It’s been a long 14 months, but BLACKPINK is finally back. The K-Pop phenoms have returned with their first new song since the anthemic “Kill This Love,” which I highlighted as part of my Best New Music breakdown for that week.
“How You Like That,” the first pre-release single for the group’s debut studio album, is a bombastic combination of trap influences and electropop. The girls really get to show off their penchant for hip-hop, as well. The track is built around the “how you like that” refrain and the girls harmonize their vocalizations with the beat drop which softens the harshness of the production. Produced by Teddy, R. Tee, and 24, “How You Like That” uses a throbbing bassline, atmospheric synths in the pre-chorus, and an arresting EDM loop in the hook to soundtrack the song’s story of hopefulness. It’s all summed up perfectly with Jisoo’s lines “옷 끝자락 잡겠다고 (I’m going to grab the last bit of hope)/저 높이 두 손을 뻗어봐도 (Even if I reach out with both my hands).” Lyrically, the verses are the strongest part of the song, although Lisa delivers a rapid-fire verse with so much swagger and attitude, you can’t help but be impressed. Moreover, one of the best moments on the track is the outro where the quartet references one of their biggest hits yet, “DDU-DU DDU-DU.” The breakdown on the outro actually draws a bit on house and bounce influences and the choreography in the music video has slight vogue influences.
If BLACKPINK’s appearance on “Sour Candy” from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica was their showcase of pop glam, “How You Like That” is a reminder that they can get assertive and bold when they want to. Every girl gets ample time to shine and, as a unit, BLACKPINK exudes a unique charisma that sets them apart from other K-Pop groups. “How You Like That,” is a strong return for the girls and a promising peek into what they have in store with their debut album.