BLACKPINK have teamed with Selena Gomez in the much-hyped collab for “Ice Cream”, and the all-English release continues their helps maintain their presence in the American market, for better or worse.
While I’ve already seen complaining about the lyrics and what not, it’s a pop song called “Ice Cream”, so I didn’t expect anything else (HyunA says hi). The double entendres and sexual innuendo are everywhere, and it’s sorta fun and playful like other BLACKPINK singles in that regard (maybe a bit risk taking for the Asian market). Like with most criticism of pop lyrics, though, I find it a bit odd to fixate on. People talk as if non-K-pop releases in this type of summer fun mode are frequently shit that would render Edgar Allan Poe irrelevant or something.
Musically though, it’s almost more akin to a grown-up nursery rhyme, unfortunately down to the production. For the verses the backing is actually quite appropriate and matches the quirky mood of the whole thing … but then it just never seems to go anywhere from there, continuing to drone on throughout. That makes the whole thing feel surprisingly flat. The chorus doesn’t add much, though the percussive hits are better, and basically relies on its stars to carry it themselves. They admirably attempt this, but it doesn’t add up to anything aurally pleasing. More shocking is that unlike previous BLACKPINK efforts, whether you liked them or hated them, you did end up remembering the hooks and I simply didn’t come away with that feeling here. Nothing latched on.
Given the popularity of BLACKPINK and Selena, along with a boost from having Ariana Grande on the credits, I’m sure the song could do very well on the charts. I don’t think I expected too much from this collab, as I did just kinda want a brainless summer pop track, but I feel like I got served ice cream melt with a soggy cone.
TheBiasList thought it was rather average as well, relying too much on the talent and not enough effort in production, also picking up on the nursery rhyme feel.