After what felt far too long wasting away in the YG Entertainment dungeon, BLACKPINK were finally allowed out again and given a comeback with “DDU-DU DDU-DU“, which showcases positives but doesn’t quite come together as a whole.
There’s a bunch of stuff I like about “DDU-DU DDU-DU”, starting with the whistle-y snyth combined with a trunk-rattling bass. The snares were crispy as well and the pre-chorus helped build the anticipation for the chorus drop. Additionally, the rapping absolutely sold the song. It was less about the skill level than the effective projection of the attitude they wanted to convey, which is honestly more important in this type of effort anyway. Things are topped off by a memorable onomatopoeia-driven choral refrain of “hit you with that ddu-du ddu-du du“.
Where the song begins to run into problems is the chorus. I felt like a lot was riding on how they handled it due to the build, and to just have the electronic sound looped from the beginning with a lot of empty space was a bit of a letdown. The disjointed nature of the song could’ve been a positive, but things often felt like they could’ve been better fleshed out instead of somewhat repetitive. Furthermore, while the production was generally quite refined, at times that whistle-y synth came off almost out of tune.
“DDU-DU DDU-DU” runs with a similar sound that BLACKPINK has used before to great success, so I definitely understand the choice since it’ll likely be a hit again. It just never quite feels like it lives up to its considerable potential due to the chorus and other issues, but there were many appealing elements and BLACKPINK themselves showed out (Jisoo surprised in particular). Definitely interested to see how I feel about this by the end of the year.