The past fortnight in K-pop has seen major releases from two of the genre’s leading rookie girl groups: JYP Entertainment’s TWICE and and YG Entertainment’s BLACKPINK – a.k.a. 2NE2.
Just as it should, TWICE’s latest perfect pop single “TT” has dominated the digital charts and broken one of Girls’ Generation’s sales records, while the latest double A-side from the overrated BLACKPINK has deservedly under-performed so far.
While I’m surprised that the dullard YG stans have failed to get BLACKPINK’s latest batch of dusty old 2NE1 leftovers to No. 1 like they did with the offensively bad ‘BOOMBAYAH’ and ‘Whistle,’ I’m glad to see that justice has prevailed in K-pop for once.
On ‘TT,’ producer Black Eyed Pilseung stays faithful to the formula of past hits ‘Like Ooh Aah’ and ‘Cheer Up,’ but continues to kick things up a notch with each subsequent single.
‘TT’ is pure bubblegum pop with ghetto bass and pulsating club beats. It’s cute, cool, and irresistibly catchy all at once. And the concept of building an entire pop song around a crying emoji feels as clever as it does adorable, unlike the slew of crass American songs inspired by selfies and hashtags.
Now, as much as I’d like to shit all over BLACKPINK’s ‘Playing With Fire,’ I have to admit that it ain’t that bad. Not that the bar is high, but it’s their least offensive track so far. The middling dance-pop number is far less immature than the try-hard toddler swag of their last two singles, and ultimately comes off sounding like a decent 2NE1 b-side.
The other single, ‘Stay,’ is barely worth mentioning. A shit, acoustic ballad, cut from the same cloth as 2NE1’s ‘Lonely,’ only much worse. That hideous harmonica alone is enough to make you want to puke.
I know that 2NE2 are much prettier than 2NE1 and actually know how to dance beyond waving a scarf around on stage, but can YG please find something else to separate the two groups? These poor girls need to be transferred to an agency that actually knows how to make a good girl group. I suggest SM, JYP, Starship, DSP, Pledis… basically anybody but YG.