solid. You can feel the power in your feet when you listen to the chorus of “BOOMBAYAH,” the EP’s most popular song.
With “Kill This Love,” the power is not as noticeable, and for a track that fits within their catalog of “BLACK” songs, playing greater emphasis than their softer, “PINK,” tracks, it does not really live up to the hype of what a “BLACK” song would entail.
“Don’t Know What To Do,” the second track, is a “PINK” song, with no awkwardness to it. Here, Teddy’s production is better and the singing from the group plays along with it well, at least much better than the title track was able to accomplish.
Thankfully, this song is a good “PINK” song, compared to their initial “PINK” content found in “STAY” from “SQUARE TWO,” which, to me, is still BLACKPINK’s worst song.
However, that streak of goodness instantly ends with “Kick It,” a slow jam with weird percussive elements to it.
You know something is bad when my face scrunches up when the beat drops, not even a minute and a half into the song. Not even Lisa’s rap solo can redeem it, and Lisa is a phenomenal rapper on past BLACKPINK works.
Finally, the end of the EP is within reach with “Hope Not,” and it’s a good stopping point for an already abysmal EP, for it is actually a good, pulse-pounding “BLACK” song. You can dance to it without scratching your head about questionable production decisions!
Unfortunately, the EP didn’t end here.
The fine folks at YG Entertainment got bored enough to have someone remix “DDU-DU DDU-DU” from “SQUARE UP,” their third EP, a song that was already perfect enough as is, to cap off the EP.
I didn’t even bother to stomach it. All I had to do was listen to the lazily implemented fade-in in the first 20 seconds and I was all set.
That’s enough – I am very disappointed with how this came to be.
The production value is far from Teddy’s best, the melodies are weak and uninspiring, as are the beats, and I somehow managed to find a much larger product worse than the existence of one song from their second EP alone – of course, that song being “STAY.”
If this is going to be BLACKPINK’s only release this year, which I hope it is not, then, I can say with confidence that they have “lost” 2019.
More like “Kill This EP,” please.