BLACKPINK are a strange group to write about. Branded as “the new 2NE1” by YG Entertainment, they’ve got their fair share of fans and haters alike, and the critical reception of the group has been anything but forgiving. Most of the bloggers I follow seem to blame this on YG in general because they just don’t know how to create girl groups. I’ve been sitting here with bated breath since their debut for something that would make BLACKPINK, well, BLACKPINK. It kills me when a group gets stagnated because of the way they’re marketed, so I’ve been waiting for the day BLACKPINK gets past this awkward phase and becomes the group they were destined to be.
Today was not that day.
You may remember when I initially viewed the teasers for this comeback that red flags were raised with that beat in the beginning, signaling “a swag fest from hell.” In reality, this beat is not the full instrumental of the song. In fact, it comes up in the beginning (which made me roll my eyes), only to never return. The rest of the song takes a few pages (read as: a lot) from 2NE1’s playbook, even down to the voices of the members. It has the same problem with a lot of BLACKPINK’s stuff – you can almost tell who would’ve gotten each part from 2NE1, and which roles each of the members of BLACKPINK would play as 2NE1.
Here’s the good news, though: the rest of the song sounds a bit like “Playing With Fire” if you listen hard enough to the instrumental. It has those light electronic flourishes that helped drive that song to be so good, and that’s what makes me more forgiving of the song. In fact, the song has great choruses and pre-choruses, and it’s perhaps all that keeps me listening to this thing.
Or maybe I’m just delusional and grasping for straws.
But yes, I admit that this sounds like a 2NE1 knockoff, even more than the other BLACKPINK tracks that have been released. It’s disappointing because “Playing With Fire” showed me a shimmer of difference between 2NE1 and BLACKPINK, and I was hoping that they would keep going in that direction. My issue is this is a huge step back from the previous releases they’ve had, and I’m hoping that this is just a hiccup rather than an ongoing trend.
The problems with the song carry over to the music video as well. For example, some of the outfits on the girls are gorgeous as fuck…
…but the wacky outfits some of them are…how should I say this…?
Atrocious as fuck.
Whoever created some of the wardrobe for these girls should be fired, or at the very least demoted.
The rest of the music video is a lot of colors and situations with no real theme to them beyond being pretty to look at. For example, I couldn’t tell you why the girls are in a subway. I couldn’t tell you why Jennie is the only one who has a scene where she is on a bed with an outfit that looks like baggier lingerie. I couldn’t tell you why Lisa gets a solo scene in front of a car, or what the hell Rose is doing in that bathroom. It’s not very cohesive, save for the “pink” that’s everywhere, which I guess references the “pink” concept that BLACKPINK is going with this time around.
At the end of the day, I can chock up my thoughts on “As If It’s Your Last” in this: I like it, but it’s a far cry from where they should be. They don’t have to be “2NE1 2.0” but it feels like YG thinks it’s the only way to market them to their audience, and I think that’s doing them a disservice. Rather than making them prettier carbon copies of CL, Park Bom, Dara, and Minzy, YG should let them come into their own as Lisa, Rose, Jisoo, and Jennie. One of the big reasons 2NE1 became as famous as they were was because the members had star power and talent in their own right. BLACKPINK has it too, and the sooner YG can see that, the better BLACKPINK will be.