Blackpink is the world’s biggest K-pop girl group, the essence of swagger in human form: a four-woman swirl of glam energy. Jisoo, Rosé, Lisa and Jennie have become a global pop sensation, even taking over the United States, without the slightest hint of watering down what they do. Your long-awaited new born pink is Blackpink’s first album since their debut in 2020, The albumand how The album it’s short and sweet: 8 songs, almost all exactly 3 minutes long, almost all bristling with raucous, uptempo confidence. Even when they are girls in love, deep down they are true rock stars. And they’ve finally made the great pop album they’ve always had.
All over born pink, Blackpink keeps reminding you that you’re not as cool as them, but at least you’re lucky enough to bask in their charismatic glow. the four do born pink a tribute to the fine art of being a girl who gets what she wants. “I’ll be everything you need until I drive you crazy,” they sing on the excellent “Hard to Love,” and that’s a perfect Blackpink motto.
born pink it’s her comeback after a period of growth, when Rosé, Lisa and Jennie have done solo material. But it’s faster, brighter and a lot more fun than The album. “Pink Venom” blew up this summer, their biggest hit yet, alternating between English and Korean; they strut in the grandiloquent style of a classic ’80s glam-metal band, on the level of Poison or Motley Crue, especially when Rosé proclaims, “I’m so rockin’!”
“Shut Down” is a typical moment: these women floss their teeth in their car to a trap beat and a crazy classical violin loop. (The hook comes from “La Campanella,” by Italian classical composer Niccolo Paganini!) They kiss rivals and paparazzi with the taunt, “Praying for my downfall? Many have tried, darling. Those vroooms evoke Missy Elliott, as the girls sing, “Whip, Whip, Whip, Whip/Keep Watching Me Turn It Off!”
Blackpink boasts of being both pop stars Y rock stars on “Shut Down,” so it makes sense for their best hits on born pink are the fierce anthems of rock & roll. “Yeah Yeah Yeah” is the pinnacle, riding a jagged guitar riff, somewhere between Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone” and Cars’ “Let’s Go,” with luxurious flourishes of overblown disco synth. “Tally” grabs your attention with a shrill punk guitar and the opening line, “I say ‘fuck it’ when I feel like it.” But yes your don’t be sorry, blackpink just don’t care. As they sing, “While you’re talking all that shit, I’ll get mine!”
The only annoyance in born pink is “The Happiest Girl in the World,” an entirely English ballad about swallowing the pain, with the hook, “I can stop the tears if I want to.” Blackpink handles the sad songs, but they really are at their best when they insist that having fun is every girl’s prerogative. They’re a really cool pop group, and born pink is the great pop album they were born to make.
Editor’s Note: You may have noticed that we removed the stars in our reviews. If you’re a committed music fan in 2022, your opinion won’t be defined by a random number. We’ll tell you right away (with a few new tags) when a new album is a must-listen or, in rarer cases, an instant classic. After that, our reviewers will help you make your own decision.