BLACKPINK are gearing up to perform one of the biggest shows of their career playing at the Coachella Music and Arts festival. The K-Pop all girl sensation has already garnered tons of fans worldwide but have yet to truly infiltrate the American market. This new EP KILL THIS LOVE is filled with big bold sounds, but in all honesty is rather dated from the start. Basic EDM is the basis of each one of the five tracks here with plenty of drops and big breakdowns. The album's title track is a skittery marching band influenced romp, that is plenty loud but all together hollow. Lyrically the album is dud with the same old tired tropes being touted out track after track. I mean it is K-Pop so it is always going to be bright and bubbly, but here they rely so heavily on EDM from like 8 years ago that it takes away from any of that bright feeling. This will likely lead to bigger and more fun live experiences, but as a casual listener it's just sort of boring. The rapping also irks me so much. Whenever a pop group decides to do a hip hop breakdown it is just so fucking cringe and shows an almost complete lack of awareness. The multicultural group has been picked specifically for their mass appeal. They sing in Korean, then switch to English at times and finally re-record all their songs in Japanese for maximum media infiltration. It's just like The Spice Girls or any other Boy/Girl Band, picked more for their look rather than for their cohesive style.

This is the part that feels the most icky. Some corporation or some producer put this group together specifically for mass appeal, not because this music needed to be made or some idea needed to be communicated. It really dilutes the whole artistic experience, and while it's nothing new at least in the past people would try to hide this fact. Now in the age of the influencer it's actually "cool" to talk about how your money is made and the brand deals you get. It's pretty sickening honestly and makes it even harder for true artists to breakthrough. "DDU-DU DDU-DU" is just a fucking dubstep song, nothing else which is odd for a group that isn't at all into dubstep. There is just so much pandering, so many gimmicks and so many moments that make you scratch your head. When you read lines like this one from Pitchfork: "Though BLACKPINK’s music isn’t groundbreaking or innovative or even that great, they’re still fulfilling YG Entertainment and South Korea’s larger mission to build a cultural presence in the rest of the world." it makes you think how many critics are on the payroll. There is plenty of wonderful and innovative music that comes from South Korea, it doesn't have to be a prepackaged pandering gimmick in order to break through. The amount of credit BLACKPINK is getting for being incredibly generic is troubling.

4.0 out of 10


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