Single Review: BLACKPINK – Ice Cream (with Selena Gomez)

The long-awaited collaboration between BLACKPINK and Selena Gomez, Ice Cream, melts under the heat of expectation and serves up a bland mess unfit of the superstars who front it…

A partnership between a multiple award-winning, world superstar musician and one of the fastest-growing groups in recent years holds so much promise for an exciting track which blends parts of American and Korean music perfectly. Unfortunately, Ice Cream feels like a lazy pop song which wastes the talent it has on offer with a slow and repetitive track that doesn’t feel like a BLACKPINK song in the slightest.

One of the hallmarks of a great BLACKPINK song is a high tempo with a catchy chorus and each singer in their comfort zone; three key traits this song all forgets. The chorus is a slow and repetitive slog which ruins any momentum the beat builds, unlike usual BLACKPINK anthems which use the chorus as the crescendo of the tempo. The entire song instead follows the same four-beat rhythm with a constant, jarring change between it and a slower version dependent on the singer.

Speaking of the singers, they are indistinguishable. For a song with five different singers, it does a remarkable job at making it sound like a duet. Selena, Jisoo and Rose all sound the same doing their job at clean vocals but with a sprinkling of auto-tune to remove their identity, while Jennie and Lisa are confined to rap and, again, sound identical. You could say that this is a Selena Gomez song featuring Lisa and most people wouldn’t tell the difference, Jisoo only has two lines of her own and serves as an embodiment of his song’s distance from Korea given that the lyrics are almost exclusively in English.

The song isn’t without merit. It does improve towards the end and does get better on repeated listens but something that only becomes okay after five listens doesn’t make it a good song. It is a disappointing addition to BLACKPINK’s upcoming album and a waste of a spectacular collaboration.

Rating: 5/10

By Lewis Brumby

Feature Image Credit: YG Entertainment

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