SQUARE UP is the first mini-album released by BLACKPINK. DDU-DU DDU-DU was used as the promo song.

Released: June 15, 2018
1. DDU-DU DDU-DU (뚜두뚜두)

DDU-DU DDU-DU is a bit of a departure from the group’s other material. It follows most closely to the sound of Whistle with its stronger hip-hop elements, although this one is definitely more hard-hitting. The verses are pretty much given to Jennie and Lisa for their raps, while Rose and Jisoo come in on the pre-chorus to give a more slowed and dramatic tone. The chorus is quite repetitive, but the attitude and hook is strong enough to carry everything. I quite like the contrast of the different parts of the song and there is a lot of power. It’s not their strongest song, but it is memorable.

Forever Young reminds me more of 2NE1 and I love that the group went back to the more obvious pop elements. It has some tropical house elements to it, but I do like it plays with things so they aren’t stale. The chorus is definitely more hard-hitting and I feel like the whole feeling of the song is heavier than the usual breezy tropical house hits. It’s fun and catchy, although I do not like the odd breakdown about three minutes in, which switches the sound.

Really is a midtempo pop song with some hip-hop and reggae inspiration. I’m not quite into this song as much because I feel like the music doesn’t sound as clean as it could be. It feels like they are trying to continue the sound from the last song, but the synths and editing just sound off and don’t fit. The melody is quite catchy though and reminds me of iKon’s Love Scenario.

See U Later starts as a nice change from the other songs with its effortless pop sound. However, my main gripe with the song is when that drop comes in for the chorus. It just doesn’t fit the brightness of the verses and I think it ruins the flow of everything. Once again, the girls go the repetitive route, but things just don’t flow as strongly. I think I like everything but the chorus is disappointing.

Overall: This is a solid release from the group. I did enjoy all the songs, but I wish there were some tweaks done to the last two songs. The first two were quite strong and they felt much more polished in their delivery. The music was cleaner and the melodies weren’t muddled. The second half just felt a bit all over the place at times.