Song Review: Lisa (BLACKPINK) – LALISA

Lisa - LalisaRather than return with a full group comeback, BLACKPINK’s 2021 has seen the group deliver long-promised solo songs. This spring marked the release of Rosé’s first solo, and now Lisa has dropped her self-referential LALISA. YG Entertainment has a long history of idol rappers going solo, with acts like G-Dragon, CL and Mino paving a path toward lasting success. Many of these efforts included braggadocios material created mainly to prop up an image, and a handful of these have been excellent. But, the more I write about K-pop (and pop in general), the less drawn I am to songs that exist only to sell an artist.

Beyond the odd single or two, I think it’s time to begrudgingly admit that BLACKPINK are no longer for me. Appealing to a vast global fanbase has its pitfalls, and too often this group’s songs feel like afterthoughts. More attention is given to the visual and ensuing promotional deals than the music itself. With the world at their hands, these girls could be carving out an incredible discography that pushes the industry forward. Instead, they’re constantly let down by material that feels tired and predictable.

Of course LALISA was going to be three and a half minutes of Lisa telling us how badass she is. Of course the chorus was going to be that titular wordplay repeated over and over. Of course the instrumental would largely copy-and-paste from past YG bangers. It’s not that anything here is bad or even unenjoyable. Lisa’s a great rapper and her momentum-shifting verses are an easy standout. The instrumental flows more seamlessly than most modern Teddy productions, anchored by a menacing rumble of bass. And as simple as that chorus is, it’s damn catchy. But, there’s nothing here that hasn’t been done better in other songs. By refusing to break the mold and develop a sound worthy of all the global accolades, a track like LALISA just feels like reheated leftovers. Even worse, it sounds corporate.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25

101 thoughts on “Song Review: Lisa (BLACKPINK) – LALISA

  1. lol.. “Blackpink are no longer for me”.. you r not the only one.. i really miss their past tracks…. sometime I just wished their contract will end faster, then they can opt for other agencies for better music quality.. Now, I even think that psy makes better music than teddy… lol .. btw, thx for the quick review.. it was so efficient of you. Have a blessed day ahead!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Totally agree with everything you said. BP’s material just isn’t for me, but it doesn’t really bother me anymore. I think my expectations have just changed. Lol.

    I wonder how big this comment section will get, though? You really smashed some of your viewership records with ‘Permission to Dance’.

    Liked by 4 people

      • I mean, Atlantis did get 104 comments, so that counts (right?)
        But to compare within their solos, Rosé’s solo got 38 comments here.
        I am on the look out as well for the comments; that signals discourse!

        Liked by 2 people

    • before you make fun of my lil meow meow lisa’s solo please keep in mind that colorcolor music isn’t supposed to be good it’s absurdist performance art please leave her alone the songs aren’t sincerely bad they’re just pretending to be bad and its not mona lisa’s fault you don’t understand that 😦

      i’ve said this so many times. the intention behind colorcolor is not to make good songs it is to critique and subvert what it means for music to be “good”. it’s not “bad”, it’s post-good…

      Liked by 12 people

    • This probably won’t cross PTD. Despite how loud their fandom can get, Blackpink lacks many casual fans.

      Also, as a rule of thumb, usually the most viewed and commented on TheBiasList reviews are those re-uploaded on Asian Junkie. This review has 206 comments on AJ. One of the top comments there says the following:

      ‘Blackpink right now is pretty much Teddy is his music studio hitting “ctrl-c, ctrl-v”.’

      Too true.


        • It seems to me that BP’s casual fans are more invested in the girls as influencers and celebrities (basic self-insert fantasies) rather than their music. Sure, casual fans enjoy the crazy MVs and visuals, but they’ve never struck me as the type to go out of their way to listen to BP songs repeatedly either. Correct me if I’m wrong though.

          Liked by 3 people

  3. “*Of course* LALISA was going to be three and a half minutes of Lisa telling us how badass she is. *Of course* the chorus was going to be that titular wordplay repeated over and over. *Of course* the instrumental would largely copy-and-paste from past YG bangers.”

    Welp, well at least you can’t be disappointed if you had no expectations anyways, and that was me coming into this song and leaving it simply with the info that how I thought the song would be was exactly how it turned out.

    Liked by 8 people

  4. When people complain about how female idols are treated worse in the industry, it’s important to note that letting them become this popular and feeling this “empowered” causes songs like this. Whatever happened to stuff like 2009 SNSD and 2010-2011 IU?


    • I think the brevity of your comment makes it easy to misunderstand. I think what you mean is how strutting for 3 or 4 minutes with twelve costume changes, a spangly leotard, and “me me me” lyrics isn’t really empowerment anymore. (And a stripper pole.) It’s just tacky and cliche.

      The sex appeal and swagger as empowerment was fresh and truly empowering back when Madonna first put on the Gaultier pointy bodysuits a few decades ago, but these days this is just another form of uniform that pop stars are expect to conform to.

      Even the ones who don’t conform to that body type like the Lizzo’s of the pop world, are still expected to conform to that expectation and say they feel empowered.

      SNSD and IU back when weren’t so overt in compliance to western pop standards but they still conformed to being the perfect Korean standard look and feel of a pop star – pretty pretty perfect shape face, eyebrows just so, pin thin legs legs legs hot pants short skirts skinny jeans. That the New World became a song of strength was in my opinion a feat of marketing genius, like Firework/Roar for Katy and Halo for Beyonce.

      On the other hand, Ailee is talented as hell, the “I will go to you like snow” song was popular as hell, and people still go on about her weight being maybe 10 pounds closer to a normal, average weight. Amber is another example, also let us mention Sulli and Jonghyun and their immense struggles too.

      Liked by 4 people

      • No, I don’t think that comment above really benefited from further explanation.
        it is such a double standard. Men feel themselves and it’s cool. Women feel themselves and it’s the basis for an entire genre of popular music degenerating. Plenty of shit songs by confident men and women alike. Ok you thought it was brash, strident, and tuneless? I thought that too without basically telling female artists to get back in the kitchen.

        Liked by 4 people

        • You encapsulated my thoughts well, the comment means what I think we all think it means. Otherwise It would’ve have included this line, “When people complain about how female idols are treated worse in the industry”.. It bought in the burden of female idols in the industry and excused it by saying because it resulted in music they didn’t like..It’s insanely annoying.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I was with you up until “get back in the kitchen”, which is a different variation, and unmentioned by either myself or the original poster. I am old, so perhaps that means something else today in some meme than it did when I was in college and grad school.

          There are shit me me me songs from the guys too. I don’t listen to them either, as they are equally tired and cliche in their own guy way.

          Liked by 2 people

          • It’s this phrase that pretty much sealed it for me and why i said what I said.

            “it’s important to note that letting them become this popular and feeling this “empowered” causes songs like this.”

            Of course, there are different interpretations, but my interpretation is “go back to being girly, girls.” It’s a sore spot as I never was one. Sure, show all the vulnerability and sweetness you want, I approve and appreciate that, but it shouldn’t be an automatic default for a female artist.

            To each their own.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Ah OK. Yes, that helps. My point is that what you call the girly girl image is as much of a conformist cliche as the empowerment image is a conformist cliche. The former is about or close enough to the same as you reacted to it. (Close enough for blog comment sections.) Some girls are girly girls, which is fine for them, but most of the rest of us are not.

              (I believe what they were going for with SNSD was “Ideal girl next door” subtype of a generic feminine girly girl. IU’s image is “Ideal Sister”, or “Friend’s Ideal Sister” because then one could date her.)

              Liked by 1 person

    • Comment implies that successful female idols have a lot of control of their musical style and output. I don’t think that’s the case – and I definitely don’t think that quality of their music depends very much on the confidence of the idols; if anything, being more confident and empowered would lead to a better performance.


  5. i am a blink but this song got me underwhelmed… i am in the minority with this one but I liked HYLT so when i saw the teaser i looked forward to this. sadly it didn’t do much for me. i agree with all the points you’ve made here! it’s not bad but it’s not good. it’s a testament to lisa’s presence and talent how she sold this track! blackpink are terrific performers especially when given the right material, i just wish yg gave them finer songs or better yet, have them help make a song!

    Liked by 4 people

    • I remember disliking HYLT because of how cringe worthy it felt on first listen. Honestly tho it’s not even half bad, it was just my high expectations that let me down. I feel like many long time listeners of blackpink feel somewhat the same. Blackpink are just moving with the trend, and I’ve just gotta accept that.

      Liked by 3 people

      • I think the one of the main issues lies with how they are marketed: as trendsetters, not followers. But musically, they haven’t really released anything that isn’t beholden to trends that aren’t dead or breathing their last breath in years (I think LSG would be the only exception here, but I also wouldn’t say that it doesn’t rely on an already familiar soundscape and intention, it just does it very well). Then on top of that, YG has them release music so sparingly and infrequently that it puts a massive spotlight on every single comeback or release. If you aren’t ahead of the curve, that just sets you up for some front-loaded hype that doesn’t meet most expectations and has little longevity. If the marketing tactic of “being the trend” and prolific in the industry wasn’t so blatant and different from what they actually are doing, expectations wouldn’t be so sky high even after the repeated meh and/or soundalike comebacks and releases.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I thought Somi’s “Dumb Dumb” was three songs awkwardly mashed together with little connective tissue.

    But compared to this, “Dumb Dumb” is stunningly cohesive and consistent. This sounds like they couldn’t decide between three potential title songs and tried to stitch them all together. And so, illuminated by lightning, Frankenstein gave his creature life.

    Liked by 7 people

  7. Sigh…Blackpink and Lisa specifically are the main reason I got into kpop, I’ve drifted off to other groups since then but they still hold a place in my heart. But this song is just honestly not for me. Honestly surprised you gave it a rating in the 7s. If there’s any consolation, I think Lisa looks great in the MV

    Liked by 4 people

  8. So my first impression of this is “Holy shit, this is generic. Lisa is one of the best dancers in the industry, so shouldn’t she be given something more special? She should have debuted with a, with a… um…”

    To be honest, I mostly see two types of dancer soloists: The “life of the party” kind like HyunA, Minzy and Hyoyeon (can’t think of male soloists who have images like this) where it’s like “I’m hot and I set fire to dance floors”, or “sleek, sensual and sexy” like Taemin, Sunmi (I’d argue while she’s not a soloist that specialises in dance, her dances add a lot to the iconic nature of her songs like Gashina and Siren) and Wonho. I’m only slightly familiar with BoA as a fan from 2016 onwards but in this generation Chungha’s probably one of those that stand out for me because I can’t seem to put her in a box because she’s constantly changing, which has its pros and cons but definitely makes her memorable to me.

    Which makes me wonder: What would be an image and sound that would give Lisa (already one of K-Pop’s most famous dancers) the additional edge to make her stand out even more? What are your thoughts?

    Anyway, if Lisa was under Chungha’s label her debut would be quite different, maybe even better? Unfortunately, she’s under YG and they seem to be content with leaving it to her established popularity to drive her solo debut. Which is understandable, but I wish they put more thought when planning her debut so that the end result would be really mind-blowing.

    I expected a lot more, really. Maybe it’s my own fault for naively thinking YG would pull out all the stops for Lisa’s debut.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. *puts on my impression of a blink/goanimator*


    First punishment, listening to I’m Real for 79 hours straight.

    *i would put more punishments but this is a christian minecraft server and we can’t put graphic content or else we get the banhammer*

    Tenth and final punishment, going to your room and staying there forever.

    *Nick starts crying in Ludoviko voice*

    Liked by 4 people

  10. to be fair to blackpink, they have always been this since debut. its kinda why I don’t shake my head at their success as much as I do to a certain other group.

    They are the definition of what critics of k pop or pop in general stereotype it . The music doesn’t sell the artist, the idol sells the music.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Jennie Solo was lit bop!

    But, Rose was bit diaspointed, i really want her angelic vocal, she is really talnted vocal, Ground just 😦

    And today we got Lisa solo,, i bit expet some good release by Teddy bcs SomiDumb Dumb was liy too!

    But yeah… im disapointed, no hate to Lisa tho, she amazing dancer, singer rapper, i love her rap part thats littt

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Although I also don’t care for Blackpink’s music, I have a soft spot for Lisa because I’m also from Thailand. Her dancing is always very impressive and she’s a talented performer. After listening to this I’m wondering if she has any say in selecting her solo music. She could have gone any number of musical directions, be this song is really best suited for Tik-Tok. And worst of all, the choreography and her dancing here are just as generic. What a disappointing waste of talent.

    Liked by 2 people

    • She did have a say in the music as she was the one who asked Teddy to add the Thai beats at the end. From her countdown live, she mentioned that when she first heard Money (her bside track), she immediately thought it was her song and she have to do it. She also mentioned she participated in the choreo and the mv.


  13. It’s not great, but if I’m being honest, it’s marginally better than half the full group singles at this point. Or maybe it really is just that I have no expectations. The faster rap portions are easily the highlight and keep this from really going under. By the time I’ve hit the bridge, though, I’ve been Lalisa’d out. Instrumental is lowkey irritating too. Rating is about right.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yeah I have nothing positive to say about this one. I’ve never been a fan of Lisa’s rapping which I’m sure doesn’t help, but she’s such a charismatic performer and excellent dancer and the song and video both kind of fail to do anything with that. This song just kind of lurches from one thing to the next and never goes anywhere fun or interesting. Disappointing.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Blackpink isn’t for me either. I think they are great live and give wonderful shows. And I love songs like Playing With Fire, Lovesick Girls and As If Was Your Last. But many songs that are big hits just aren’t my style. Jisoo is just a huge bias for me, that’s why I follow Blackpink mostly. Music wise I prefer groups like TIWCE.

    I have hope for Jisoo’s solo though. She did two wonderful solo’s during their tours (Clarity and Snow Flower) and I have a feeling she will do it different from Jennie, Rosé and Lisa. I have to say Jisoo’s support for either of the solo’s is so sweet. She posted on Instagram to support Lisa, as she did before for Jennie and Rosé.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. The only thing I have to add is that the song is almost with a dominant key, and the instrumental is so skeletal. I don’t know how she is going to pull this off live live, as their is zero instrumental for a non-singer to follow along with and find what notes they should be on. Maybe it doesn’t matter, maybe the key will be “yes”.

    Pfft, who am I kidding she will never perform this live without the vocal backing track.

    A Real Singer could pull this off, like Freddie Mercury on “We Will Rock You” which has only the stomp stomp clap until the guitar solo outro. ‘

    But what I really want to know is where the hell is Big Bang?

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Blackpink isn’t for me either. I think they are great live and give wonderful shows. And I love songs like Playing With Fire, Lovesick Girls and As If Was Your Last. But many songs that are big hits just aren’t my style. Jisoo is just a huge bias for me, that’s why I follow Blackpink mostly. Music wise I prefer groups like TIWCE.

    I have hope for Jisoo’s solo though. She did two wonderful solo’s during their tours (Clarity and Snow Flower) and I have a feeling she will do it different from Jennie, Rosé and Lisa. I have to say Jisoo’s support for either of the solo’s is so sweet. She posted on Instagram to support Lisa, as she did before for Jennie and Rosé.

    (I created an account so you can delete my previous Kawaii Gowther comment).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m sorry, but no song in the YG hopper these days was ever going to match the crazy genius of her “I’m going to yodel at the classy biker bar” promo photo. Which is sad because a truly batshit chaotic song could have ruled the world. I was hoping she was gonna go full on PSY on us.

    In happier news, Gas Pedal, Gas Pedal, Gas Pedal has grown on me.


  19. That’s the thing with being a kpop fan for long enough, you eventually are less impressed with just interesting visuals and personalities. The songs have to be good. If someone asked most kpop fans for a recommendation on a kpop group to get into Blackpink would be one of the first ones. That’s not the case for me, they are super, incredibly low on my list and far from one of my favorite acts. The girls themselves are great and “as if it’s your last” ad “playing with fire” are pretty strong singles, but they can make fans wait forever just to give the same thing we expected. Why can’t the songs be as excited and interesting as their music videos? 2ne1 didn’t release nearly as much music as their peers did either but their entire discography was very strong ( I literally listened to the whole thing when I was stuck in the streets due to flooding in the NYC subway system). I don’t see why they can’t just give us something experimental/ unexpected


    • I heavily relate to your first line. I’ve been listening to Kpop for a good three years now, and as the years go by, I get less impressed by the visuals and personalities. Just give me really good songs! That’s all I care about


  20. If you asked a random person off the street if they heard of kpop, and knew any bands, there is a very large chance that one of the things that would come out of their mouth, among others, is Blackpink. YG could have afforded to go with a more experimental, bolder, sound than “Lalisa”. Besides music, the choreography and lyrics could have also been better. Lisa is an amazing performer, singer, rapper, etc, and this feels like a song a rookie group could pull off or release.
    Like Nick said, the “Lalisa love me, Lalisa love me,” line is catchy as fire, however, the song failed to reach up to its potential (if it had any.) It’s so generic, music-wise, and dance-wise. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly not original. Even though the song is this way, most Blinks will probably worship this song, as they do with other “meh” BP songs.
    As someone who likes to learn kpop dances, I’m getting very tired of the TikTok choruses that have become a trend. PTD, Dumb Dumb, and Ping Pong have all gone this way, and I understand from a business perspective, how it is good for promotions, but I don’t like it.
    This kind of stuff will probably (most likely) grow on me, like how HYLT and Mafia (Itzy) grew on me. These songs have a longevity not because of the quality of their music, but of the charisma of the performers and the catchiness of the chorus.
    On a side note, I was surprised the song didn’t evolve into a beatdrop chorus, considering that Teddy was the producer. It’s much more coherent than On the Ground, which sounded like an American song ( I think that was the point anyway).


    • Rating BP’s solo songs:
      1. Solo- Jennie
      2. Lalisa- Lisa
      3. Gone- Rosé
      3. On the Ground- Rosé

      This feels like Teddy’s attempt of Agust D’s “AGUST D.”
      I wish we had faster rap in Lalisa. (This is coming from someone who isn’t a big rap fan.)


  21. I think we can all agree that YG is a corporate mind now, ironically that it’s known for its artists’ “freedom”. It’s not going to change unless Teddy decided to sit up from his throne and let other producers make actual music. YG’s music sounds so ancient now, there’s nothing new anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I’ve been lurking here for so long now lmao. But yeah as a bp ult I do agree with your points but I still prefer this over Solo. Will you do a review of her bside? Thought I liked it more initially but I prefer LALISA now. Honestly, LALISA feels like a blackpink song and not lisa’s solo. They’re supposed to show the members through their solos and I feel like this whole image of Lisa they’ve put doesn’t live up to it. She was so shy and cute during the countdown live but she’s the opposite on stage (not that it’s bad she’s very good at it). I feel like she just isn’t too passionate for making her solo and is only doing it because well…YG and BLINKs. But yeah thank you for your reviews they are nice to read though I try my best to not get too influenced by you LOL


  23. Saying this instrumental even feels copy and pasted from past YG bangers is giving it too much praise, especially when the YG of yester-yester-yesteryear (okay pre-2018 at earliest, but I was thinking more 2NE1 and BB) actually had some great instrumentals for their big bring the house down songs. I think the worst offense in this song is that instrumental itself sounds tired and repetitive. Lisa tries, and some things do work with her delivery, but I can’t get over how much of this song is literally copy and pasted from itself. Aside from the odd section pulled from left field, the monotony in this is excruciating.

    Considering this was going to sell well regardless of what was on it, I think the better play would have been for Lisa to dabble in a genre no one expected…. maybe the rhythmic melodies and bass of early Lorde songs like Ribs or Yellow Flicker Beat, the more experimental pop of FKA twigs, some psychedelic pop like Glass Animals. Forgoing the expected and giving Lisa a song and genre that thrives off rhythmic delivery even in melody could have given BP the upward trajectory on critics’ lists that they need. As it stands, everyone is just sort of left scratching their heads and chalking up their popularity to a “K-Pop thing” or self-insert fantasy. They just don’t have the discography right now to back up their fame, and it’s time to stop idling in neutral while everyone else leaves them behind musically too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I actually agree. This song just isn’t hitting it correctly. I gave it my first listen, and it sounded all over the place, gave it a second listen and realized that this song and Money just wasn’t it. It does not feel like one complete song, as in some parts sounded awkward with the change in pace. If Lisa was given a song like Boombayah as her solo, that would’ve been amazing at least to me. LaLisa and Money is unfortunately sitting very low on the top Blackpink songs for me, which is a shame since she’s the most popular and her solo was anticipated for a while now. I didn’t honestly expect much or anything, but I didn’t expect it to completely get a skip from me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Same. I was hoping they would use this chance to push some boundaries. Lisa is the perfect member for that. With Rosé’s solo, I think everyone more or less knew what the end product would sound like given her own preferences and vocal technique. But Lisa? Yes, she has limits in her singing and rapping abilities, but a lot of times it’s working within someone’s limitations that makes great songs because it forces you to think outside the box. I didn’t really expect this to happen, but that’s what I was hoping for.

        But this? You can’t convince me that this is the best song or instrumental that even a YouTube remix channel could come up with in a few weeks let alone a producer that’s been behind some fantastic tracks over the years that has had nothing on their plate for 6 months (and that’s just the time since Rosé’s solo, not even the near 3 year old announcement that each member would have a solo). It’s just mind boggling to me that anyone would listen to this instrumental and think “yes, this is absolutely the track we want!” Outside of LSGs and some B-sides, I still think BP’s best releases were the ones within a year of their debut. At this point in time, I seriously am wondering if they are just using demos that have been collecting dust on the YG computers for years. I would have been happy with a Boombayah for Lisa too. I wouldn’t think it was some revolutionary cultural reset, but at least it more than accomplished its intention to be a good YG club banger. If this was the direction they wanted to go with Lisa, they needed it to be at least a mid to top tier BP song of the same genre, and it just isn’t. And overall, their discography is so lopsided in this sort of direction (especially in title tracks) that’s its kind of exhausting. Definitely a wasted opportunity in my book, but even if they did waste such a huge opportunity to do something different, that didn’t mean that it would necessarily be a skip either. She still could have held her own in BP’s sound if the quality was there… it’s just not.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. This song just didn’t do her justice. We all know what an incredible performer LISA is, but this song just felt like all of her energy and charisma was stifled. It’s not terrible. It’s just not a good match for the magnitude of LISA’s talent.

    Liked by 4 people

  25. Lalisa and Money were both terrible songs. I agree with everything you said except that the chorus was catchy, because after I watched it once I was done and didn’t want to go back. Everything about the song’s composure was all over the place and did not have replay value. It’s important for fans to let their favourite artist know when their music isn’t good.. Blackpink’s “Blinks” are extremely supportive of their idols at this point no matter WHAT they put out it will be successful commercially however..

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Sometimes I wish Blackpink had never released DDU-DU DDU-DU.

    I know this is YG and this type of song style would be cooming sooner or later, but most of their musical content has been so subpar ever since D4 became a smashing success. Boombayah considered, 2017-2021 Blackpink almost feels like a completely different group than the one from 2016/2017.

    There’s so much potential, yet it seems like no real effort is being made to give the group truly interesting, maybe even full-sounding material. Currently, their branding is behind a bunch of flashy sounds and expensive music videos, clearly designed to attract attention, but what is being done to maintain it?

    It’s a shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. As a BLINK since AIIYL era, I have to stop pretending that BP’s songs are musically decent and move on. They are easily one of the biggest missed opportunities in k-pop history. So much wasted potential.


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