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BLΛƆKPIИK ‘The Album’: expectations vs reality

BLACKPINK The Album photocards, photobook, polaroids, and CD spread out.

BLACKPINK’s The Album was an underwhelming collection of songs.

For an album released four years after their debut, I expected a whirlwind of artistry and creativity which showcased each of the members’ talents. While honing in on the individuality of each of their styles.

The Album was released in 2020 at what can be said as BLACKPINK’s highest point in their careers as a group so far.

While I am reviewing The Album it is not to say that as a fan I did not like it or its members at all. I just expected and wanted more.

Close up of BLACKPINK The Album CD.

BLACKPINK is a South Korean pop group made up of four members. There’s Rose from Australia, Jennie from New Zealand, Lisa from Thailand, and Jisoo from South Korea.

They first debuted in 2016 with their hit single BOOMBAYAH, winning first in Inkigayo, and breaking the record for the shortest time for a girl group to win on a music program after a first debut.

Since then they have stolen the hearts of the world, touring the globe, featuring on the Coachella main stage, venturing into solo music, and making appearances at fashion shows with 13.6 million monthly listeners currently on Spotify.

I first listened to Kiss and Make Up by Dua Lipa which they featured on in 2018 not knowing who they were. Fast forward to 2019, when Kill This Love came out and there was never a time the song wasn’t playing through my speakers.

Since then I’ve followed their journey.

BLACKPINK The Album box.
BLACKPINK ‘The Album’ box with merchandise & CD inside.

Many fans, like myself, awaited the arrival of this album and with their anticipation expected highly of its production.

The following sections of this article, will be reviewing The Album‘s tracklist, songs & music, album name, and album package.


For their first official album, BLACKPINK did not feature their iconic titles of DDU-DU DDU-DU, Whistle, or As If It’s Your Last. They had previously released these as EPs but not in an official album.

Me putting in the CD into a CD player.

I expected a complete album with the regular number of songs including their most popular. So that these songs would be able to get the limelight and appreciation they would as being part of an album.

In reality, this album should be considered as an EP considering that it only has eight songs and not the regular 12 or more. It’s like it’s missing pieces to the album – it’s just too short.

However, it’s great that the group has come out with more new original music and have even scored collaborations with big names such as Cardi B and Selena Gomez.

Songs & Music

When listening to the songs, they tell a teen love type of story. It’s either about attraction, lust, messy breakups, or toxic relationships. The music is also a basic and not so unique sound of pop. It sounds as if I’ve heard it before already.

They do still make you want to dance to the choreography and hum along but it doesn’t sound so deep in story or as distinctive. What is great about their songs is that they’ve taken advantage of the popular sounds from modern technology and music which make it so trendy, popular, and have a great sound.

Individual BLACKPINK members photocards.
Individual Photocards of members: (top left) Jennie, (top right) Rose, (bottom left) Jisoo, & (bottom right) Lisa.

I expected a deeper message in their songs. This could’ve been about relationships not just between lovers, but also between friends and even family in the present time of their lives and experiences.

Their last song on the album called You Never Know, gives great insight into the struggles of their fame and how they feel about it at times. It makes you as a fan, empathise with them.

Album Name

When I first saw the album name I said to myself,

‘Oh, they’re probably filling it in for suspense while they promote it and will reveal the real title closer to its release’.

But, that was it.

The Album.

BLACKPINK The Album paper title.

I thought that they would’ve chosen a more creative album name. An album name that was more expressive of the overall story of the songs in the album or overall theme.

It is simple, straightforward, and one-worded like most album names nowadays. Considering that this is also their first official album, maybe they had thought what better way to celebrate that with The Album as the name.

Album Package

As a person who usually purchases the CDs of American and British artists, I didn’t expect the amount of merchandise included with the album CD.

The album package includes many exclusive merch like a photobook, photocards, polaroids, stickers, and posters of BLACKPINK. It’s a nice collection of merch that you can display, put up on your wall, or leave in the box to show off to house guests later on. It’s a cool add-on to the album and a great gift to their fans.

It’s even said that the member you receive for the solo shot photocards is who you like the most. It’s almost destiny that you get your favourite when you receive the package as if coincidentally confirming something you already know.

Flipping through the BLACKPINK The Album photobook.
BLACKPINK ‘The Album’ Photobook.

Much of what I’ve said is quite negative but this is only because my expectations were so high. A lot of my criticism goes to the level of creativity in their songs because I wanted something deeper.

BLACKPINK may be so popular because many can relate to the stories they tell in their songs. Their songs are still great, making you want to dance the choreography and chant to the chorus.

BLACKPINK is still an iconic and accomplished KPOP group. With this, I expected the same for The Album.

BLACKPINK The Album Photobook cover.
BLACKPINK The Album Photobook Cover.

Currently, fans are awaiting BLACKPINK’s comeback to release new music after their solo ventures for the past 2 years.

Hopefully, this comeback will showcase each of the members’ individuality, styles, and talents just as they’ve shown through their solo music.

Original photos by Erielle Manlulu