LACKPINK’s pre-release track “How You Like That” is their first comeback in over a year, which is pretty much their MO since debut. I was not a big fan of “Kill This Love” and so I approached this with an abundance of caution. Suffice to say, it’s always safe to lower your expectations so that you’re not too disappointed after…
Release Date: June 26, 2020
- How You Like That
Total runtime: 00:03:03
Recommended for: those who like BLACKPINK’s noisier tracks
NOT Recommended for: Those who are waiting for BLACKPINK to switch up their sound; fans of their older songs like “Whistle” and “Playing with Fire”
What I love about BLACKPINK is that they often give their all. I had a lot of fun watching this music video and a lot of my issues with the song evaporate when I consider the sheer star power that the girls exude. Speaking of the song, it’s got problems but some parts work too. I really like the verses, especially the first two with Jennie and Jisoo. I also really like the bridge with Rose and Jisoo but wish that the last beat drop wasn’t a part of the song. Teddy really cannot find a way to end a song that isn’t a rehash of Big Bang and it shows. YG groups tend to have the most predictable song structure and BLACKPINK is the most affected.
The music video is aesthetically pleasing. I love the variety of outfits shown here and even the more unconventional looks are good. I haven’t generally been impressed by BLACKPINK’s choreography for some time but it’s fine here. Definitely do like the move they do at the “you gon’ like that” part of the chorus. The ‘killing part’ of the choreography works well for what it is. The only problem I have with this video is unfortunately the same problem I have with the song itself. I understand that this is a look they are going for, but BLACKPINK’s music videos have become quite stale. There’s not much to differentiate them anymore. This problem started with “DDU-DU DDU-DU” and has persisted to this day. It seems that the entire team behind the group is getting lazy which is really disheartening.
The biggest problem with this song, it has no chorus. 2020 has been a pretty good year for K-pop groups and even the no-chorus songs have generally been good. However, “How You Like That” repeats the same problem in recent BLACKPINK titles. In fact, I cannot think of a single BLACKPINK title track that does not have an empty chorus. Teddy seems almost immune to giving these girls a chance to sing and I don’t understand why. A few empty choruses is fine but when your whole discography is littered with them that’s a problem. Luckily, the refrain is catchy and it saves this song from being a noisy mess. The instrumental around the chorus has grown on me and actually sounds quite good when I have a strong pair of headphones.
The truth of the matter is, despite the fact that YG managed to cram an impressive amount of star power into one group, BLACKPINK still has the least rewarding discography among the top 3rd generation girl groups. Where their peers keep evolving, always to varying degrees of success, BLACKPINK is stuck releasing the same dated music they released back in 2018. They have not evolved at all and in some ways keep regressing. It seems that this does not matter to YG. He knows that no matter the quality of music they are putting out, the girls will undoubtedly have smashing success. Thus, there is no thirst for innovation. There is only complacency and the promise that Teddy’s last two music-making bones will carry BLACKPINK throughout their entire musical career.
Let’s be honest, the best YG groups make their own music. BLACKPINK’s discography probably won’t stand the test of time, but maybe that’s okay. Maybe their role in Kpop’s grand scheme of things is to fulfill the fun girl group role and leave innovation and musicianship to the competition. So far, this has been working out for them just fine. But how do I like this status quo? Not very much.
"How You Like That" starts off strong but goes on a downward spiral once the chorus hits and never really picks up after that. My 2021 wish is for YG to get BLACKPINK a new producer. Teddy just isn't cutting it. However, I will give credit where credit is due. That refrain is really catchy and grows on you. Plus, the girls look amazing!