I was surprised to hear BLACKPINK’s Rosé sing “Eyes, Nose, Lips” by BIGBANG’s TaeYang, her label-mate… because of how unstable and off-tune her voice sounded.
A little bit about myself: I don’t consider myself a BLINK (a fan of BLACKPINK), but I do enjoy listening to some songs by BLACKPINK and other K-Pop artists. You have been warned.
BLACKPINK’s comeback didn’t impress me.
The first song I listened to was “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du”, and of course I saw the MV on the release day. The song seemed very… bland and flat? I don’t know how else to describe it, but I just wasn’t feeling it. The MV seemed all over the place, and the color scheme was pretty simple – black and pink.
I was kinda hoping for BLACKPINK to release another ballad song different from “Stay”, but I was disappointed to find that no such song existed in the album.
Moreover, the album didn’t feel brand new. All of the songs had that familiar Western vibe. It’s almost as if Teddy and whoever else worked on the album’s four songs was trying to conglomerate Taylor Swift, J-Lo, Rihanna, Beyonce, Calvin Harris’ musical styles… Overall, the songs sound all over the place like “I Got A Boy” by SNSD, yet seem strong enough to compete in the Western music market. Also, since the producers tried to mix Oriental styles into the four tracks unsuccessfully, I thought that the producers were trying to go for a concept that’s similar to “Jai Ho” by PCD.
The comeback felt rushed. It’s as if YG and the producers were really pushing for Western concepts by making BLACKPINK’s “Square Up” mini-album a mix of EDM, Tropical House, and other familiar genres that Westerners are used to listening to. Lyrically, all four songs don’t really have any catchy or unique messages; the lyrics mostly focus on singing to the beat. At least they could make good shopping music.
Would I listen to BLACKPINK’s “Square Up” tracks again? Most likely not. “Square Up”, in my opinion, has got to be their worst album. If I had to rank the songs, I’d say that “Forever Young” is the best, followed by “See U Later”, and then “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” and “Really” are tied for last place.
BLACKPINK’s best song to date is “Stay” because of the song’s interesting usage of harmonica, the shift between sad and happy tones from bridges to choruses, and the good balance between soft-spoken rapping and emotional singing.
If YG were to release a second music video for BLACKPINK, it’d be for the song “Forever Young”. I saw the live performance for “Forever Young” on YouTube, and the choreography for that song is so much better than the choreography for “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du”. Plus, the song is quite catchy (minus the Oriental music at the end of the song).
“Nearer, My God, to Thee” is the Titanic’s “tragic tune”.
“Nearer, My God, to Thee” is a 19th-century Christian hymn written by sisters Sarah Flower Adams and Eliza Flower.
It is based loosely on Genesis 28:11-19, the story of Jacob’s dream:
So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, becuase the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and dscending on it…
The hymn was first written in verses by Sarah. Then in 1881, the verses were set to music by Eliza for William Jonson Fox’s collection “Hymns and Anthems”.
It is widely known for supposedly being played by an eight-member music group as the Titanic sank on April 15, 1912. All of them died in the sinking.
William Henry Hartley was the leader of the music group. According to his bandmates, he said he would either play “Nearer, My God, to Thee” or “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” if he were ever on a sinking ship. Since his father used to play the “Propior Deo” version of “Nearer, My God, to Thee” by Arthur Sullivan at a church, his family felt sure that he would have played that song.
The tune was played at Hartley’s funeral in 1912 soon after his body was found “fully dressed with his music case strapped to his body”, and a bust of him was erected in 1915 with an inscription that commemorates “the heroism of a native of this town”.
Here is a violin version of the song:
Here is a choir version of the song: