Liner Notes: BLACKPINK is back in your area with “Born Pink”


Illustration by Olivia Abeyta

BLACKPINK released its comeback album, “Born Pink,” on Sept. 16.

BLACKPINK is once again back in your area. 

Two years after its last album release in 2020, arguably the world’s biggest girl group released “Born Pink” — an eight-track album featuring a variety of girl crush songs about love and being a badass. 

Was the wait for only eight songs worth it? 

As one of BLACKPINK’s biggest fans since 2016, I was skeptical at first. When the group pre-released “Pink Venom,” I was disappointed by a lackluster chorus with a dance break that repeated the lyrics “Ratatata, ratatata.” There wasn’t anything particularly innovative about the structure of the song nor the lyrics. 

Perhaps that song was meant to ease into the best of what BLACKPINK had to offer. 

When the four-member group released the title track “Shut Down,” I fell in love. The song samples instrumentals from the famous classical piece “La Campanella” by Niccolò Paganini, combining it with heavy bass and hard-hitting beats. It’s clear all members had a chance to shine, with Jisoo and Rosé singing the chorus.

Even though the Jenlisa rapping duo killed it once again, I still found some lyrics uninteresting, like the repetition of “whip it.” 

However, the song’s message is still clear, as Jennie demonstrates in her lyric, “It’s not a comeback since we’ve never left.” This diss track did a killer job of shutting down the haters and proving that BLACKPINK’s members are the quintessential queens of K-pop. 

The music video also makes visual references to past BLACKPINK songs, including “Kill this Love” and “Playing with Fire.” Fans have speculated this may hint at the group’s future disbandment because it reflects on the girl group’s journey since its debut. 

The rest of the album takes listeners through the ups and downs of love, including heartbreak, rejection and rediscovery. “Typa Girl” is one of the most popular songs on the album — and for good reason. Lisa solidifies her reputation as one of the best rappers in K-pop. Period. 

“Yeah Yeah Yeah” has an instrumental that will sound euphoric on the band’s upcoming world tour -– the “largest world tour in the history of a K-pop girl group,” according to management company YG Entertainment. The song beautifully captures the experience of falling in love and the anxiety and fear of the hurt that can accompany it. 

Many will agree the standout song of the album is “Hard to Love,” sung by Rosé. This solo captures what it is like to worry if one’s insecurities inflict pain on others. Even though I would have liked to see Jisoo sing a solo, Rosé killed this one.

“The Happiest Girl,” exuding major sad girl vibes, describes the experience of trying to forget the pain of heartbreak and savor the happiness of the relationship. Lisa proved how much of an all-rounder she is by showcasing her vocal potential beyond rap and dance. 

The badass energy returns with “Tally,” which is about self-love and not changing for anyone. Jennie’s deep voice is a welcome surprise, especially with her explicit lyric, “I say f*** it when I feel it.” 

The album finishes with “Ready to Love,” which comes full circle as the women are once again hopeful about the future.

BLACKPINK leaves its fans feeling just as optistimic as its world tour kicks off. For many, including myself, the wait was well worth it. The band’s songs in English are representative of their massive influence on the world and how, after two years, the members can still hold onto their crowns as the world’s most iconic girl group. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jennajwang

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