Review

Song Review: Rosé (BLACKPINK) – On The Ground


Back in the fall of 2018, BLACKPINK’s Jennie released her debut solo track, aptly titled… Solo. Unless I’m remembering things incorrectly, this was meant to be the first in a series of releases from the group’s individual members. Over two years later, the project finally resumes with the debut of Rosé’s On The Ground. A fluent English-speaker, Rosé has opted to perform the track entirely in English. I imagine this will be yet more fuel powering BLACKPINK’s explosive international success.

And really, everything about On The Ground feels tailor-made for an international audience. That’s fine, and BLACKPINK have certainly asserted themselves as a global power. But I worry that – in trying to please so many different tastes — the track smooths itself over to the point of losing any sense of identity. On The Ground could have been peddled by so many other artists and sounded roughly the same. It’s one part Selena Gomez, one part Taylor Swift. That’s not a knock on Rosé. She’s clearly talented, and even though I prefer her vocals when they’re stripped of trendy affectations, there’s a clarity to her tone that resonates emotion.

I also like On The Ground’s acoustic-meets-electronic vibe. I wish the song made room for more of a chorus, but the beat drop is pleasant and effective. Yet if I’m being honest, escaping this kind of inoffensive, radio-ready pop is why I started listening to K-pop in the first place. I’m just not the target audience for this confessional, guitar-strumming sound. Rosé delivers it as well as anyone, but nothing really stands out here. On The Ground is neither black, nor pink. It’s just sort of beige.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.5

38 thoughts on “Song Review: Rosé (BLACKPINK) – On The Ground

  1. Things that bug me ordered from least buggy to most buggy.

    1. The song is in English
    2. The song is less than 3 minutes.
    3. They still dressed Rosé in garbage bags and potato sacks. After 5 years, they still dress her up that way. Unbelievable.
    4. Instead of going for a cathartic fully sung chorus we have this measly dribble of a beat drop.

    Yep tailor-made for the lukewarm tastes of the Western mainstream audience. 5.75 on good days. And my advanced apologies to those that will be offended by my comment. This song just caught me on a really bad day.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. I don’t know about everyone else, but the chorus just felt like it was missing something. Maybe I just have something against instrumental choruses, but it just isn’t for me.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. the start was really promising so I’m kinda shocked when your rating is a bit lower than I expected, but as the song goes through it becomes apparent to me that the song goes repetitive too fast and that your rating is justified. I agree.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. this was a fast review! the pre-release hype crowd were pushing for a pop-punk Rose solo and I was swept away with them, which unfairly cast an expectation that On the Ground would be more than what she ended up giving :”)

    It’s an enjoyable song though, and I was getting into it till I realised that the beat drop was the chorus and not a pre-chorus. What does YG have against choruses? Lovesick Girls’ was catchy and very effective, so why did they retread into beat drop territory??

    regardless, the verses work well with Rose’s voice and this song sounds like it’ll grow on me with a few more plays

    your comment about taylor swift is very apt though. I’m partial towards her early stuff-1989 songs, so perhaps this is why I like the verses so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I may not view BP’s hold on the industry through Rosé colored glasses, but even I can see the potential of this release. Whether this song only lasts in the blink of an eye, or only in the eyes of a BLIͶK remains to be seen. Regardless, it has charms. So.. ..credit where due.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m kinda disappointed that the second beat drop is the same as the first, I was expecting something heavier so the song would be less repetitive and more unique, if you are going to use a beat drop chorus then go all the way, don’t use this average sounding beat twice

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I expected this king of acoustic sing-song. As much of an emotive and capable vocalist Rosé is, the songs fails to live up to her potential. The electronic drop was nice and pleasant though. They could’ve switched up a few elements in the bridge leading to the final chorus which hey didn’t. I felt like the song was a bit repetitive and not leading up to a satisfying cathartic climax. This song could’ve been much more.

    Like

  8. I really Love Rose as a vocalist, but I think this song is too……minimalistic? doesn’t really bring up the potential of Rose properly.

    In Other News, Super Junior might come back with something fantastic!
    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dctGL_a13hk”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. With a stellar pop rock chorus the song would have went up to at least 8.5 or so. I’m a sucker for this kind of sound, but I just need a memorable hook.

    The main problems I have with so many BLACKPINK songs is how everything in the verses and pre-chorus are perfect, and then kaboom the drop comes in…

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Underwhelmed. For an artist as good as Rosè has the potential to be this has no emotion or passion.
    A personal annoyance, why the American accent?! It’s something I hate to hear from an Aussie/Kiwi, at least be true to yourself Roseanne!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. First of all, Rose’s performance meets expectations for a contemporary pop princess. Its not one for the ages, its one for the here and now and 8 second crowd.

    Second, I looked too looked at the 3:00 running length, and then how the actual song only starts some 20 seconds in, so its a 2:45 song.

    The cynic would say that its all about stream count, shorter = more refreshes in an hour. Well, this is true.

    The armchair critic in me says it is because it is a two idea song. Two and a tiny bit ideas if you add the “high note” break, which is really just a high inversion of Idea 1. Idea 2 is the chorus drop which I actually like. Idea 1 is Three notes. C# C# F# F# F, and repeat. If you lower the key by a half step, you can play this on a toy xylophone C C F F E. And repeat for two and half minutes. The song is essentially a gussied up nursery rhyme song. No wonder it is only 2:45, because that Idea 1 wears itself out.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. The are moments that I enjoy about the song and moments where I feel that it’s a bit empty and lacking. Rose herself is mesmerizing and her high note on the bridge was the highlight. It didn’t wow me, but it was enjoyable.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Well that was an utterly lackluster three minutes. “Everything I need is on the ground” has got to be one of the least inspired lyrics I’ve heard. I expect this to show up on the soundtrack of some US teen drama.

    Like

  14. Very underwhelming and mediocre. I was expecting something different and interesting from Rose as she seems to be the only member who is into making music.
    The drop feels very dated in 2021. And the production feels hollow and not in a good way.
    7.5 is generous it deserves no more than a 4 or 5.

    Like

  15. I see the potential here actually. I don’t dislike the drop, just..it doesn’t do enough in this song. It needs to be supported by a stronger post-chorus, maybe.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Asian Junkie referred to the track as Beige as well, not to cross-contaminate blogs.
    I can’t believe I stayed up to watch this premier. Lol I would’ve been up anyways, but you know what i mean ….

    “escaping this kind of inoffensive, radio-ready pop is why I started listening to K-pop in the first place”
    100% i feel the same — hate to say it but IU “Celebrity” illicited a similar response from me

    Liked by 1 person

  17. If this song was a breakfast food it would be oatmeal. Maybe with some fresh fruit on top for a garnish. That’s the only way I can articulate how inoffensive and boring this is to me, which is a shame, because I think Rosé is one of the most distinctive vocalists in the current K-pop scene, and like all of the women in BLACKPINK I think she could become a megastar of a soloist – if they gave her decent material. (Don’t get me wrong, she’s already more successful in BLACKPINK than most K-pop stars ever will be, and I’m sure this song will chart well and break records thanks to fans and all that, but I’m talking about making an impact like, say, Sunmi or Taemin. It’s especially frustrating because Teddy has made a lot of Sunmi’s biggest hits, which sounded great – so why can’t he do the same for Jennie or Rosé? I’m not asking for a carbon-copy of “Gashina” or “Heroine,” just a similar level of musical quality that reflects the BLACKPINK women’s unique styles.)

    To be honest, any real gripe I have with this song stems from the fact that it embodies a lot of the current trends in K-pop, and YG particularly, that just aren’t for me – the music sounds bland, there’s a beat drop thrown in instead of a fully fleshed-out chorus, English lyrics included for the international market’s sake… Absolutely unsurprised Teddy had a hand in this, not just because he always works with BLACKPINK but because “On The Ground” screams all of his worst musical instincts, and even less surprised they brought in Jon Bellion – of “All Time Low” fame, which is still getting played to death on the radio – as a producer and lyricist. I just know he had a hand in that beat drop.

    I do find it ironic that YG, which sold itself and its artists as having an image and music that was “different” and “edgy” compared to JYP and SM, that was largely a trend-setter rather than a follower, has just hopped on the bandwagon and largely faded into the background when it comes to both Western and Korean pop music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tbf he copy and pasted Gashina for Jennies song “Solo” which just sounded like a Walmart version of Gashina.

      Teddy is lazy tbh. He’s been doing the put a drop in the chorus so he doesn’t have to write one for ages with Blackpink.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah. Frankly, YG needs to get some good new in-house producers stat, or make GD produce some non-BIGBANG-related stuff, (although I still feel some lingering trauma over the chorus of “Bang Bang Bang” six years later). I had hoped B.I might come to fill that role, but needless to say that didn’t work out.

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  18. only got through the the first seconds of the beat drop before exiting – was willing to give it a shot but the beat drop is Terrible. what a disappointment. she looks fantastic though (as all of bp does) but i’m content looking at screen grabs without listening to a taylor swift rip.

    Like

  19. I personally hated this song. I’d give this like 2. I don’t know what u found in this song to give it a damn 7.5. Everyone says Jennie’s solo is bad and was expecting something HUGE from Rosé. But the girlie gave something worse🤡 I lOVEE it when Bp sings their song in English but on the ground is not doing it’s job. It’s just not working. After listening Gone few weeks back, I really hoped ‘on the ground’ to be at least better than gone. Because gone was such bad song. The teaser video was like clickbait. 🤡

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  20. Maybe it’s because I had pretty low expectations but I surprisingly like this. Like you said, the beat drop is pleasant and not annoying as it would be in most songs of this type. I guess 7.5 is an apt rating.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Watered down kpop for western audiences is the worst thing ever. It’s not even fun in a quirky way, it’s just generic and boring as hell. Dynamite and In the ground are the epytome of that

    Like

  22. The lyrics “everyday, every night, I’ve been thinking back on you and I. Everyday, every night” had me screaming “I can make the bad guys good for the weekend” from Taylor Swift’s Blank Space. Maybe I’m stuck on that one line a little too much, but if Solo was a washout Gashina, then I’m saying On The Ground is a washed up Blank Space.

    Liked by 1 person

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