BlackPink’s comeback feels like an improvement

Only four months in, BlackPink have found success that should not be a surprise. Boombayah and Whistle were instant hits, with Whistle feeling more liked for the group. Now in November their return (in October), has two new songs that seem to have spun the group in a different direction.

You can read the entire review under the jump

Playing With Fire

I’m gonna say it. Playing With Fire is the least interesting of the two. It’s not bad, and thankfully doesn’t feel like a rehash of YG’s past triumphs or mistakes.It actually sounds like something a non-YG group trying to emulate a YG group would do. I kind of wish they found a way to make Lisa work. As a rapper she is very green, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It would be interesting if they would just drop that and allow her to sing (Red Velvet technically have Irene, Yeri and Joy as rappers, but often let them sing). Other than that…Playing With Fire doesn’t do much positive or negative. It’s nice and the video makes the song worth it. That being said, as a stand alone I can’t really get myself to care.

For stay go under the jump!

Stay

Firstly, Stay would be a great ending track. The final song on the album. It has that sound and feel that just comes to an end. I wouldn’t want anything else after Stay. Anyway on to the song. Teddy is a divisive producer. He can be redundant, lazy, and plain confusing writer. But then…his genius shows. Stay is a hit for the seasoned producer and writer. Sweet and lonesome the song allows BlackPink to move throughout it. The chorus picks up with some nice country influences that need to make more appearances in K Pop. I do think Lisa once again feels very off here. Not her fault, but I think having the rest of the group sing while she raps (while Jennie is also a rapper supposedly), makes it more obvious they simply don’t know what to do with her just yet.

If YG actually keeps this up with BlackPink, then we are likely developing a full album of tracks.With each release it seems we get two new tracks. With Square One, Whistle proved to be the superior of the two songs, feeling less of a rehash of what YG has given to many of their groups. On Square Two, Stay proves to be the more interesting track. While Playing With Fire is no slouch and a lovely song, the girls of the group really sell the sweet lonesome nature of Stay. And as I said, Teddy knows a good ballad. Also I think the pressure to be fierce or larger than life (by YG’s standards at least) holds this group back. BlackPink are a good group and can be dynamic, but maybe not in the way YG wants them to be. Stay takes that pretense away and lets them flourish.

Square Two is an interesting release. It gives the group some dimension, while not truly carving a niche. Still it pinpoints one thing for me. The group may need to deviate from YG’s image to truly find themselves.

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