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Blackpink are back to break more records with new album ‘Born Pink’

K-pop group Blackpink makes a triumphant return with its new album, "Born Pink."
K-pop group Blackpink makes a triumphant return with its new album, "Born Pink."

“Blackpink in your area!”

Four member K-pop group Blackpink are back with their sophomore studio album “Born Pink,” and their catchphrase rings throughout their songs.

The girls are known for breaking records — they are both the most subscribed to musical group ever on YouTube and the first K-pop girl group to take home a VMA.  Their pre-release single “Pink Venom” received 100 million views on YouTube in a record 29 hours and 35 minutes. And, Blackpink plans to mount a world tour later this year, putting them quite literally in your area.

“Pink Venom” features skilled rap verses from Jennie and Lisa and references to other famous musicians like Taylor Swift with the line, “Look what you made us do.” It sets an alternative and pop sound for the rest of the album, getting listeners excited to hear the rest of “Born Pink.” 

“It’s not a comeback if we never left,” Jennie sings in Korean on the album’s smash hit “Shut Down.'' Blackpink are highly aware that it has been almost two years since their last release as a group, but this is no fault of their own. 

Between a global pandemic, solo debuts from members Rosé and Lisa, Jisoo starring in hit K-drama Snowdrop and Jennie traveling the world as an ambassador for Chanel, it makes sense that group activities wouldn’t be their only focus. “Shut Down” is the kind of hit they needed to skyrocket back into popularity, with fun callbacks to other songs of theirs in their music video and lyrics.

The third track “Typa Girl” loses a little bit of steam.  With a music box-esque beat akin to Lisa’s solo song “Money,” Blackpink makes it clear they’re the “typa girl that’ll make you dream.”

Unfortunately, the song sounds out of place on an album that leans much more into alternative pop than R&B. It’s not a bad song, but it would have fit their previous album “The Album” better.

“Yeah Yeah Yeah” follows up with the mix of alternative and pop that works so well for Blackpink on this record. Co-written by Rosé and Jisoo, “Yeah Yeah Yeah” sounds like it belongs in the end credits of a teen movie, where viewers can bob out of the theater to the upbeat bass riff.

Blackpink makes the kind of music you want to sing along to, pretending you’re filming one of their extravagant music videos. “Hard to Love” might be the best example of this. The track features main vocalist Rosé on her own, where she sings about loving someone so much that she has to let them go out of fear of hurting them.

It feels fresh and relatable, and Rosé’s vocals rank among my favorites on this record.

“The Happiest Girl” and “Tally” round out the second half of this album, sharing more emotional lyrics about life as massively famous celebrities battling sexist criticisms. With divine vocals and more alternative elements, these songs pack a punch despite their short track lengths.

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“Born Pink” ends with its eighth track, “Ready for Love,” which was teased in their 2020 Netflix documentary “Light Up The Sky.” While the song sounds a bit different from the demo that was being produced in the film, it’s the perfect ending to the album, starring smooth vocals and hopeful lyrics about recovering from a heartbreak and being ready to move forward. 

One criticism of “Born Pink” stems from the length of the album. Like their previous LP, there are only eight tracks. However, brevity works in Blackpink’s favor; there are no filler tracks. It’s short, but it’s sweet enough for #1 debut on the Billboard Hot 200.

Rating: 9/10