As someone who knows little about South Korean pop music, BLACKPINK’s sophomore studio album, “Born Pink,” was the perfect introduction to the genre.
This album has four songs fully in English and four consisting of both Korean and English lyrics. The tracks on the album have similar pop and hip-hop rhythms, but each song brings a different vibe; elements like traditional Korean instruments, retro and disco beats or EDM bass lines are used throughout.
BLACKPINK, when composing and writing songs, wants you to understand the message of a particular song. All the tracks on this album promote love, confidence and unity with a dash of telling off the haters and doubters.
Prior to the album’s release, BLACKPINK collaborated with the video game “PUBG Mobile,” and released their song “Ready for Love” on July 29 as a promotional single. An animated music video for it was dropped on YouTube. The song now appears as the eighth track on “Born Pink.”
The band pre-released their first track “Pink Venom” on Aug. 19. What’s interesting about this song is that it combines hip-hop and EDM with traditional Korean instruments. The title is a play on words because it relays the band’s identity in the song. The track also peaked at number one on the Billboard Global 200 charts, making this song BLACKPINK’s first number one hit on the charts.
One of my favorite songs off this album is the second track, “Shut Down,” because its lyrics scream female empowerment.
“Praying for my downfall, many have tried, baby,” Jennie Kim sings.
Continuing the female empowerment, the fourth track, “Yeah Yeah Yeah,” was co-written by two of the band’s members, Rosé and Jisoo.
Songs like “Typa Girl” and “Hard to Love” are two songs I believe go hand in hand. “Typa Girl” speaks true to everyone’s “type of girl” while “Hard to Love” sympathizes with the listener about the honest and complex feeling of loving someone. Both songs are sung in English and consist of pop elements with hints of hip-hop and disco.
Appearing as the sixth track is “The Happiest Girl.” “I can stop the tears if I want to,” is a repeated lyric that goes along with the song’s overall message of having a strong will to be happy even if you’re missing someone. What’s interesting about this song is that it’s the album’s only ballad that is still considered pop music.
One of my favorite songs off the album is “Tally,” which I believe is underrated. The song gives you pop and hip-hop vibes with some rock elements. The lyrics, which are all in English, send a positive message by addressing the importance of accomplishing your goals in life. It’s the perfect song to round out the album as the seventh track. Also, Lisa has a great rap in this song.
“Told me to play it cool / I break the rules, I’m breaking hearts in two / Warned me to make the rules / Or play the fool, it ain’t that hard to choose,” Lisa raps.
After the release of this album, I’m becoming a BLINK. Listening to “Born Pink” opened the door for me to listen to more K-pop music.
“Born Pink” is now available for streaming on all streaming platforms.