Song Review: BLACKPINK – Ddu-Du Ddu-Du

After what seems like a decades-long wait, BLACKPINK has returned with new material. This long hiatus approach has been a staple of YG Entertainment for years, and becomes especially problematic for the agency’s newer generation of artists. In BLACKPINK’s case, every title track they’ve released has gone straight to the top of the charts, but over the course of their nearly two year career, their slight discography has amassed only five original songs. It could be argued that this is a case of “quality over quantity,” but that idea only sets expectations unrealistically high.

Last year, the group’s As If It’s Your Last expertly melded their edgy “black” side with big “pink” pop hooks. New single Ddu-Du Ddu-Du (뚜두뚜두) ditches the pop, opting for the kind of Bang Bang Bang hip-hop anthem that’s become a well-worn formula within YG Entertainment. The girls are certainly up to the task, but it’s hard not to be underwhelmed with the song’s lack of new ideas.

Ddu-Du’s opening verse drags along a bass-heavy skitter of a beat, casting a decidedly low-energy introduction that does little to build excitement. From here, the song segues into its strongest moment — the dramatic build that takes us to chorus. This is the only vocal-heavy segment we get, and it’s a reminder of just how powerful BLACKPINK can be when given a proper melody. Unfortunately, the drop that follows is pretty mediocre. Its spare squeak of a synth hook is catchy, but not in a particularly novel way — and the “ddu-du, ddu-du” refrain feels recycled. A last minute production showcase wrings some life from the track’s final moments, as the instrumental is bulked up with additional percussion and loops, but even this climactic transformation is familiar territory. This “been there, done that” feeling makes Ddu-Du Ddu-Du tasty comfort food, even as it blunts the song’s overall effect.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75



17 thoughts on “Song Review: BLACKPINK – Ddu-Du Ddu-Du

  1. Finally, someone with a more different opinion to ddu-du-ddu-du. With that year-long hiatus, you’d’ve expected them to release a song that’ll just top all their other songs in terms of quality. Instead, you get a song that’s just all too familiar. No doubt it’s a catchy song but that “been there, done that’ feeling you kinda get, leaves something to be desired.

    Awesome Review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really rooting for BLACKPINK to deliver great music, especially because of their skills and potential and their “As If It’s Your Last” is actually quite great, but this one’s quite disappointing. I do like the music video. Rose and Jisoo shine.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Blackpink never has perfectly fit within my music taste, but the material they’ve released has always been well-made and they did a good job establishing their sound from what little work they have. This is exactly what I worried Ddu-Du Ddu-Du would sound like, even if the girls themselves execute it well. Their sound isn’t missing, but it’s very subdued and hidden under trends that I wish the song hadn’t tried so hard to fit in. Although I’m not sure how any of them would do as title tracks and I’ve only heard each once, I definitely think any one of their other album tracks would have seemed much stronger and Blackpink-esque to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rather, they do seem much stronger and more like Blackpink, even if they don’t all have the more bombastic title track feel to them. Again, I’ve only listened to each once, but it was more than enough for me to prefer them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Top Three K-Pop Songs of June 2018 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  5. Pingback: The Ultimate Guide to KCON (+ 2018 Recap) | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  6. Pingback: Song Review: Jennie (BLACKPINK) – Solo | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  7. Pingback: K-Pop New Year’s Resolutions: 10 Things I Want To See Happen In 2019 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  8. Pingback: Song Review: Chungha – Gotta Go | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  9. Pingback: Song Review: R.Tee x Anda – What You Waiting For | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  10. Pingback: Song Review: BLACKPINK – Kill This Love | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  11. Pingback: Buried Treasure: BLACKPINK – Don’t Know What To Do | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  12. Pingback: Song Review: BLACKPINK – How You Like That | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  13. Pingback: The Top Ten Best Songs by BLACKPINK | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.