Review

Song Review: BLACKPINK – Lovesick Girls

Over the past few years, BLACKPINK singles have devolved into a clear formula. Now, formulas aren’t inherently bad, but when you’re only releasing a handful of tracks and they all start to sound the same, it doesn’t make for a very interesting discography. However, after four years of inconsistent promotions, the girls finally have a full album under their belt. Never mind that — at only eight tracks — the use of the word “full” is debatable. Beggars can’t be choosers, after all.

To its credit, new single Lovesick Girls sounds more like a coherent song than either of BLACKPINK’s 2020 pre-releases. Both How You Like That and Ice Cream had their moments, but often came across as little more than catchphrase ideas strung together. Lovesick Girls channels a more classic YG Entertainment sound – big and chugging and cathartic. It’s dance pop with a guitar-driven heart, trading between emotive verses and a fizzier chorus. Both segments work well together, which is a minor miracle when dealing with a BLACKPINK title track.

Refreshingly, the song unveils a full-throated chorus, composed of two catchy refrains. First, we’ve got the chanted, titular hook. Its melody is instantly memorable, though I wish the producers had given it a beefier arrangement. Even chorused, the girls’ vocals sound as if they’re about to evaporate. This blunts the overall effect of an otherwise exciting moment. It feels smaller than it should. Thankfully, this is followed by a more dramatic refrain that offers a stronger vocal performance. Taken together, I think the two pieces make for an effective centerpiece.

Even better is Lovesick Girls’ second verse. This particular segment has been a stumbling block for K-pop of late, but BLACKPINK get it right. This verse is largely driven by rap, and the instrumental wisely adds layers rather than pulling back. The guitar here is a real treat, giving the verse a welcome urgency that works especially well coming directly after the chorus. I think the production could have gotten grittier here, but Lovesick Girls has its eyes firmly fixed upon the mainstream. Its polish is expected, and any sense of monotony is countered by the character in BLACKPINK’s performance. I don’t think Lovesick Girls is quite up there with the group’s very best, and it’s certainly not a patch on YG classics like Crooked or I Love You. But, it’s pretty satisfying to hear a BLACKPINK comeback that doesn’t include a feeble drop chorus or a predictable chanted outro.

 Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5

~

63 thoughts on “Song Review: BLACKPINK – Lovesick Girls

  1. In essence, this is a very YG song. It’s reminiscent to 2NE1’s Go Away but with a chant-like chorus that I could see myself replay on head over and over again.
    For me, this is their most cohesive song since DDD. Definitely a 9/10 for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yea nah… I definitely agree with the need for a beefier arrangement. Some parts of it feel awfully uninspired in terms of the instrument textures the producers chose. The chanting part at the end I could see from a mile away. At this point it’s become a staple of YG’s output. It’s certainly no As If It’s Your Last. A 7.25 for me

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah honestly… HONESTLY this type of music BP has been releasing is kinda off already, oñce or twice would be fine but it feels like in terms of musicality they have been playing in their own comfort zone to where they are known for, ofcourse if its about money and sales i would do the same thing over and over and over again. I just wish that they could spread out to different genre since they have been stagnant to this sound.
      Its funny that even reactors are not able to spat out their HONEST thoughts about the same sound coming from the girls.
      Its actually just the same old sound from them nothing new. nothing extravagant.Just BP 😂😂😂😂😂

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  3. If I’d caught this an hour ago, my review would’ve consisted of OH MY GOD and nothing else. I watched a teaser on a whim yesterday and my mind was immediately flooded with cautious optimism for an actual chorus. I’ve never been happier to hold onto a hope! This song sounds like the summer of 2014 which, coincidentally, is where a lot of my musical nostalgia falls. In that sense, the song was kind of made for me. I’ve never wanted to dislike Blackpink, so I’m really glad that their run of (to me) solid singles stretches past 2017.

    Extra kudos to the lack of a trap breakdown after the first chorus (and across the rest of the song)! I love what they did with the instrumental there.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. “Beggars can’t be choosers”
    I should write this down.

    But the best thing about this is that there is no stupid badabinnbing dumdumrumrum words and a real vocal chorus instead of just “look at this and look at that”. But it still can’t beat AIIYL and kick it for me. No BP song can.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I would have given it a 9/10 because mood-wise it feels like the antithesis to AIIYL and I loved how nostalgic it made me feel. Pity there aren’t any buried treasures in this album, though if I were to have to choose one I’d be hard-pressed to make it ‘Bet You Wanna’ because I like the harmonies of the chorus.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. This song is awesome!! Certainly better than their latest releases. And the pre-chorus is my fav part.. their vocals and that guitar was sooo good… And I’m glad there was a good balance of melodic singing and rap parts. An 8.75 for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Is it just me or the second verse rap between Jennie and Lisa is very reminiscent of a 2000s rap breakdown – from the flow to the rhythm? Like even the background music in that verse also reminded me of something else. Actually, there’s some early 2000s influences across the album – I am too uncultured to point actually what it is, except it’s intense nostalgia trip.

    This would not be surprising though, because along with 80’s synth stuff, early 2000s music seems to come back as inspiration (I couldn’t be happier!).

    Liked by 3 people

  8. How come you talk down on Teddy when the song doesn’t suit your taste but keep quiet and say producers when the song fits your taste? You mentioned his name in Ice cream ( he barely had a part in), HYLT and KTL and criticised him. But now that lovesick girls is good , you don’t mention his name or don’t even praise him.

    Liked by 1 person

      • In those songs, Teddy most likely worked with G-Dragon, who is also a signature producer in YG, and probably balanced out some of Teddy’s “heavy drop” ideas. I think Nick this says before, Teddy was for like two years all alone, in part because of G-Dragon’s enlistment and another because B.I. from IKON, another household producer, left. Therefore, there wasn’t really a mix of ideas that made the songs YG was known for during their best era.

        Liked by 4 people

      • It’s not intentional at all, honestly. I’ve given Teddy props in a lot of different reviews and his own producer spotlight. Sometimes, there are just other things that pop into my mind first when reviewing a song.

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  9. This song was awesome , I had easily talked down on Teddy too much , but this song was absolutely in my taste! If songs like this get released throughout October I would be full!

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      • There it is, the Golcha comment of the day haha! I have been replaying this for the past few hours since it came out on youtube. Styling reminds me of Astro’ s Crazy, Sexy, Cool – which is always a good thing. I can’ t get enough of this kind of song and concept and I adore Golden Child especially since they pull it off so well.

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        • NGL I always live for any Golcha/Infinite/any Woollim group mentions haha. I thought One (Lucid Dream) was great, but I’m super excited to hear them go back to bright. The sound does seem a bit more mature than their early tracks, but that’s not a bad thing at all. It sounds quite retro, and these days I’ve become an absolute fool for this sound haha.

          Also, random shout out to Nick’s love for Golden Child and Infinite. Initially came to this blog for the Infinite reviews, but I was convinced to check out some Golden Child songs. Liked Damdadi so much I decided to check out RTK and now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, LMAO.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Damdadi is still one of their best (then again I could say that about many of their title tracks). Goldenness unite!!

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      • When you mentioned the length of the album in the review I got curious. So I pulled up some other girl group mini albums to compare.

        Blackpink, The Album – 8 songs, 24:26 minutes (half of the songs are shorter than 3 minutes rip)
        Red Velvet, The ReVe Festival: Day 2 – 6 songs, 22:22 minutes
        Twice, More & More – 7 songs, 22:15 minutes
        GFriend, Song of the Sirens – 6 songs, 21:29 minutes

        So sadly, Blackpink’s first “full album” has narrowly out-lengthed MINI ALBUMS. If this is what qualifies as a full body of work for YG I truly fear the future of their discography.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Wow, that’s pretty amazing! I had a feeling the short running time of these eight songs would result in a “full” album that’s actually more brief than many minis. Crazy, but not surprising.

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  10. This song takes me back to the 2010s. It reminds me of Kesha, Avicii, and even some of those early One Direction songs. I love this kind of sound. I even like the lyrics, I think it’s very fitting for today’ s culture somehow and will be relatable to many.

    However, I don’ t think the execution is entirely there. The chorus melody is nice but I am sorely missing that more ‘ beefy arrangement’ to really make it that big, can’ t-help-but-sing-along experience.

    You weren’ t kidding about that second verse! It’ s my favourite part of the song. I haven’ t usually been a fan of BlackPinks raps, but this is just great.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I like this song for the fact that it doesn’t TRY too hard to be anything. How You Like That tried way too hard to be a big moment and kinda failed, same with KTL. This song just comes, does what it needs to do perfectly, including all of Blinks wishes for an actual chorus, and ends with people being satisfied.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Btw it’s a 9 for me, and with the vocal chorus it’s very likely to rise. Don’t think this beats AIIYL or PWF but it does have a good spot when ranking their songs.

      Speaking about ranking songs, Blackpink finally has 10 title tracks/MVs, I guess you’re going to make one for them any time soon?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. other than Lisa’s rapping (which was the best part in my opinion) the rest sounded like a reimagining of Cyndi Laupers “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” especially the chorus. Overall i’d say it’s fine it just sounds a bit empty to me and i’m not really sure why.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like this song a lot, it brings some older yg ent vibes or more precisely better Teddy vibes lol. The album is probably my least favorite by them tho, they always have great non-title tracks but this time I don’t think I like anything. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sure, maybe its because this song is reminiscent of the YG early 2010s sound (which is one of my favorite kpop niches) or the fact that it’s the best Blackpink title track in a while (exiting the heavy EDM drop works wonders for them), but I love this song. It’s definitely not their best, but it’s a good pop song, with a nice coherent chorus, and Blackpink at their best sound.

    Also wanted to point out Jennie and Jisoo (if I’m not mistaken) worked on the lyrics and the production of Lovesick Girls. It’s nice to know YG is finally letting them be involved in their music and, if this is what they can bring to the table, I hope this continues.

    It’s an 8.5 for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’ve never been a huge fan of BP’s music, and after this year’s releases I tried to not get my hopes up, but I’m so glad I was wrong! Definitely one of their best songs, liked it from the very first listen, the chorus definitely the highlight for me.

    Also, I agree with some other comments here: it has a huge nostalgia feeling to it. I can’t help but remember of Rihanna’s We Found Love and David Guetta’s early 2010s work in the best way possible.

    Definitely my favorite BlackPink’s title track, I really hope they keep letting the girls’ get involved in the music, I’ve got a feeling they were part of the reason we didn’t get a song a la Teddy this time around

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m glad I read your review. I felt the same way about the arrangement and mixing. The first “lovesick girls” chant feels so hollow and shouty. I was disappointed the producers couldn’t blend them better or flesh out the sound more. Does it kill people to harmonize? They’re going for an anthem-type song but it doesn’t feel fully anthemic. They bring it together on the “born” part but if they had done it on the first refrain it could’ve been so good.

    Anyway, glad someone else felt this way. Nowadays, you can’t comment anything negative about BP or they flame you all the way.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually thinking more about it, this is also a YG problem. Minus AKMU, YG groups don’t know how to sing with each other. Every person gets their own line, and if they sing together it’s always shouty (Love Scenario, We Like to Party). BP’s vocals get a little exposed here too, because where they’re supposed to soar and seem weightless (like the song wants you to feel), they sound strained and are pushing.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I completely agree with you. The more I listen to the song, the more I am enjoying the verses and pre-chorus. The chorus just doesn’t feel thought out. I would be ok with a shout of “we are the lovesick girls” followed by one of the members singing the next line. Having the entire thing as a chant brings the song down so much.

        Like

      • I would generalize your “singing with each other” thoughts to “most of kpop”, with a couple exceptions.

        Choruses are not uncommon to be in unison in kpop, or rather, pooling lots of separate recordings on top of each other to sound in unison. Its not like the old fashioned gather everyone around the same mic in the same booth at the same time unison singing. Usually no one in the group sings live along to those kind of choruses, ever. Unison choruses also usually put the visual or lead dancer in front, because hey its the chorus that no one is singing.

        But “singing with each other” is not common much at all in kpop. The evidence shows up both in the song structure itself with “line distributions”, and also in the choreo which is always structured so that the one with the current line is in the front, not side by side because no one is ever singing side by side. The usual exception to this is the midtempos and ballads with everyone on chairs in a line, which every group attempts once or twice with widely varying success.

        Sung harmonies are even more uncommon, almost rare, even on recordings. Heck, singing live without backing vocal is rare, which makes singing sung harmonies even rarer. Regulars here know how much I lament this early and often.

        For the exceptions – those with actual sung harmonies sung live more than fleetingly – The SM groups tend to be pretty good at it. Not many at YG except Akmu, Big Bang possibly on occasion (Daesung + Taeyang). JYP is mixed: Day6 yes, Twice hah. Other regular yes’s that come to mind right now = Infinite, Spica, NFlying, Voisper, Vromance, Mamamoo back when, Block B’s Taeil at times. (Seventeen? Oh My Girl??)

        For a good live sung harmony fix, may I suggest Forestella, for example this one
        ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJc7wXa9JG8
        When it gets really dark starting at 2:13 and on, it just kills me.

        Liked by 1 person

    • ‘not fully anthemic’ is the exact description I was looking for. It’ s that empty arrangement in the chorus, you know the song wants to make you feel a certain way but it just doesn’ t quit do it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You changed your icon.

        I think its the mix for the first half of the chorus. The vocal lines sound behind in space with the popping synth sound in front. For sound in three dimensions, there is left ear-right ear, and then the vertical which is the volume. And then there is the front to back – the front of the room right in front of you versus the back of the room. The vocal sound like it is loudly in the far back wall of the room. The popping synth sound sounds like its in your hand.

        And the unison timbre is very interesting, crafted to sound like its 20 or 40 voices screaming in an echoey gymnasium from layering the same exact recording(s) with a slight delays here and there and minutes twiddles on the pitch lever. There are few “voices” buried in there an octave down starting “We Are…” at C#4 but not many – most start at C#5.

        Taken together, it sounds like it is supposed to sound like a gymnasium full of loud girls recorded from the classroom down the hall.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Golden Child has me so excited that I changed not only my icon, but my display name! Glad to be recognised still, haha^

          Thank you, that explains why their singing sounded so far away to me. The producing/mixing choices here are just a bit odd.

          Also, this is why I like SM groups, there are usually some actually good vocalists and they can often harmonise – which I just think is really cool. YG seems to focus more on a ‘swag’ image than vocal technique and I feel like JYP have a lot of good performers but not necessarily standout singers. Of course that’s veery broadly generalised, but that’s the idea I get from their most popular groups.

          Oops, I realise this is a Blackpink review but we’re off topic again.

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          • YG – Treasure has a few good voices in there, but it is a bit too early for me to say how good.

            JYP – Day6 has good singers. I have a serious crush on Young K. He’s the bassist. Its always the bassist, isn’t it, unless its the drummer. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLYIvO4EZJ4
            My thoughts on Stray Kids wax and wane.

            SuJu KRY of course is my ultimate bias subgroup.

            and iirc Golcha has a couple good voices in there too. I haven’t heard them live yet, or much, except when two of them were on Masked Singer.

            Liked by 1 person

            • [ im sorry i realise this discussion is off topic but ]

              Of course, Day6! I knew I’d surely forget some good group. I don’t know them very well, but from that video alone I now also have a crush on him.

              I also thought about Stray Kids but I can’t really remember being struck by particularly good singing from them, maybe it’s overshadowed by the great raps.

              Woollim definitely has some good singers (I adore both Sungkyu and Woohyun’s singing, and Kei from Lovelyz). In Golcha it’s most obviously Y and Joochan and then Jibeom. All unique voices and pretty good singers but I think they still lack a little bit of experience and development?

              My favourite singers in kpop are members of EXO and SHINee, they can sing with such ease and emotion that it’s a joy to listen to.

              Like

        • Yesss, this is exactly it. The vocals are behind and the popping is front and center. And unfortunately, that mix comes off as a high school class sing-shouting (unless that’s what they’re going for, in which case, boo to them).

          Sadly, we can all kind of see what the song is supposed to be, but it doesn’t quite get there. The closest YG comparison songs I can think of 2NE1’s Ugly and Go Away, and those have a nice swelling buildup until it crashes into a great soaring refrain and the voices are always in the front. The sounds might’ve be generic pop anthems, but it gives you the feels it was trying to.

          And sorry, responding to your other comment, I too lament the lack of “chorus singing” in Kpop. It’s probably why I gravitate towards SM groups. Even though they’re not all KRY/Luna/Onew/DO/Taeyeon/Wendy/etc, they’ve all been taught to use what they’ve got and to complement the group.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I think a little bit of it is the vocal editing after recording. I love Twice but I’ll admit they do not have the strongest vocals alone or together. But in Dance the Night Away and More & More for example, at least the studio versions were able to put together coherent shouting.

            Thought, for Blackpink this may have been a deliberate-ish choice. A lot of their branding is focused on them as individuals, so for fans to be able to “hear” their fav in the chorus could have its own appeal.

            Like

  17. Very cute!
    Am I ever going to get Playing With Fire Blackpink back? Probably not! This is a compromise I’ll gladly take after the past few releases though!
    The album was a nice listen. Funnily enough Crazy Over You seems like a HYLT rehash though. eh…I’ll take it.
    8/10

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  18. This is a push in the right direction. Early on I briefly got some 2NE1 vibes, too.
    All in all it’s not to my taste, but I’m happy for the long-suffering Blinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I like this quite a bit. It’s kind of average, admittedly, mostly because I was hoping for a beefier production (both in the vocals and instrumentals). But I love the vocal melodies and the girls really do sell this song.

    Sadly, as has been pointed out, this is by far the best song on the record, which is all too brief. I guess Pretty Savage is my next favorite, if only because it reminds me of BTS’s Dope on a budget (detuned synth drop chorus that actually works because it has some bounce and verve to it).

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  20. I would say this is def better than HLYT (One of my least fav songs this year). Ice cream wasn’t that great either and It’s sad bcs BP is the second most popular kpop group so fans deserve quality songs but I’m happy that Lovesick Girls is a very good song not their best (Boombayah and Playing with Fire is my fav from them) but far from the worst. And they are actually getting much more content this year so that’s good.

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  21. Never thought I’d see the day a mainstream K-Pop song sound like “Punching In A Dream” by The Naked and Famous. A pleasant surprise.

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    • It’s probably my second favorite song on the album (which isn’t saying much because apart from Lovesick Girls it’s a total skip), and has a pretty strong melody. But in the end it just feels like an American pop song, which is not what I go to K-pop for.

      Like

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