[Review] Shut Down – BLACKPINK

Following the pre-release of Pink Venom last month, BLACKPINK is back with their official comeback single Shut Down and the studio album Born Pink. Prior to Pink Venom, the group’s last comeback was back in 2020 with single Lovesick Girls and their first studio album, The Album.

The most memorable aspect of Pink Venom, for me, ended up being the fact that song was just so alike to many of their past singles. And I believe this was a common theme of other people’s thoughts on the pre-release as well. It appears that BLACKPINK and their producers have caught on, as Shut Down sounds vastly different from the group’s past releases. The biggest game changer to Shut Down was the La Campanella strings sample, which definitely gave off a refined and sophisticated feel to the song. But as one would expect with a BLACKPINK and YG song, there is still a strong hip-hop influence. Together, they created an intriguing piece that came out to be quite decent. However, I did wish the instrumental picked up a bit as the song progresses, just to give Shut Down a more dynamic flair. I kind of expected something extra to happen towards the end of the song, as we were given a pretty consistent background piece throughout the first and second runs of the verses/choruses. The bridge does seem to allude at a potential change in momentum and energy, but Shut Down eventuated into an even more sluggish ending. As for the members, I thought they did a fine job with their rapping and vocals. The rapping was definitely exciting and there was some good sequences and flow. The vocals were more on the forgettable side, but it was still appreciable. Good news, the hooks in Shut Down do have a memorable ring to it, and this helps Shut Down loads in my books. Overall, Shut Down is a much better track compared to their pre-release and a much appreciated new sound profile to their discography.

There appears to be a lot of references to their oldest music videos in Shut Down‘s very own music video. Some of the references that I picked up on include the Jennie’s tank, Rose’s light-piece swing and Lisa’s katana from their DDU-DU DDU-DU music video and Rose sitting on top of the planet Earth from their WHISTLE music video. The billboard that Jisoo takes a selfie in front also features a scene from the DDU-DU DDU-DU music video of herself. Aside from those references, I continually enjoy the presence of the black and pink coloured items and themes throughout their music videos. I don’t know why and I feel like it pretty much cliché now, but I still find the references to their name in the video to be quite interesting. I also liked the roller door and alleyway set, as well, for this music video. The colour from their outfits were also a refreshing visual as well.

The choreography for this comeback looks fantastic. It was tough and I liked how they were imaginary smashing or slamming things on the ground or their hands in time with the ‘Shut Down‘ mentions in the song. I particularly like the clock hands that preceded the clap of the hand in the chorus. I would definitely like to see what else BLACKPINK has in store for the rest of the routine.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

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