Review

Song Review: BLACKPINK – Kill This Love

From late-2016 to 2017, BLACKPINK seemed destined to fill the huge hole left behind by fellow YG Entertainment artists 2NE1. Both Playing With Fire and As If It’s Your Last were excellent pop songs, hampered only by a lack of b-side material to go along with them. Last year’s mega-hit Ddu-Du Ddu-Du took the girls in a harder hip-hop direction. That song ended up growing on me, but not to the extent of BLACKPINK’s previous material. Unfortunately, new single Kill This Love slavishly follows the same template. The results are underwhelming, to say the least.

Too much of Kill This Love feels half-formed. You can almost hear the producers’ initial excitement. “Wouldn’t it be cool to do a track with big, militaristic drums and thundering coliseum-ready brass?” But, a concept is not a song, and all the track really offers is that initial idea. As imposing as the instrumental is, Love lacks when it comes to melody. It’s also not very artfully constructed. Producer Teddy has become known for a certain drop-heavy song structure, but his compositions are at their best when anchored by a shot of anthemic melody. Kill This Love features no such chorus, focusing instead on a chanted exclamation of its title followed by an eye-rolling ad-lib meant to sound swaggy but coming across as silly.

For me, BLACKPINK’s vocal tones are one of their biggest assets. They’re powerful in a different way than their peers, full of texture and charisma. Thankfully, they’re on full display during Love’s verses. But, the melody here feels disconnected from everything around it. It’s like a constant pre-chorus that never goes anywhere. Much better is the galvanizing climax, which fills the song’s final thirty seconds with needed sonic density. There’s a strong song buried in there somewhere, but a few moments of pay-off at the tail end of a track isn’t enough to salvage everything that came before it.

BLACKPINK are one of the most hyped artists in K-pop at the moment, yet they rarely release material. I don’t see how tracks like Kill This Love are going to keep that momentum going in the long run.

 Hooks 6
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7

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19 thoughts on “Song Review: BLACKPINK – Kill This Love

  1. take it apart and you have some really fun and interesting sections – especially the ‘outro’ sounds so promising and anthemic to the point where its basically begging to lead into anything but the abrupt silence like it does.

    i think the chorus fell flat rhythmically. the halftime is just so boring after a (very long) halftime pre chorus that already felt stagnant until some claps near the end – which is why when the rhythm finally gets going in the outro, its such torture to have this energy be a cliffhanger

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  2. i completely agree with what you said here. also what u said about their vocals.. i agree 100%. which is why it saddens me( since i have been waiting to see their vocals shine cuz i know they r capable of it having seen their live) they’re gonna go down soon if YG keeps sticking them to Teddy and not experiment.

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  3. To be honest, I really agree, and I think it is a shame that their recent music has been… sub par? It’s also a shame that due to their following being so supportive regardless of music quality (as many fandoms are) there is a good chance YG might continue with this. I was hoping to see them bring back a PLAYING WITH FIRE type vibe back as they haven’t experimented with that in a while, but like DDU-DDU I felt that this song was bitty and lacked a very necessary cohesiveness… I felt uncomfortable listening to it and didn’t get past the first beat drop thingy.

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    • Definitely agree with you. Playing With Fire had this strong, sophisticated sound that could’ve been an excellent style for Blackpink to peddle. Now, I can’t really blame my indifference towards the group on them just not being my style, because I feel like their music really has suffered.

      What’s interesting to me, though, is that the general fan consensus that I’ve seen on Reddit is that the song is subpar. People are still streaming the life out of it (of course), but I haven’t seen one comment that claims to love the song as a whole. YG might take note. Maybe a potential turning point, maybe just wishful thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I hope that this is a turning point…. *crosses fingers*. But at the end of the day, is YG going to look more at peoples comments on Reddit, or the streams on YT which bring him money?? Who knows…

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  4. It’s like people picked their best ideas, put them hat, shook it up, and then constructed a song by randomly pulling them out and stringing them together. There are great parts to the song, but it completely lacks cohesiveness, texture, and instrumental depth. The girls’ varying vocal textures and styles are the only thing that carries it, which just makes it even more glaringly obvious how underutilized that aspect of the group is.

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  5. With blackpink sadly I don’t have big expectations after DDDD. Kill this love is enjoyable and will definitely be a hit but it still doesnt compare to me with Playing with Fire and As If It Was Your Last. However, I did enjoy rose and jisoo’s parts, I think it had a lot of potential had the song been arranged better

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  6. Your review has always been spot on. Upon first listening, this song has a lot of potential but it really does sound like a half-formed production. In the end, it’s just weird and unsatisfactory. (It also somehow kinda sounds dated to me ? Like a throwaway 2NE1’s 2012 song ???) Oh well.

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      • That’s a pretty ignorant statement. An artist is meant to express themselves… what better way to do so than to write and produce your own music? You’re right that blind fans won’t care but right now BP feels like a manufactured group. They need to sing and perform songs they have a personal connection to or else this ship is going to sink as quickly as it rose…

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  7. Pingback: BLACKPINK (블랙핑크) – Kill This Love: MV Review – TweetNewscaster

  8. In a shocking turn of events, I like this? Reading your and Asianjunkie’s review, I was ready for it to be Literally Everything That I Hate, but I actually think Kill This Love works somehow. The English lyrics are frankly pretty cringe and somewhat disruptive, but once I got past that I found the whole affair strong overall. I could always appreciate fewer half-time fills (why purposely kill your momentum like that?), but the sounds themselves are great throughout, and the production is top-notch.

    On a slightly different note, I’d be curious to hear your take on “Don’t Know What To Do,” which was the rare b-side that stood out for me. I expected nothing from this comeback, but – I was pleasantly surprised?

    Liked by 1 person

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

  10. Pingback: Song Review: Hashtag – Freesm | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

  11. Couldn’t really agree more. What did you think of the b-side Don’t Know What To Do? I thought that one was a lot better and showed off their vocal tones lovely. DDU-DDU and this song both seem very patchy and disjointed.

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  12. Pingback: Song Review: Ailee – Room Shaker | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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