When Rosé’s “On The Ground” was released, I noticed that quite a few fans seemed to prefer its b-side “Gone.” So of course, I immediately checked it out. But more than anything, the song just reaffirmed my disinterest in this style of pop. I can’t say I’ve listened to “On The Ground” much since its release, but its electronic beat drop didn’t bother me in the way it seemed to grate on others. At least it gave the song a pulse. “Gone” is just dull.
There’s a glut of this subdued “acoustipop” on the market. Sometimes I refer to it as “diary pop”, and songs of its ilk usually stake their claim on a sense of authenticity, with the artist laying bare their deepest feelings regarding a breakup or a screwup or a hookup. I have no reason to doubt the intentions behind these songs. That’s not the point. I just wish more performers would realize that these big feelings can exist within big songs. That’s one of the most thrilling things about pop music: the ability to musically galvanize and be deeply personal at the same time. Too often, tracks like “Gone” forget the first part of this equation.
This is a much broader criticism than Rosé deserves. “Gone” is fine, but for me it’s in one ear, out the other. From the muted guitar strum to the familiar sing-song melody, the track feels familiar from the start. Rosé gives a lovely performance, but too often “Gone” forces her voice into irritating affectations — especially during the trilled climax of each chorus. Moments like this wear thin, and fail to cast Rosé as the unique performer she can certainly be. Still, I’m sure “Gone” will resonate with many fans, and that’s always a great thing.