With the burgeoning growth of K-pop in its current state, many newer fans are unaware of many of the genres past classics. That’s why every week I will be taking a look back at some of K-pop’s most exciting and iconic tracks that were released before the conception of this blog to shed some light on this now bygone time.
A few weeks ago I gave Blackpink’s newest single, How You Like That quite a beating. In fact I could say the same for every Blackpink song since 2017. The girls are obviously very talented but none of their material really feels as vital to me as their stardom might suggest. So instead of hammering in my dislike for their tracks, I thought I would switch it up a bit. In celebration of Blackpink’s 4 year anniversary, I’m going to be giving my thoughts on what is by far my favourite Blackpink song. In fact, it’s not even a contest. As If It’s Your Last is so far ahead of every other song within their discography that it’s become the gold standard I compare all their releases to.
For what my money’s worth, 2017 was YG entertainments last great year. We got Winner’s fantastic one two punch of Really Really and Fool, G-dragon’s emotionally resonant Untitled 2014, Ikon’s rambunctious B-Day, AKMU’s summer stunner Dinosaur and of course Blackpink’s sensational As If It’s Your Last. All these songs remain a high water mark in their respective artists discographies and it was honestly the last time that the company were operating at a creative high. It’s a time I miss dearly and with TREASURE’s recent debut, It feels like we still have to wait a while before we can see the company re-enter that kind of creative renaissance.
When Blackpink debuted, their name and concept were described to be similar to that of Red Velvet. They were a group with two sides; Black for edgy, badass concepts and Pink for more upbeat fare. But rather than follow that template, the group have been firmly stuck in the “Black” phase for their past 3 single. As If It’s Your Last was their last “Pink” title track and that should be all that’s needed to tell which side I prefer.
Opening with a smartly placed vocal ad lib and gradually faded club beat, As If It’s Your Last quickly transitions into its playful first verse. The quirky instrumental feels incredibly fresh and acts as a great backing for Jennie’s cheeky rap. Rather than follow the kind of straightforward melodic structure that the group seem to currently favour, the tracks verses feel much more alive, combing a hoard of elements over a slinky clatter-trap bounce that feels both novel yet consistently enjoyable. It’s the most upbeat Blackpink have sounded and it honestly suits them much better than the faux badassery they’ve been pursuing for the last few comebacks.
But as great as these verses are, they’re nothing compared to Last‘s gargantuan hook. The main trouble I personally have with the groups past few singles (How You Like That especially) is the lack of a fully fledged chorus. And one look at this tracks masterful hook and it should be evident why. It’s pure pop perfection, coasting along on a gorgeous melody and even better instrumental drive. It’s the best use of Rosé’s voice in any BP song and single handedly elevates the song into one of 2017’s most infectious and anthemic singles. No cringy catchphrases. No limp instrumental drop. Just pure, unadulterated pop song goodness. And that’s what makes it my favourite Blackpink song of all time.
Final Rating: 9.5/10