[Review] On The Ground – ROSÉ (BLACKPINK)

It has been a long time coming. But after years of promise, the next BLACKPINK member has made their official solo debut. ROSÉ makes her start as a solo artist with the single On The Ground, an all English single. Usually for an all English single would be lumped as part of the International Song Review segment. But as ROSÉ will be promoting the song in Korea, I have decided to write a separate review for it. The first member of BLACKPINK to make her solo debut was Jennie, way back in 2018 with SOLO. Check out that song if you haven’t yet after this review.

On The Ground is an awesome track. I literally have to get that off my chest. I was pretty satisfied with the entire song from the start. ROSÉ really shined with her vocals in this song, making a lasting impression of a minimalistic acoustic instrumental at the start of the song. Her vocals were extremely clear and I really like the tiniest tinge of raspiness in her voice throughout the song. The producers were very clever with the minimalistic instrumental approach, as this made us zone into her vocals from the very first second. I also like the ‘Every day, every night‘ line in the verses, which reminded me for the briefest of seconds, a Taylor Swift type of melody. The chorus is a bit of a twist, with the direction changing for a bit of an electronic influence. I really liked this beat drop changeup, as it cuts through the acoustic of this song and brought a intense dynamic to the song without going for an overload of synths or strong beats. It is aesthetic, similar to how I perceived Jennie’s solo debut. As mentioned at the start of this paragraph, I was pretty satisfied with the song. But what sealed the deal for On The Ground that spectacular high note/peak. It came out of nowhere and everything before it in the bridge did not give me any idea that high note was fast approaching. It was so good and out of the blue that it left a strong impression on me. To the point where it made the final chorus feel more astonishing and lively. Needlessly to say with how impressed I am with the song, ROSÉ delivered a stunning solo debut song with On The Ground.

The music video compliments the song so well. I really like how the music video really highlighted her visuals throughout the video and kept her grounded (pun intended) throughout the video (for the most part). I also liked, to match with the song’s chorus, the music video opted for explosions and really cool effects (i.e. floating ROSÉ) to heightened the chorus’ vibes and energy. I also like how glamarous she looked throughout the video, which I am sure is reference to her celebrity status. But there are many scenes littered throughout showing us that she is realizing what is most important to her is not that lifestyle, but rather being herself. This is the premise of the lyrics as well.

[Updated] The performance was very clever. The thing that really stood out to me was just really how low the performance was, which felt fitting for the song’s lyrics/title. The first chorus was performed by Rose and the dancers by lying on the floor. The second chorus was performed sitting on the ground, while the final chorus was performed while standing up. It was a creative choice and it felt like a climb that shows that while she was at a low while living the glamorous life, she got back up as she fully embraced her own identity.

Song – 10/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 10/10 [Updated]
Overall Rating – 10/10