It feels like it was just yesterday that BLINKS campaigned for more BLACKPINK content including a solo release (and better treatment) for Rosé via many trucks with massive flashing signs, sent to park directly outside YG Entertainment headquarters. Now, 5 years after her 2016 debut in BLACKPINK, the K-Pop girl group’s main vocalist FINALLY has her own solo work, and honestly, it really feels like all that campaigning and pain was worth it.
Titled ‘-R-’, Rosé’s single release consists of two tracks; ‘On the Ground’ and ‘Gone’. The latter ended up premiering at BLACKPINK’s online concert ‘THE SHOW’ back in January. However, it is ‘On the Ground’ that is actually Rosé’s title track. Surprisingly, both songs are completely in English, purposefully penned and intended by Rosé herself, as she felt it was the most fitting language for them.
‘Gone’, the first revealed track of Rosé’s solo debut (initially recorded two-years ago) is a slow-jam stripped back number, with Rosé’s vocals mostly only accompanied by a hazy electric guitar. ‘Gone’ tells the tale of an unrequited love and the frustrations of a painful break-up. With lyrics such as, “Another story that’s sad and true, I can feel the pain, can you?” and “All my love is gone, now you’re dead and gone”, the song is extremely relatable for anyone who has ever been through a dangerously romantic and gut-wrenching break-up.
Title track ‘On the Ground’ is the stand-out number between the two songs, lyrically mature and honest, the song speaks of simple beginnings, a past love, success, independence and staying grounded (pun intended). The accompanying music video is equally as dramatic and is almost cinematic. Of the two songs, ‘On the Ground’ was the best choice for Rosé’s official solo debut and is one that I personally cannot fault.
Rosé’s ‘-R-’ is an emotionally charged and heartfelt mini record that not only showcases the singer’s incredibly enchanting and unique vocals, but her eloquent songwriting skills as well. One must wonder why it took so damn long for BLACKPINK’s main vocalist to release solo work. But I suppose it’s better late than never. Now, let us hope that this isn’t the last time we see Rosé release solo music…