I had literally no expectations coming into this pre-release but it still managed to underwhelm me.
As many could tell by reading my scathing review of their last comeback, I’m not the biggest fan of Blackpink. Their early material was pretty strong but ever since 2018’s megahit Ddu Du Ddu Du, I’ve felt a very obvious disconnect from the group. Not only have their past few singles completely forgone any semblance of a chorus but they just come across as stale and unfinished. It’s material that hasn’t come close to living up to their larger than life status and while I had hope that new single Ice Cream would opt for a more melodic route, it’s probably the groups most mind numbing single yet.
The thing with a song like Ice Cream is that it literally doesn’t go anywhere. There’s pretty much no difference between its languid verses and chorus and this lack of coherent structure made for a pretty confusing first listen. There are no real peaks or troughs to be found and the entire track comes and goes without any real impact. It’s nice to see the girls stray away from the kind of cringeworthy faux badassery that’s characterised their past work but I don’t really know if this is any better.
The instrumental is borderline unlistenable, consisting almost purely of an irritating trap beat that’s far too loud for its own good. I’ve grown to have a slightly more open attitude towards trap but when its used in such an obnoxious manner, it’s hard to really find any redeeming factors. But despite my many issues with the instrumental, the girls sound great here. I still have my personal qualms with Lisa’s rapping style but despite the rather shrill vocals during the hook, all other vocal led moments are probably on the stronger side of the groups discography.
In terms of collaborations, Selena fits into the song well. None of her segments feel shoe horned in and Ice Cream feels like an honest to good collaboration. But the same can’t be said for those behind the scenes because while I don’t usually give much thought to them, the lyrics here are just terrible. They verge on being so bad that they’re ironically enjoyable but I guess that’s the case with most songs nowadays. However unlike 100 and Dynamite, the two other heavily English language tracks we got this month, Ice Cream succumbs to many of the musical pitfalls that currently plague the modern music industry. It’s not a song that’s really terrible as to say but one that’s just boring. And for a group of Blackpink’s status, is probably the worst place to be in.
Final Rating: 5.25/10