Jennie, Jisoo, Lisa and Rosé have created something special with Blackpink — this was evident long before the K-pop quartet, which specializes in slyly arranged pop and spirited hip-hop, released The Album on Friday (Oct. 2). Yet the eight-song collection provides a proper home for their unique appeal, collecting recent singles and surrounding them with indelible refrains, revealing lyrics and a unified perspective from four artists unafraid to take risks.
Although The Album has just arrived and lacks any real weak spots, we already have our favorite tracks, the songs that capture why Blackpink deserves to be coronated as a global pop group. Here is our humble, preliminary opinion on the best songs on Blackpink’s The Album.
8. “Love To Hate Me”
If there was any doubt that the Blackpink members were ever stressing over dudes jealous of their success, “Love To Hate Me” puts that doubt to bed. The dance-pop track sizzles with their unflappability, dismissing naysayers with a quick “Nah, I been good lately,” and creating a new-school girl power track in the process.
7. “How You Like That”
Months after the release of the single “How You Like That,” it’s still all about that chorus: bouncy, exuberant and deceptively simple, the hook crystallizes the best parts of Blackpink’s pop appeal. In the context as the album’s lead-off track, “How You Like That” introduces the group’s charisma to those unfamiliar, and starts the party for longtime supporters.
6. “Crazy Over You”
“Crazy Over You” displays Blackpink’s ability to navigate a tricky beat: the song’s production shape-shifts away from a retro hip-hop arrangement into a minimalist trap rhythm, but the quartet remains unbothered, pulling out bars and harmonies with aplomb. Plus, Jennie’s chorus — “I went crazy. Over. YOU!” — will linger in your mind long after the song has ended.
5. “Ice Cream” (feat. Selena Gomez)
On the album’s second single, Blackpink finds euphoria alongside Selena Gomez: both the quartet and the pop superstar sound downright giddy on the track, packing in the sugary metaphors and winking hard over the loping beat. The result is a work of unrepentant joy, as the collaboration invites fans to join in on the cross-continent ice cream social.
4. “Bet You Wanna” (feat. Cardi B)
Arriving one spot after the fierce “Pretty Savage” on the track list and featuring Cardi B, “Bet You Wanna” opens with the expectation of another no-holds-barred banger — instead, the anthem for the admiring boys is playfully soulful, with Jennie and Rosé showcasing their vocals and Cardi keeping it rated PG while delivering some quick wit (“Turn on ‘Please Me,’ but don’t ever play me!” she crows).
3. “You Never Know”
After seven songs of unrestrained pop power, “You Never Know” closes out the album with heartfelt balladry, as Blackpink preaches patience and empathy by pointing out that even the most dominant girl group of the moment has days when they want to stay in bed. As the album’s coda, “You Never Know” ends the project with piano keys, majestic vocals and a sense of triumph.
2. “Lovesick Girls”
“Yeah, we were born to be alone / But why we still looking for love?” The heavy question serves as the centerpiece for a rollicking pop sing-along, with Blackpink approaching the concept of longing through ascending vocals and slick rhymes, the latter contained in a top-notch verse from Lisa and Jennie. “Lovesick Girls” demonstrates Blackpink’s ambition, as they tackle well-worn subject matter with a fresh aesthetic.
1. “Pretty Savage”
Synthesizing the finer points of modern trap while still finding time to weave in another massive chorus, “Pretty Savage” is hypnotic during its ferocious high points — which are plentiful, as the group comes together to flaunt themselves as “some b–ches you can’t manage.” Like all of the best Blackpink songs, “Pretty Savage” is dripping in hooks and personality.