Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Blackpink – Kill This Love

All these comparisons and I’m just hearing “I’m An Albatraoz”…


Alfred Soto: Horn charts that evoke M.I.A. and “The Mickey Mouse Club” theme don’t kill my love — the compulsory good cheer does.

Katie Gill: It’s a testament to the state of pop music that halfway through this amazingly cheesy, outright stadium rock song, my mind was just an uninterrupted stream of “YESSSSSSS LET’S KILL THIS LOVE, COLORS AND NEON AND BBBRRAPP BBBRRAPP NOISES” like it’s a middle school pep rally or a Lisa Frank backpack funneled directly into my brain. In true Blackpink fashion, the song outright falls apart near the end, but there’s a marching band! I love marching bands! This is so much fun that I’ve kind of stopped caring that the song itself is just ‘alright’! 

Alex Clifton: The beginning is electric. The ending is phenomenal, albeit short–the final thirty seconds of “Kill This Love” are some of the most thrilling I’ve heard in pop music all year. Jennie and Lisa bring the heat with their raps. “Let’s kill this love!” is a great thing to yell at Coachella. And yet I’m so annoyed with the way Jisoo and Rosé’s sung bits feel slotted in; they really slow down the forward momentum of the song. 4Minute played with tempo much better with “Hate“–it lulls you into thinking it’s a slow song before bursting in with a chorus you want to yell. I’m so frustrated because I think that “Kill This Love” is a good single, but it could’ve been lifted to “great” with a few structural adjustments.

Iris Xie: What the hell! During the process of composing this song, did Teddy and Bekuh Boom listen to Red Velvet’s “Really Bad Boy,” then the last Migos album, and then decided to make Jisoo work harder by singing in her limited range and smashed the end result into their first discarded draft of “Ddu-du Ddu-du”, which is really just a re-interpretation of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules“? The only thing that would make this song worse is the fact that he combined both the Star Wars Marching theme song with a strange hook mutation that combines 2NE1’s “I Am the Best’s” “Bam ratatata tatatatatas” with f(x)’s “Rum Pum Pum.” The difference is that those two songs were going for a specific vision and mood, while this is a befuddled mess. The all-English chorus is Kesha’s “Die Young” reduced to a cyanide pill, the generic chorus yell of “Let’s kill this love!” is unsettling but perfect for their upcoming Coachella set, Lisa is doing her best Migos impression, Rose perfectly slots into the trend of indie dance-pop singers like Maren Morris with her pitchy and pressured vocals, Jennie does her best impression of being a badass, Jisoo’s parts remain forgettable build-ups, and the horns are peppy “Black Parade.” All together, they’re trying to go for emotional stadium presence, a sticky dance routine, a catchy hook, and BLACKPINK IS IN YOUR AREA!! But in flipping on and off so many times in trying to establish its numerous images, “Kill This Love” speeds along and runs out of time and crashes into its sudden ending, resulting in a dazed and incomplete feeling, which is disappointing because it could have been a fantastic combination if executed well. I usually like how K-pop pulls in so, so much from the pop atmosphere and sometimes makes something new and wild out of it with sharp precision, but “Kill This Love” is what happens when there’s no vision, all ambition, and significant confusion. Maybe if I was working underneath a CEO that is part of a completely terrible organized crime scandal, I’d be confused and exasperated too. Unfortunately, “Kill This Love” is beyond messy and uninspired, to the point of it being a statement of burnout on the frail attempts of trying to make Blackpink actually have a distinct sound. 

Micha Cavaseno: Blackpink are not pitiful per se, but they are to be pitied despite all their success. Ultimately all they are ever expected to sonically return time and time again to the notion of K-Pop as abrasive challenges of the supposedly tame and stale world of pop. The 2NE1 criticism is cheap and old but ultimately true because they are saddled with the same expectations and obligations that the group they were modeled after likewise languish under. Worse yet, this is a role that other groups are fulfilling all the time with more aplomb and effectiveness; specifically G-IDLE who even in their efforts as a Fake Group perfectly understand how to do what’s expected of them and deliver something with some bite. “Kill This Love” is bafflingly hollow. There’s no real chorus, verses, bridge, nothing. Even Lisa’s rap bits sound like the barest afterthoughts. Everything about the girls remains oblique and devoid of personality and instead all you get is a synth-horn that’s meant to sound like something off the first SD Laika EP yet summons a real wet noodle of a drop from the Scylla & Charybdis that is Teddy Park these days in that you’re ultimately getting sucked into nothingness. At the rate this group goes, I’m fully prepared to end up depressed at the mere thought of a new Blackpink song.

Will Adams: A martial drum ‘n’ brass drop that’s a less catchy “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du,” a breakdown that’s only interesting because it quotes N.E.R.D. by way of Q-Tip, and overall forced sass: consider the love killed.

Iain Mew: The song is a derivative mess and makes no attempt to hide it. It’s anchored by the brutal synth blare, pushing at the limits of what a sound in a pop song which approximates to a real instrument can be. It’s as if when Tim Wright had made the Lemmings soundtrack at the last minute to get around copyright issues he hadn’t had to work with ancient Galop Infernal and London Bridge, but was instead gifted rights to the YG catalogue and “London Bridge.” In context of how hard that goes, the abandon with which the chorus hits the self-destruct button is just right. 

Reader average: [1.18] (22 votes)

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3 Responses to “Blackpink – Kill This Love”

  1. “Maybe if I was working underneath a CEO that is part of a completely terrible organized crime scandal, I’d be confused and exasperated too.”

    YES. Thank you for telling it like it is.

  2. Details that didn’t make it into my blurb: it now plays in my head as “LET’S GET THIS BREAD!” and I can’t decide if that improves the song or makes it weirder.

  3. it took a second to register that iain meant specifically fergie’s london bridge because I was like “wait but lemmings did use london bridge”