Last year was a huge turning point for K-pop icons Blackpink, who followed in the footsteps of BTS by becoming a global phenomenon. The four-piece are back with a new EP, Kill This Love, their first release since signing to major US label Interscope Records.
The record opens with the punchy title-track, on which the group sings, “After a sweet hi/there’s always a bitter bye/After every crazy high/There’s a price you have to pay,” before an unexpected, but dynamic, anti-chorus drop.
Kick It follows a similar trajectory but with more conventional genre-shifts, pairing gritty dub sounds with smooth vocals, before the chorus drops with as much attitude as Taylor Swift’s Look What You Made Me Do.
Don’t Know What To Do and the thought-provoking Hope Not show a softer, more delicate side of the group, with gentle guitar sounds setting the minimal tone. Don’t Know What To Do feels more like a solo song, as the main refrain, “I don’t know what to do without you,” is the lyric that cuts deepest, before giving way to a dissatisfying EDM chorus.
Kill This Love closes with a remix of their biggest track DDU-DU DDU-DU. It’s a more heavily filtered, darker version, but doesn’t quite match up to the original.
Compared to their Square series of releases, Kill This Love feels a little bit safe. As Blackpink start to reach even more people with their music, they need to be bold with their songs.