The K-pop superstars’ pop bangers, acoustic cuts, and more rated
BLACKPINK might not have released a full-length album yet, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been keeping themselves busy with EPs, singles, solo tracks, and big-name collaborations. Throughout their back catalogue so far – all of which is likely to make an appearance on their 2019 WORLD TOUR with Kia [IN YOUR AREA] – they’ve barely put a foot wrong, showing their mastery of pop bangers, tender acoustic cuts, and fiery fusions. But which are they best at? Find out as we rank their 15 songs so far.
15. ‘Hope Not’
Hope Not, a song by BLACKPINK on Spotify
‘Hope Not’ puts the focus on BLACKPINK’s vocals, no rapping to be found within its acoustic confines. Though the band’s voices flow beautifully together, there’s little spark to be found in the track, it lacking the usual dynamism of the K-pop superstars’ other material.
14. ‘Playing With Fire’
For a song about not being able to control your heart, ‘Playing With Fire’ is remarkably mild. It’s a perfectly fine pop song, driven by dancing piano melodies, but doesn’t manage to translate the potency of infatuation.
It’s rare that BLACKPINK sound vulnerable, but that’s exactly the case on the soft, acoustic-led ‘Stay’. It might be full of insecurity, but it’s also stacked with beautiful lyrics, like Jisoo’s “Your scent is a sweet felony” or Lisa’s “Sometimes when darkness comes, I’ll be your fire.”
12. ‘Kill This Love’
‘Kill This Love’’s chorus might not quite pack the punch you’d like, but the rest of the track is full of moments of creativity. Jennie’s opening rap finds her shifting her voice from her normal tone to bursts of something much higher, while the group’s “in your area” chant sounds like a military command over the marching band beats and insistent horns.
Where most BLACKPINK songs come packed with sound, ‘Whistle’ is a lot quieter. That’s no bad thing. It gives the band chance to command things with just their voices – something they do with ease, be that Jisoo’s sultry “Hey boy” opener or Lisa’s self-assured “Make ‘em whistle like a missile bomb bomb/Every time I show up, blow up.”
Really, a song by BLACKPINK on Spotify
‘Really’ finds the women pleading with a lover to show them how much they care, but even that action comes with a dose of typical BLACKPINK sass. “For real, what’s the deal?” Asks Lisa at one point. “Got a feeling you’re feeling me/But I don’t play with them fakes/Keep it real with me.”
9. ‘Kick It’
Kick It, a song by BLACKPINK on Spotify
‘Kick It’ puts BLACKPINK’s spirit of independence front and centre, whether that’s Lisa asserting, “Never needed nothing else/Just a little love from myself” or the giddily free chant that comes towards the song’s close: “I’ll kick it how I wanna kick it/When I wanna kick it.” Like ‘Whistle’, it’s the women’s voices that take control on this one – a fitting move that reinforces their message.
8. ‘Kiss And Make Up’
Kiss and Make Up, a song by Dua Lipa, BLACKPINK on Spotify
BLACKPINK’s first major collaboration, this track appeared as a bonus track on the re-released version of Dua Lipa’s debut album. Arguably, it could have made it onto the original release. It sounds like classic Dua until a minute in, when Jennie begins rapping in Korean. That mix of East meets West elevates the song beyond the typical, the BLACKPINK ladies’ voices bouncing smoothly off of Dua’s and subtly worming their way into your head after just one listen.
7. ‘See U Later’
See U Later, a song by BLACKPINK on Spotify
Rosé might not have much opportunity to show off her high notes on ‘See U Later’, but she makes the most of the chances she gets. Her perfectly wailed “I don’t want you no more” both pulls you in and nails the message of the song – BLACKPINK have time for the exes they’re kicking to the curb. The singer is really the track’s MVP, also delivering the perfect shutdown to those dumpees and the song itself – one final, fiery “See you later, maybe never.”
6. ‘As If It’s Your Last’
This standalone single released in 2017 is where club and carnival meet, its undulating groove clashing with fist-pumping synth stabs and flashes of chopped-and-screwed production. Together, they create the kind of irresistible euphoria that’ll have you ready to drop everything and dance no matter where you’re listening to it.
5. ’Don’t Know What To Do’
Don’t Know What To Do, a song by BLACKPINK on Spotify
‘Don’t Know What To Do’, one of the standouts from the ‘Kill This Love’ EP, begins deceptively – quietly, gently; no hints of the drop that’s to come. But come a drop does, ushered in by Rosé’s powerful vocals, and revealing itself in a series of sharp, shrill notes that perfectly capture the desperation of post-break-up heartbreak.
So far, Jennie is the only member of BLACKPINK to release a solo track and she’s set the bar high for her bandmates. ‘Solo’ finds the rapper and singer a little softer than when she’s with the four-piece, but still finding time to make her self-worth clear over jerking beats as she tells an ex: “Used to be your girl/Now I’m used to being the GOAT.”
3. ‘Forever Young’
Forever Young, a song by BLACKPINK on Spotify
On ‘Forever Young’, the group embraced the genre of Moombahton, using its lasering house beats and reggaeton swing to make a vibrant and colourful foundation for a track celebrating making the most of your youth. One of its highlights comes late on, when the song slows down with the sound of a cassette wearing out and Rosé delivering the hushed promise: “Let’s ride endlessly, we like to party.”
BLACKPINK’s debut single is still one of their best so far, showcasing their strengths in an EDM-tinged pop banger. Jennie and Lisa’s raps hit hard, dripping with “don’t mess with me” attitude, sandwiching a chorus that’s simple, catchy, and a lot of fun. It also gave rise to the band’s slogan “BLACKPINK in your area”, now the name of their first world tour.
1. ‘DDU-DU DDU-DU’
Like ‘Boombayah’, ‘Ddu-du Ddu-du’ shines brightest in the rappers’ verses, Jennie boasting in hers, “All of your bucket list, I bought it” and Lisa bragging: “Our hands are full of a fat check/If you’re curious, fact check.” It’s a no-holds-barred, powerful anthem packed full of supreme self-confidence and swagger.