4 years after their debut, fans have finally been treated to Blackpink’s first full length album. It’s been a long time coming and given the groups rather infrequent release schedule, is a minor miracle. Unfortunately, while many were brimming with excitement, I came into Lovesick Girls and “The Album” feeling rather indifferent. Pre-release singles How You Like That and Ice Cream were anything but promising and rank amongst my least favourite within both their discography and this years slate of releases. And while I went into Lovesick Girls with a pessimistic mentality, I came away much more satisfied than expected.
At its best, Lovesick Girls feels like a natural successor to 2NE1’s 2012 Eurodance inspired masterpiece I Love You. It’s not nearly as good but the overall sentiment is there. I really adore the guitar EDM production here, it feels much more fresh than their past few singles but also manages to feel tied to Blackpink’s debut era sound (especially the incredibly underrated Stay, still one of their best songs). In that sense, Lovesick Girls is an undisputed success. It channels most of the strongest aspects of Blackpink’s discography into an indisputably addictive package. I’ve always talked about how the girls would heavily benefit from a more melodically rich arrangement and this is exactly why. The verses are some of the most enjoyable within Blackpink’s discography and lend themselves perfectly to the anthemic hook.
The second verse rap break and bridge especially work as excellent displays of the girls rapping and vocal skills respectively and is the first Blackpink song in ages that really showcases just how talented these girls really are. We haven’t quite seen Rosé and Jisoo go that hard in a song yet and their strained, nearly desperate performance during the bridge is easily one of the tracks standout moments.
But while there is much to admire about Lovesick Girls, there are a few things that drag it down from being truly transcendent. The most notable of which is the arrangement. Despite it being very well produced, I personally would have liked the arrangement to go abit bigger. The layered hook that opens the chorus screams ‘anthem’ but I don’t think it quite reaches the heights it intends to. The instrumental here overpowers much of the actual vocals, leaving the hook to get too far lost in the mix. It’s not so bad as to completely derail the track but it does hinder Lovesick Girls‘ anthemic heft. The overall structure also does fall squarely into YG territory right down to the chorused climax but Blackpink bring enough flair to really elevate the track into something much more notable.
Lovesick Girls might not be the show stopping, world changing single many were hoping it to be, but personally, it’s the strongest the group have sounded since 2017.
Final Rating: 8.5/10