Review

Song Review: BLACKPINK – How You Like That

We’ve reached the point in BLACKPINK’s career where we’re literally applauding them for releasing anything. It’s certainly not fans’ fault. They’ve been starved for new content for years now, making just the idea of a BLACKPINK song more exciting than an actual BLACKPINK song. This scarce promotion might serve to build hype and the allure of elusiveness, but only if you release amazing music. How You Like That is anything but amazing. It continues along the Teddy-produced template of past hits Ddu-Du Ddu-Du and Kill This Love, yet somehow manages to be even more obnoxious.

There’s no excuse for this. YG Entertainment is working with arguably the biggest girl group on the planet right now. Even after being blunted by a series of 2019 scandals, the agency has incredible resources behind them. The group has been absent for over a year. Yet, How You Like That would be laughed off the stage if performed by any act without BLACKPINK’s name recognition and rabid fan base.

The song opens with a bit of promise, as a bubbling electro beat underlines a melodic segment that sees Teddy recycling past 2NE1 glories. From here, How You Like That stumbles and never regains its footing. Its chorus is one of the worst 2020 has offered, amounting to little more than a taunting, sing-song series of irritating English-language brags, performed in a bratty, clown-like manner that’s beneath a group of BLACKPINK’s caliber. “Look at you, now look at me,” repeated ad nauseum is not a chorus. It’s not badass, either. It feels like the ravings of an insecure boaster, and forgive me if that kind of empty braggadocio reads as particular tiresome in our current climate.

My feelings would be different if How You Like That, as an actual song, lived up to BLACKPINK’s confidence. It’s unconvincing to hear them rattle on about how great they are for two and a half minutes, only to build to a tired, double-time beat drop just like every YG hype song in history. When it comes down to it, BLACKPINK simply have not been given enough material to persuade me that they’re as amazing as the world seemingly wants them to be. Back in 2017, on the heels of hits like Playing With Fire and As If It’s Your Last, I would have believed the sentiment fueling How You Like That. But in 2020, after a string of lukewarm, infrequent comebacks, their bluster feels increasingly hollow.

 Hooks 5
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.25

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

94 thoughts on “Song Review: BLACKPINK – How You Like That

  1. Andy Warhol was wrong. In the future we will all be famous but only for 15 seconds. This belongs squarely to the 15 second increment movement in social media. The video is built in 15 second increments of costume and set changes. It’s all about the posing and posturing in expensive costumes with extensive makeup. The song itself is built in 15 second increments with about 3 repurposed ideas taking turns, plus a rap.

    The song is also the latest example in the BP oeuvre of how much Teddy needs GDragon in his life to make better songs. The first verse borrows the same melody from I don’t know what to do about you. The first half of the outro starting about 2:20 (right after “It’s a plane”) is the Boombayah beat. The only novel idea is that descending Middle Eastern twirl hook that vamps endlessly at the chorus and again as a variation under Lisa’s rap.

    “How you like that” is better than “Kill this love”. At least at only 3:08 running time, it doesn’t wear out its welcome. I listened to it a few times already and I don’t completely hate it. I just don’t like it. Its one of these songs that is popular in the aether whether you like it or not. There, that is how I like that.

    “3:08”. More like 2:00 with a 0:15 intro “Black Pink in your area” and 0:45 double outro that doesn’t go all out or higher or better but repeats what we already heard. There is no “one more time this time with feeling” moment here.

    (One other note: the music behind 15 second Lisa spoiler sounds like the Super Junior “Bonamana” beat. For the past few days the SuJu fandom pages were full of fun mashups of the two songs from the old video and the Lisa spoiler, featuring Siwon wagging his finger how you like that. Fortunately for the Actual song, it is really only the final outro that has that Bonamana beat for the final 15 seconds, so the ELF have already moved on to whatever Heechul is doing today.)

    (Also, I don’t know how a song at the time of my listen this a few hours ago with 500k views gets 1.2m likes. It seems the Blinks and Army are spamming each others’ comment sections crashing their respective videos.)

    Liked by 3 people

      • It was denitifenly paid trolls from neither both fandoms. The spamming on both MVs were from instantly new created account with not the usual name that use the fandom. I believe it was more an attack from a group who don’t like kpop in general.

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    • THANK YOU! I expected so much, especially from such a late comeback. They hardly have a discography and are coming back with a song after a year. So much marketing! I finally listened and was like…is this it? It sounds like the taunts of a fourth grader. The outfits and visuals are amazing. But the music and lyrics are underwhelming AT BEST

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    • You may need to consider to team up with other Blinks to send up another truck in front of YG, mentioning Teddy, can you just leave BP alone! instead of requesting another comeback .. lol

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  2. I remember telling myself earlier this year. “Man , Girl Groups are delivering better material than boy groups.” I shouldn’t have said that. I SHOULD NOT HAVE SAID THAT!
    This is just obnoxious to listen to! I honestly don’t even know why people like it? This sounds so westernized……. I can’t!
    I’ll go ahead and give it 4.25 and It’s more likely a faller!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. i would not have minded this if they released music as frequent as TWICE or Red Velvet does. But with the year-long waits i need a PERFECT single and the fact that these sound so…unfinished makes me worried about the full TEDDY-produced album

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Thinking about it, d4 is such a blessing and a curse at the same time, considering how they skyrocketed after that, YG probably just thinks they can do the bare minimum and just use D4 as a mould and do little tweaks to it because the amounts of fans gained after that will probably eat up anything, especially after looooong breaks.

    I think Teddy purposely did a bad chorus, it’s not that hard to make a good vocal chorus following that angelic first verse, I guess weird instrumentals paired with a simple dance is more “catchy” so….

    If I’m not wrong, sometime in the first months of the year, YG was doing an audition for new producers, any producers around here interested in saving Blackpink’s discography PLEASE go for it.

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  5. I’m a gg lover through and through but I think a 6.5 is a bit too generous of you. That drop…… horrendous. The only saving grace of this song is Rose’s first verse honestly. I don’t know what Teddy was smoking when he made this but I want some of that

    Liked by 9 people

  6. I just discovered Playing With Fire two days ago, and listening to these two songs back to back just kills me. It really feels like they gave us whatever they could muster up in five minutes and I’m not amused. I mean, I knew it was gonna be bad but how am I still disappointed! Also I get that songs like DDDD, KTL, and HYLT have simple choruses, but I think they need to understand that the only reason the chorus of PWF worked is because of the nostalgiac emotion it envokes. Their recent choruses follow similar structures but instead seem hollow and lifeless,

    Liked by 5 people

  7. My ultimate group is Blackpink and I completely agree with you. I was SO dissapointed by this song. It actually starts out good imo but the chorus ruins the entire momentum. I letrally can’t listen past the first chorus. Literally any other chorus could have at least made the song passable.I wish this was the chorus https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vAMT56686E . This is just a prerelease though hopefully the next one and the actual title track are much better.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Goodness they really asked me “How you like that” while giving me this kind of song.

    I was like do you really want to know, because I may sound rude.

    This song, how to explain. Even after 3 minutes of such loud…. everything, I remembered nothing of it.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. Whoa nick, i can’t believe you rated this lower than boomerang by wanna one.
    But i agree this is BP’s worst comeback

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  10. Good thing this is a pre-release!! I was really excited when the verses started but it all got sucked away with the chorus. I recently realized Blackpink is actually one of those groups I love whose music I never put on. They’re really a jackpot of talent and charisma so they can pull off whatever they’re given. It has just not hit with me since they dropped Playing With Fire. It’s a 5/10 for me…that’s probably being generous. Maybe it’ll grow a little on me like DDDD.

    I can’t believe Teddy went from making my favorite songs to my least favorite. Maybe it’s unfair of me to dump the blame on him but I genuinely don’t know what’s going on there. At least it wasn’t the copy paste formula for DDDD –> KTL?

    Liked by 5 people

  11. This? This is what we get after 14 months of waiting?
    The entire song was ruined by that atrocious chorus. What was Teddy thinking?
    The girls need new producers if songs of this quality are what we are getting.
    A 6.5 is way too nice. At the least it should be a 5. This is quite frankly awful.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. The song represents everything awful about kpop this year. From the amazing potential of the opening verses to the speaking chorus with an awful beat drop and instrumental, which was topped off with a mediocre dance break. Teddy is giving them nothing to work with and he knows blinks will eat it up because we’ve been waiting more than a year for this comeback. I am truly scared for their title track and the rest of the album because if they chose this track to set the mood for the rest of the tracks later on, then god help us all.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. Does teddy not know how to write choruses? And when he does a beatdrop, he does a lazy cheap sounding one? His work with 2ne1 was absolute gold. But this? Is this the work of the same person who made classics like I am The Best and I Love You?
    I’m so underwhelmed and dissapointed.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Oh dear. This is worse than I could have imagined. The song itself is average at best, but the lyrics seem written by a primary school brat trying to look cool. “Look at you, now look at me”… really? I never heard a kpop group being insulting to its fans so I guess they did manage to be original with something.

    Liked by 7 people

  15. Blackpink never stood a chance, being that they’re four of the most marketable ladies in Kpop (as evidenced by their ludicrous success), and belong to the label most willing to cash in while doing the absolute least. As four women, I wish them nothing but personal success and artistic fulfilment; as a brand, Blackpink is creatively bankrupt.

    The fact that their success has endured through multiple deployments of the same stale trends is disheartening, and I think a lot of the samey, trend-hopping, low-effort releases this year are the result of agencies picking up on that.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Blackpink/YG really needs to break up with Teddy. I’m pretty sure I made that chorus sometime during middle school when I snapped a rubber band in between my fingers.

    I’m not even mad at some of the verses, but the whole chorus letdown and discordant structure are keeping me from enjoying the song. The girls are cute and talented! Give them something substantial to work with!

    Liked by 6 people

  17. Tbh thinking about it, I can see why YG gives them a comeback once a year. The song shot up to number#1 instantly and is breaking so many records despite sounding like… that. Low effort, high reward. I hate YG

    Like

  18. Oooh boy. BP and their fans deserve so much better than this.
    The delivery of “how you like that” and “look at you now look at me” is supposed to project confidence (I think) but it just feels like I’m just being mocked. NCT 127’s Simon Says got a similar, visceral negative reaction from me because of its mocking tone. However, I can respect Simon Says. It’s a much better, more risk-taking song than this.

    Liked by 6 people

  19. I wished so much that this song would be great (especially after “Kill This Love” was already a letdown in my opinion). But now that I’ve listened to it for the first time I’m really disappointed. The first verse sounded awesome and I was really hyped but then came that chorus. “As If It’s Your Last” is a perfect example how great the combination BP + Teddy can be but it’s really sad that “How You Like That” continues this 2020 no singing chorus trend 😦

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  20. Oof, tough review though I appreciate your honesty! Tbh the first time or two I listened to it I had a very similar reaction. Then for some reason the song started to grow on me – though the formula is very tried at this point, I still feel like the girls deliver with such confidence and talent that it’s hard not to believe. I really wonder how people would react to the song if DDDD and KTL hadn’t been released, because I feel like on its own it is catchy, though on the heels of such similar previous songs it feels more worn. As others have written I’m hoping for a singing chorus next time!

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  21. This is coming from a Blink. I was trying to understand how I feel about this comeback, whether I liked it or not. After some contemplation, I realized that I neither liked it or disliked it. It just kind of… exists.

    I stayed up till 4 in the morning because I thought it would be some grand return for the girls after they had been away for much too long, but what we got was a song that sounds unfinished, uninspired, and wholly meant for a soloist and not a group.

    I watched the ‘global press conference’ where the members gave hints about the song. They said that the verses would be somewhat sad and slow, while the chorus would change the vibe completely and shift the sound. I thought we were in for a 4minute moment, which actually sounded kind of promising and worrying at the same time. In a way, the song does resemble “Hate” … if it was made in 2020 by producers that seem to be running out of ideas and constantly recycling sounds for their only female artists who have managed to be the biggest girl group in the world with like 13 songs.

    However, I don’t hate it. The beat drop is fine, and I actually kind of like that it’s pretty minimalist and doesn’t try to overdo anything. I don’t mind the “Look at me, now look at you,” that much honestly, but I guess I’m used to listening to somewhat silly posturing in a rap song. The second verse needed to be much longer, and I wish they would’ve opted out of the dance break for something different than their last two songs, but hey, they’ve got to be able to dance to some part of the song. I also think another rap section would’ve helped out a lot, if just to make the song a little longer. Overall for me, it’s a weak 7/10 (coming from someone who thought KTL was one of the best releases of last year, mind you, but that’s a different discussion for a different time).

    What I find diabolical, though, is the video. Why on earth does this scant, recycled Teddy detritus of a song have such a grand music video? It just kind of rubs it in, makes you feel like your watching some kind of high-budget parody. No amount of gorgeous umbrella aesthetics can save it from being a disjointed viewing experience.

    And this should not have been a single, especially not the first one after a year and a half. It definitely should’ve never made it onto the album in its current form, but I guess it would’ve been decent filler material. It does not fit Rose or Jisoo nearly as well as KTL, which is disappointing. I guess one positive thing I can say is that it leaves me wanting more, meaning I want the next release to come as soon as possible so that I can forget I stayed up till 4 am for this …

    Liked by 3 people

  22. I like the beginning as well as the breakdown in the end. Sadly, all the promising moments are anchored by that god awful chorus.

    The music video is amazing, although I don’t really like the choreography.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. I liked the introduction so much but I knew when I heard them say drop and beat change that this was about to be the result. It’s getting old and tired and makes me think the album will be more or less the same. They need to start working with other producers. Teddy’s time is up.

    Like

  24. I cannot believe that BLACKPINK released the same song three times. This is the same way that I feel about Monsta X, although Monsta X’s deeper album cuts tend to be more my style.

    Can anyone let me know if this is the same with BP, are their other tracks at least somewhat more interesting than their singles?

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I asked my friend what she thought of this track before I took a listen. She goes, “this is worse than Kill This Love.” I couldn’t believe it but I listened and it’s true! These singles keep getting worse and worse and it’s like the longer the wait, the more hype there is, the worse the end product ends up being. “How You Like That” in particular comes off as a bastardization of hip-hop that’s already outdated. Nick’s talked about recent kpop songs feeling like they were made for tiktok and for me, this is the tiktokiest one I’ve heard. There’s just nothing to it. It’s sad, and feels like YG’s desperate attempt to appeal to international audiences, in particular young black kids.

    And you really have a point re: BP’s lack of output making this more of a disappointment. If you compare BTS & BP (simply because they both released some pretty subpar content today and I’m an army)… It doesn’t really matter if an act like BTS or say, Twice, releases a single that falls flat, because they’re constantly making new music. YG’s strategy of a doing these single releases once a year is just baffling to me. He utterly fails to market them effectively like this and I can’t imagine how it would feel as a performer to spend so much time, you know… not performing. I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if BP splits as soon as their contracts allow it. 😦

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    • I wish all four of them will just switch to another company and make the music that they really truly enjoy .. not just some trash and weird music… I have to say even the Everglow’s music is better than them… -_-!!!

      Like

  26. So we had a month with releases from the two biggest boygroups and the three biggest girlgroups and none of them gave us a good title track… it describes pretty well 2020.

    Liked by 3 people

  27. I was really into that verse, there was no lisa rap or jennie rap, it was unpredictable and melodic.
    THEN THAT STUPID CHORUS!!!!!!
    i just quit after that.

    I hate trap music.

    Liked by 3 people

  28. The real matter with Blackpink is that Ddu-du Ddu-du and Kill This Love gave them an *unexplainable* success (we can’t say they’re exactly great singers or extraordinary performers, can we?), and YG must have thought the explanation was the production. So they will keep on cloning the same pattern with the same 2 notes and the same 2 moves as long as it will work. And God, it looks like they’re really right.

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  29. Finally, you manage to speak the truth.. I just hope that Blinks will not be just satisfied with this kind of music.. or else I can’t really imagine the songs that they will debut in the future. I just hope that Blackpink will try other concepts too (cutey harsh style, or somewhat summer energy vibe style). I don’t really have any expectations of their upcoming album. I just hope that they don’t ruin the Rose solo album cause she got a really nice voice.
    PS: I am bit worried about Somi’s comeback…

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  30. I thought it was way better than KTL (clearly I’m in the minority). The opening verse was heaven, I liked lisa’s rap, and the vocals were nice. People seem to be forgetting this is a prerelease and yes there was a lot of hype around it so people would have been disappointed regardless. As a prerelease it is great in my opinion. The “chorus” was still fine I think, very swag and it did carry elements from DDDD and KTL but I thought it was good as a track itself. I really want a Jennie rap in their next song, and I hope Teddy gets some better creative influences and actually tries, or they go for a different song style. Could you imagine BP performing Fool, or Love me Love me? I would die.

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  31. That dumdumdumdururum at the end was the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in kpop or in my whole life as a teen. Atleast Apink did it the best.

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  32. tbh i had mixed thoughts on the song… was expecting them to have a chorus would they would sing but then it was a drop… in fairness it’s really a catchyy song but was expecting a better songs

    Like

    • And even then it’s just generous , 2.5 is not enough to describe how bad this song is , I’d rather call Episode’s Open My Door a Masterpiece than listen to this song

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  33. “Look at you, now look at me,” repeated ad nauseum is not a chorus. It’s not badass, either. It feels like the ravings of an insecure boaster, and forgive me if that kind of empty braggadocio reads as particular tiresome in our current climate.

    If only their fans understood this.

    This song is more agonizing than Winner’s Everyday. I have no words to describe it, except to rate it a 3.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. I’ve just listened to the exhibition at Jimmy Fallon in the MR Removed version: https://youtu.be/XXcXpIIlNhw

    Truth is they barely hit a note (as always) and the choreo doesn’t exist.
    I’m glad they have such a huge success (everything can amplify K-Pop awareness abroad to me is positive), really, but I guess I will never ever understand the “reasons why” behind the Blackpink phenomenon.

    Liked by 3 people

  35. I love the 1st verse a lot but the beat drop and borderline non-existent chorus are really not my cup of tea at all and I really would have wished for them to get a stronger song because they are talented and deserve good material to work with

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Got briefly excited by the first verse until the song got killed after it. So the same as always, which I admit is catchy but is anemic.

    Though at this point BP can release whatever and they would still be successful, amazing how the long hiatus instead of killing the group buzz has amplified it.

    I know it’s a pre-release, but shouldn’t this be their strongest song? What is the point of releasing your weakest track first?

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  37. Let’s stop calling BP “K-pop”, please. They happen to be singing (partially) in Korean and on a Korean label, but this is just another generic bombastic western pop song in all other respects. God, this song is just terrible. 1/10.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I wish I could agree with you, but the sad truth is, this is far from an anomaly. It’s pretty much what too much of modern K-pop is: mostly posturing, little actual musicality. And I say this as someone who listens to a LOT of K-pop.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Blackpink’s case is an extreme one tho don’t you think? They’ve been getting away with this shitfuckery for, what, 2 and a half years? And each of their comeback became blockbuster success despite Blackpink, or rather Teddy Bear, NOT even doing the bare minimum.

        Also their fandom. Blinks (and a ~certain other fandom~, to a lesser extent) are ridiculous lmao. If you take a look at this video’s YT section, you’ll only see Blinks encouraging others to stream (1B views this week guys!!!), losing their shit over other fandoms whom they suspect “decrease the views”, losing their shit over constructive criticism directed at the music, giving nothing but praise and “Yass this song is a bop! BOP OF THE CENTURY! A MASTERPIECE!” for this comeback. They (and THAT other fandom) are the sole reason why I’m embarrassed to call myself a kpop fan.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Oh boi how could I forgot certain LOONA fans and their always ultra-irritating, sometimes inappropriate #StanLOONA? My friend posted a farewell post for his deceased friend on Twitter, then a bunch of LOONA fans commented shit like “Oh I’m so sorry for your loss, but maybe if your friend had stanned LOONA he would’ve been alive today” and sent him a bunch of LOONA fancams. Fuck you, certain LOONA fans!

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  38. The fact that idol survival shows might be covering this in the future gives me chills… I liked Playing with Fire and Boombayah in the past but this song was very predictable and brought nothing new except a horrible mashup of the highlights of older songs.

    I would like to see them work with other producers beyond Teddy. It looks like he’s lost his touch. Other girl groups are bringing hits so it is very disappointing to see how the music in this comeback is terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

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