Featured Image Source: WikiMedia Commons, 2020 How You Like That Announcement
For the first time since October of 2020… BLACKPINK is going to be in your area.
Sure, the girls have made their way into other areas of pop culture over the last two years, and two members even saw solo debuts, but still. Blinks have been in a musical drought for nearly two years now, and are anxiously awaiting the comeback of these fourth-generation leaders.
The August 6th press release from YG Entertainment is vague, but promising. YG alludes not only to a full album, but a packed schedule that includes a large world tour. There are endless possibilities to what BLACKPINK could be doing next, but if there’s one thing we know we can expect from the girls, it’s to have a keen grasp on what’s hot right now — and how to stand out from it.
When it comes to a comeback concept, BLACKPINK is known to lean more into girl crush aesthetics, and right now, girl group kpop is pretty divided between the dark and the cute. Some of the biggest singles right now utilize a cute concept, such as Aespas “Life’s Too Short” and Kep1ers “UP.” In contrast, we have G-IDLE’s “Tomboy” and JESSI’S “ZOOM,” pillars of girl crush which are perfectly in tune with BLACKPINK fan favorites like “Pretty Savage” and even Lisa’s solo work. This gives BLACKPINK plenty of space to experiment with that middle ground, and break into something new, both for them and for the industry.
Y2K is all the rage right now in Western and Korean music, and the girls have often been told they sound very 2010 Western pop-esque, an observation that’s been thrown their way as both a critique and praise. I can’t see them donning the full y2k vibes of say, a Weeekly comeback, but rather harnessing the over-the-top music video vibes of this era. Think Katy Perry’s “E.T.” or Melanie Martinez’s “Dollhouse,”– dark visuals, but with a flirty sense of kitsch.
This comeback also begs the question — when is it Jisoo’s turn for a solo debut? Rose’s solo came about five months after The Album, so maybe Jisoo will help keep the momentum of this August comeback going with a winter debut. A Jisoo debut will likely be elegant and mature, soft yet upbeat, similar to TWICE’s fan-favorite “CRY FOR ME.”
As for a tour? Well, this is where things could get crazy. Especially at the scale that YG indicated.
The return of kpop tours was becoming predictable — an Atlanta date, a Chicago date, two California dates, a New York date, and a Texas date were the rinse and repeat formula for TWICE, Stray Kids, TOMORROW X TOGETHER, and ITZY, with a few exceptions here and there.
And then, there’s how BTS does things.
With little to no warning, BTS announces a mini-residency in Las Vegas surrounding their appearance at the VMAS. Okay, sure, that makes sense. The shows are a massive success, and the boys return to Korea for a few months. Then it gets weirder. Seemingly out of nowhere, J-HOPE is announced for a solo date at Chicago’s famous Lollapalooza festival. Even weirder and quieter, TOMORROW X TOGETHER is added to the Lolla bill, just a month or so after selling out their original Chicago date instantly.
BLACKPINKs scale is more closely aligned with BTS, and I see them doing something closer to that bangtan tour model. In addition, setting records and firsts is important to the group. Blinks, if I were you, I would anticipate a Red Rocks show, checking off being the first k-pop group to perform at the iconic venue, as well as some mini residencies similar to BTS’s Permission to Dance on Stage. In addition, LALISA will likely have a solo show one night only somewhere iconic — be it added to an existing festival like Primavera, or one night at Madison Square Garden.
While speculating about this comeback is fun, at least we know one thing for sure — BLACKPINK new music is on the way, and that’s something for BLINKS old and new to celebrate.
Hannah is an accidental internet meme, drummer, loud talker, and proud owner of a purse that functions as a working analog clock. She got the media writer gene from her dad, PF Wilson, another writer for Pop Culture Beast. Her favorite bands come and go on a seasonal rotation, but Marina & The Diamonds and Say Anything are here to say. She’s probably watching The Grand Budapest Hotel right now, but if she isn’t, she’s out photographing rock concerts.