JENNIE - SOLO
JENNIE is one of the members of the group BLACKPINK, a four-piece girl group under YG Entertainment. It’s been sort of a roller coaster ride for the girls, and now we have another loop for them to go through - a rather sudden and bizarre choice to have JENNIE debut as a solo act. I think I was just as confused as everybody else by this decision, though I don’t know that I care much one way or another. It’s music - if it’s good and I enjoy it, I don’t really care who makes the song. That being said, the teasers leading up to this release basically gave away no information at all, and I decided it was best to just go into it expecting a song with different vibes than BLACKPINK.
Well, I’m not sure that this is what I was expecting or wanting from a JENNIE solo debut. If I’m speaking honestly, my opinion on JENNIE within BLACKPINK is that she has the most charisma in the group for me, and her ability to translate that with stage presence is unrivaled by her fellow members. (Yes, Lisa is a close second.) That being said, I really wish that they would have used this song and opportunity to push on that energy, and have something much more bold and daring that would have suited her and stood out.
Instead, the only thing that I really get from this song is that it’s more uninteresting and uninspired in its entirety. It’s another tried and tired push of a trend that I’ve been sick of the better part of two years now, and worse than that it just feels hollow. The instrumentals feel barren for so much of the song, only whomping in during the chorus to create what honestly sounds like somebody piano-ing random notes out and then pretending it was on done on purpose and is any semblance of something that isn’t just pure noise.
I don’t hate the song, though. The first verse and even the pre-chorus had me interested in where the song would go, I just ended up not liking where it ended up. JENNIE herself sounds fine, though I’m not sure how I felt about the rap in this song. Typically JENNIE’s raps feel much more powerful and lethal, but they felt a little on the tamer side almost as though they told her to hold back this time. That on top of the fact that it was entirely in English, which felt heavily-focused on bringing in the ever-growing Western market for K-pop, just felt a little off to me. Her singing is just fine and the pre-chorus and bridge sections are honestly a solid showing of her pipes, which I wish was more apparent, but with the heavy filtering over them it felt a bit too washed out instead of serving as a focal point.
All in all, I’m not happy with how this debut turned out. This felt like some random track that they had stored in the YG banks that they were supposed to flesh out a bit more, but it didn’t actually get worked on past its initial inception. JENNIE did great with what she was given vocally, but the song itself just didn’t work for me.
You know, I guess I don’t know what I was expecting on the video side of things. There’s a vague hint here or there of a story that’s going on, but honestly this just felt more like a weird art project than a music video. Nothing seemed to really stand out in particular for me, and most of it was just JENNIE looking attractive in a lot of different outfits. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that as much as anyone else, but that’s about all this music video served as.
There are pretty nice shots of some of the choreography, though, and those looked great. Like I mentioned above, I think JENNIE has the most charisma in BLACKPINK and I think when she’s dancing in this video it perfectly encapsulates what I’m talking about. As much as I don’t really care for the song, I think that I’d love to see the dance in full, and I hope that JENNIE actually gets to promote this on music shows more than BLACKPINK gets to promote their own songs in the same way.
All in all, I’m fine with this video, but at the same time I’m disappointed it wasn’t a little more. There’s a few really great shots that I think are memorable. I’m not going to go so far as to call them iconic, but there are definitely things that stood out to me.
I actually wouldn’t be surprised if this song charted well for a very brief time before quickly dropping off, mostly due to the amount of interest YG has garnered in this debut. I think that this is exactly the type of song that the general Korean public tends to turn off, but with how massively popular BLACKPINK is, they’ll check this song out and want to hear at first, but after hearing it once, that interest will rapidly drop off.
With all of the buildup to this release, I’m shocked at just how short and unfinished it felt. I think there was a missed opportunity to use this debut as something to push the envelope and show off JENNIE’s personal energy and charm. I wish her all the best with this solo debut, but this is one that I don’t think I’ll be revisiting very often if at all. If you’re into songs that feature a chorus filled with hollow and/or simplistic drops with overhead noises buzzing every which pitch, this will be great for you.