The Earliest Bird: Top Release October 2nd, 2020, BlackPink’s The Album Reviewed
Back when K-Pop first went public, it was clearly meant for a delineated set of fans -starting in Korea, then the whole of Asia, and finally across the specific. Although clearly the r&b boy bands and posses were clearly an invention of mastermines at SONY JAPAN, and felt like a harbinger of AI still to come, it was still boy band as summer movie and musically not bad at all. I went to see Big Bang at the Prudential Center (me and 20K Asian girls) in 2012 (here) and they were pretty good, and thrilling to watch, but they weren’t great. The exception was G-Dragon who had a promise K-Pop hasn’t made since: K-Pop-Art…
Eight years later and K-Pop has continued its takeover as a small but steady mixing of cultures as organized by old men in dark suits for young girls in pink glitter and Blackpink, a five piece vocal band tapping into hip hop, rap, pop, EDM, who have been around since 2010 when YG Entertainment held a cattle call.
The band is Lisa, Jennie, Ruby Rose, and Rosé and Belcalis, and on their debut set, THE ALBUM, an eight song, 24 minute through beats and woofers with Selena Gomez on “Ice Cream” -an EDM nursery rhyme, and Cardi B on “Bet You Wanna” -a simple but effective use of money to add a veneer of credibility, and the album’s best moment, the rap “Lovesick Girls”.
Beyond that, the band is an acquired taste, and only if your taste is a unison of voices that in harmony sound a lot like their stans, the songs are flimsy, and while the energy is unparalleled, it still feels unparalleled in a regimented and hard way. On the plus, a 24 minute album shows a very smart self-c0ontrol to make it an easy, not particularly pleasant, experience. Come home, BTS, all is forgiven