Review

Buried Treasure: BLACKPINK – Yeah Yeah Yeah

BLACKPINK - Yeah Yeah YeahA K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.


I wasn’t originally going to feature a buried treasure from the BLACKPINK album because I think Born Pink is pretty subpar as a whole. Apart from the singles, which are polarizing for their own reasons, the b-sides feel like demos without the level of completion I’d expect from a group of BLACKPINK’s caliber. But, I know the album is a hot topic so I’ve decided to write about the 80’s-tinged Yeah Yeah Yeah as my favorite track.

To be clear, I think there are tons of other acts delivering this sound in much more captivating ways. But, I’ll always be a sucker for bright synth and an upbeat tempo. Yeah Yeah Yeah harnesses both of these hallmarks without adding much more to the equation. The girls’ vocals work very well in this realm, which is one of the reasons I get so salty about the sing-talk posturing that dominates many of their singles. There may not be much meat on Yeah Yeah Yeah’s bones, but what we get is quite satisfying and points toward potential that begs for fulfillment.

By recording the majority of Born Pink in English, the group seems to signaling that they wish to compete in the global market, eclipsing K-pop-specific metrics. To do that, the album should sound like a big-budget, era-defining work. Perhaps it’s time for BLACKPINK to work with global collaborators who can give their sound more heft. Yeah Yeah Yeah comes from longtime YG producers Kush and R.Tee, which is part of the reason it works in spite of itself. But, I wonder how an internationally-renowned dance/club producer could remix this to build upon its best instincts and hit us with greater impact?

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25

22 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: BLACKPINK – Yeah Yeah Yeah

  1. Totally agree. This was the only redeemable track for me personally. I don’t know how I feel about the fading out outro though… Is it just me or does it feel dated or at the very least, a bit strange for a dance track

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    • That would be cool! But I’m sure there are so many producers who would love to work with them. Given BLACKPINK’s cachet, they should be able to choose from the industry’s top shelf material.

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  2. Speaking of outside producers, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic said he supposedly had a couple of songs confirmed for the album (he worked on one song in the last BP album too), but he’s nowhere to be found in Born Pink. Jennie and Rosé were in the studio with him last year. No idea what happened with those.

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  3. I listened to the full album, and agree that it sounds more like a collection of underproduced demos than a mainstream big time release. The song structure is fine, but there are zero bells and whistles added, literally and metaphorically.

    Also agree about the 80’s flavor here, the simple clean synth lines. Except a real 80’s song would have a hell of a vocal hook or three and a hell of an instrumental hook somewhere. That killer chorus is missing.

    …. rummages through old songs …
    Let’s see, Go-Go’s or Bananarama, let’s go with the Go-go’s
    ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3kQlzOi27M

    (Oh heck, a real oldie Bananarama too, to which Xeno will say “I see what you did there!” ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_kjctTbMHA)

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  4. I like shut down, yeah yeah yeah, and hard to love

    I’m on the fence with typa girl. I wish the opening vibe was most of the song

    I don’t feel any particular way about happiest girl and tally

    I hate ready to love and to a lesser extent pink venom

    Still don’t like how YG treats their girl groups. I’m sure blackpink wish they had album length albums too

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  5. I’m waffling between “Hard To Love” and this one for favorite album track. Unfortunately, this album doesn’t contain any real smashes, which is sad for a group of this caliber and popularity. Tracks like “Tally” and even “The Happiest Girl” come off as tryhard. “Typa Girl” at least is kind of interesting and I’ve got bits and pieces of it stuck in my head but it’s also as tryhard and is pretty mid at the end of the day. There are flashes of brilliance (like the two tracks I’ve mentioned) but it’s a damn shame that this album is so undercooked and style over substance overall.

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  6. My personal highlight on the album is Hard to Love. Yes, it’s quite simplistic, but that song pulls off its own simplicity in all the best ways possible. This one is also not bad, but at the same time sounds like an undercooked demo. Rating is a lil bit too high, I’d give it an 8.

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  7. I liked this song as well, but not my favorite from the album. Fade out outros are a personal pet-peeve of mine (having too many 80s songs in my parents’ car playlist and I’ve grown sick of it).

    My go-to atm is Happiest Girl, mainly because the girls never sounded so good in terms of vocal performance. The contrast between their vocal tones is most apparent in song, and Lisa especially shined, never heard her sound so good singing.

    I think that born pink is pretty decent. I would not really give some of the songs a second listen (like Tally for example), but I do like a fair share of the songs. Ready for Love is annoying in the sense that parts of it would pop into my heard randomly so I have to grudingly admit that I do like the song despite its issues (like sounding like a demo). The chorus of Pink-Venom is my kind of thing, and it does have good longevity. Shut Down is shaping up to be one of my favorite title tracks of the year. The sample makes it feel timeless, and they used it quite tastefully. Its not the typical Black Pink sound but it is probably the strongest they’ve sounded over the past few years. Hard to Love would have been much better as Rose’s solo compared to On the Ground and Gone (lmao). It feels slightly too restrained production wise though. Typa girl was a yes in some places and no in others, and the lyrics don’t help me appreciate the song too much either.

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  8. I’d love to hear Rose follow her own muse and make the music she wants to do, away from BP and Teddy. She reminds me of Stevie Nicks, she has that mysterious something in her voice. I fear her talent’s being wasted.

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  9. I’m drawn to most music that has that faux-’80’s color to it, and this one certainly fits that bill. I like it. It’s pleasant to listen to, good night time drive down the highway music, and if they had actually given it a proper ending and not a fade-out, I would like it even more. I tend to dislike fade-outs in general because they feel like cop-outs for not being able to figure out how to end a song to me, but this one was particularly jarring because the song wasn’t even that long… It just felt abrupt. Still a good listen!

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  10. I can’t call this a buried treasure exactly, since I wouldn’t seek it out on its own, but it’s also probably my favorite off of this mess as a project. You can’t tell me this comeback was even released in order thematically. With the MVs, Ready To Love gave an example of an older sounding track (which it is), while Shut Down and Pink Venom should have been reversed. Shut Down shows them ending eras and starting a new one. That’s not exactly the best message to give off subliminally: here’s an album of music we are already over making lol. It works a lot better if you had them going to the first garage after exiting the “only up” elevator, walking to the Pink Venom set, and then releasing it from along with the album release.
    This whole thing seems so incredibly rushed to me. I feel like I’m listening to samples in half of them. They had 2 years and only cranked out 6 new group tracks? If that, since others seem like obvious holdovers too? And from a business perspective and YG’s way of doing things, I get them wanting to not shell out too much on new content when they haven’t even done a tour for their first album yet, but there are still better planning options than this.
    I have a feeling Blackpink is done recording any more group releases from here on out. I know at least one member is wavering on their contract (which ends right about when their tour does). There might be a Born Pink Japanese Ver that they will release and then stick on to their tour dates or release a special single, but I’d wager a lot that every group songs that is released from here on out has already been recorded. If anything beyond Jisoo’s solo or maybe just maybe one of the scrapped songs as a special group single are released before their contracts end in August, I’d be shocked (I might still be shocked if even that much happens).

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  11. My friends have been hyping this song up. And now that I’ve listened to it…it’s nothing special. Idk why, I’m a sucker for synths. I just wish there was a chorus

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