Album Reviews, Comebacks, K-Pop

BLACKPINK ‘SQUARE UP’ Slays with New Album

BLACKPINK released a four-track EP, “Square Up” which falls in line with their previous releases and stands to leave an impression with new and old listeners alike. Everyone who has eagerly anticipated BLACKPINK’s return will sure to give this album a listen.

뚜두뚜두 (DDU-DU DDU-DU)
Lyrics: TEDDY
Composed by: TEDDY, 24, R.Tee, Bekuk BOOM
Arranged by: TEDDY, 24, R.Tee

DDU-DU DDU-DU is distinctly part of a BLACKPINK sound, with the smoothest instrumentals and slow-rap that is in line with all of their previous releases. Each of the girls has their chance at getting our attention before they come together for a catchy chorus that is bound to get listeners on their feet and dancing. Merely hours after the release DDU-DU DDU-DU was playing on the trend-driven streets of Hongdae, energizing the crowds of buskers and shoppers, as is befitting of a BLACKPINK title track. The song shifts from hard-hitting beats paired with high-notes and lyric-less vocal riffs, but culminates in an extremely appealing drop as the girls repeat what is sure to become an iconic line – ‘hit you with that ddu-du ddu-du ddu-du’.

Forever Young
Lyrics: TEDDY
Composed by: TEDDY, FUTURE BOUNCE
Arranged by: TEDDY, FUTURE BOUNCE, R.Tee

Forever Young is a sweet, nostalgic track that is a YG album staple, with funky tropical beats interlaced with gentle and fun instrumentals. The girls each have a chance to show off their vocals, and the undercurrent of longing adds depth and allows for a common thread to tie the shifts in the style throughout the song together. There is a somewhat jarring beat change near the end of the song, but instead of being put off, Forever Young becomes a linear story instead of a loop of chorus-verse-chorus. The last part of the song allows BLACKPINK to establish a harder sound right before they transition to the softer tones of “Really”.

Really
Lyrics: TEDDY, Danny Chung
Composed by: TEDDY, CHOICE37
Arranged by: CHOICE37

Really is a flowing pop song with easy-to-follow transitions and a catchy chorus. This song immediately gets stuck in your head, and we’re reminded again that BLACKPINK each have unique, smooth vocalists that blend together effortlessly. It’s an easy listen, and definitely one that will be on repeat.

See U Later
Lyrics: TEDDY
Composed by: TEDDY, R.Tee, 24
Arranged by: R.Tee, 24

See U Later has a building energy in the first part of the song that plateaus in the same way that Forever Young culminates in a shift in the beat. See U Later is more eclectic perhaps, as it revisits a softer and gentler style before transitioning to the choppier chorus of ‘see you later boy, see you later’. Does this track work out? It still comes together as a non-linear musical journey, thrown together to keep the listener on their toes. It isn’t meant to be played in the background, and perhaps could have served as a second title track.

Overall: BLACKPINK are attempting a variety of things in this EP – from playing with style and arrangement to offering four unique and distinct musical tracks that somehow still form a solid, but short, EP. If this is the sound they are establishing for themselves then we are more than ready to see what happens next.

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