BLACKPINK - Kill This Love

 
 

 

Believe it or not, we haven’t had a new song from BLACKPINK for nearly nine months. Insert your YG Entertainment joke here. Seriously though, I think I’m actually one of the few people that are thankful that YG doesn’t crank out a forced comeback every three months for all of their groups. I’d rather see the artists healthy and happy than overworked and prospering. Anywho, “Kill This Love” is the latest song to come out from the four-piece group, and with how much media attention they’ve been receiving, I don’t think it was possible for me to have not given the teaser a listen. I was hesitant about this review going in because it seemed like it was going to be more along the lines of what “DDU-DU DDU-DU” had to offer, and I was hoping for more of a return to form for the girls.

The Song

This song has so many ideas flowing in every direction that it’s really hard to pinpoint where exactly my problems lie with it. On a surface level, each individual piece isn’t so bad. However, there’s a real lack of cohesion and synergy at every turn this song takes, and ultimately I find it was to its detriment.

Let me break down my thoughts on the individual pieces of this track, starting with the verses. The verses are.. well, they’re just okay. They aren’t particularly gripping, and honestly I could have done without the weird screech-delivery of JENNIE’s introductory lines. The raps are fine, though more on the side of trendy and contemporary than I tend to enjoy. The entire second verse was in English, which admittedly did feel like an attempt to cash in on the international attention that BLACKPINK is getting, but hey it makes sense to do that, too.

Moving along, the pre-chorus is where I started to feel my initial sense of a jarring disconnect. There’s literally not a transition into it, it just abruptly starts as the verse ends, and the harsh difference in sound just pulled me right out of the song. While I absolutely loved the latter half of the pre-chorus, that distracting shift as well as the one that follows into the chorus made it hard to get back into the groove.

So let’s talk about this chorus. Honestly, this is probably my least favorite chorus that BLACKPINK has delivered as of yet. It just felt so empty, allowing entirely for the instrumental to take the forefront.. and honestly, the horns weren’t as hype as I initially thought they would be. They were exciting and bombastic, sure, but it didn’t really develop into anything past the initial run through and it left something to be desired in my opinion.

The exception to that critique is the very last twenty-five-ish seconds of the song, where we get a more energetic idea of what everything was leading up to. Unfortunately, the song just cuts off and that buildup just ends and acts like a teaser of something that could have been but now never will. It was so disappointing because I thought that the song was about to pull a “Black Dress” and win me over because of everything coming together and giving a reason to all of the other aspects of the song feeling so lacking. Instead, though, it just fades out, and it was likely the most disappointed I’ve ever felt when it comes to BLACKPINK.

Overall, I’m just not happy with this comeback. It’s definitely continuing their more recent styling which garnered tons of fans, and I’m sure that same base of people will love the everliving daylights out of this comeback. But for me, I’m still waiting for something that can topple the masterpiece that was “PLAYING WITH FIRE”.

The Video

Well, I don’t think it’s fair to start off by talking about this video without at least mentioning how incredible the girls all look. They’ve looked incredible in the past, of course, but those powerfully-styled military-esque outfits just pushed their overall theme and aesthetic to a different level. Jisoo in that white dress looked heavenly, too! I don’t know how, but I’m somehow still always impressed with how K-pop groups manage to step their visual game up with each comeback.

That aside, there were some really cool set pieces here, too. In particular, I was in love with that bear trap and the girls dancing in the middle of it. What an absolutely killer visual that doubles as something that’s unique and fits in so perfectly with the concept! I don’t know if anything will top that particular idea for the rest of this year, because damn I’m still gushing over it.

Story-wise, there’s nothing going on here. There’s definitely some metaphoric imagery, though. Similarly to many other videos that I’ve gone through, there seems to be a general idea of duality here. There’s lots of black and white coloring, and in general it seems like the idea is that the girls are hunting down their more “innocent” selves and killing them to solidify themselves as fully on the side of powerful badassery. This falls in line with the idea of the song, which essentially boils down to the idea that the girls hate how vulnerable they are when they’re in love, so they need to “Kill This Love”. It’s solid in both execution and idea, and I do like that it thematically works with the actual song instead of just being something entirely unrelated.

Overall, this video is great. I love the visuals and styling going on here, and I think that it brings the general girl crush concept into a cool new direction without pulling away from its more general roots.

Conclusion

“Kill This Love” serves as a fairly expected follow-up to BLACKPINK’s more globally-receptive “DDU-DU DDU-DU”. It pulls on some of that international spotlight and incorporates it into the song, while still falling well within the boundaries of a song that can really only exist within the K-pop genre. Personally there wasn’t all that much for me to enjoy about this track, but I can definitely see fans that enjoyed their previous comeback also absolutely loving this one. To me, it felt less like something that was enjoyable musically and more of something that you would find enjoyable as a spectacle, especially something like a live performance. If you’re not a fan of hype-generating, noisier tracks, however, you might want to pass on this one.