Girls, you have done it again. Constantly raising the bar for us all, and doing it flawlessly.
This past Friday, K-pop girl group BLACKPINK dropped their hotly anticipated second studio album (if you count 2018’s BLACKPINK IN YOUR AREA as the first) and debut Korean-language album, aptly titled THE ALBUM, with a fresh single “Lovesick Girls” and accompanying music video pushed alongside it. Hot off the heels of lead single “How You Like That” and Selena Gomez collaboration “Ice Cream,” expectations were high for what the group would turn out next.
Turns out those expectations weren’t nearly high enough.
“Lovesick Girls” is, to put it lightly, an absolute triumph, a career-high for the routinely record-breaking quartet. This track, notably co-written with DJ titan David Guetta, sounds right at home in the radio landscape of early 2010s summer pop along the lines of Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” or Guetta’s own “Titanium.” It’s a wholly unfiltered rush of serotonin, the kind Top 40 radio hasn’t seen in years, and exactly the sort of crossover genre-blending that BLACKPINK so excels at.
That bold spirit of summery poptimism shows in the video too, in all its oversaturated, candy-coated bliss. BLACKPINK has never been a group to come up short in the visual department, and “Lovesick Girls” is no exception, boosting its already-stellar base material to dizzying heights.
Lyrically, the track deals with relatively standard pop girl group fare—lamenting failed attempts at love, finding solidarity in their connections to each other (they are, after all, the titular lovesick girls), and turning pain into something positive. The girls weave back and forth between Korean and English seamlessly, to a point where it’s often hard to tell when there’s a switch while listening to just the audio. A lot of the sadder, more downtrodden lyrical beats are in Korean, lending the track an air of nuance—a thoughtful rumination on love and failed relationships beneath what first appears to English-speaking audience as pop euphoria.
Which is not to say it’s not euphoric; overall, it certainly is, and the major theme of the song is self-love and generally being, well, sick of trying to find love. Lisa and Jennie’s rap verse especially speaks to this message: “No love letters no X and O’s,” Lisa’s section opens; it’s followed with Jennie proudly declaring, “didn’t wanna be a princess / I’m priceless.” It’s a stunning amalgamation of genres built on themes we expect from the genre… but rendered in a way only BLACKPINK could.
And name a moment in music this year with more unadulterated bliss than the “1, 2” breakdown after the final chorus into the outro. I’ll wait.
You can listen to “Lovesick Girls” below.