When BlackPink first released their title track “Lovesick Girls” on October 2, I disliked it a lot. In my initial listens, the chorus felt too shouty and hollow instead of anthemic and resonant. I also tend to turn away from songs that focus on romantic love. About a week and a half later, though, after I listened to some covers of the song on YouTube, the chorus clicked for me and I became obsessed with this bop about the pains and joys of heartache. After listening to “Lovesick Girls” nonstop for about a month and a half now, I realize that I resonate with this song because of the unique way it crafts a somewhat trite message: that it is better to be hurt by love than to close yourself off from experiencing it at all.
The verses in “Lovesick Girls” do an excellent job of communicating the pain that accompanies connection. These verses remind me a lot my angst after I broke up with a former close friend in December 2019, how afterward I felt so betrayed and wounded and hurt. Jennie and Lisa’s lines in the first verse reek of angst and the desire to close oneself off from love; Jisoo and Rosé’s prechorus lines feel replete with both sadness and longing. Lisa and Jennie’s rap in the second verse amps up this fight against the pull of love even more
and tbh reminds me of all my blog posts where I consistently write about how much I hate romance, is that me partially resisting my own pull toward wanting to love and be loved by a man fml before concluding with Jennie’s line that shows the inevitability of her feelings no matter how much she resists: “love is a drug that I quit, no doctor can help when I’m lovesick.” The music video also does a great job of layering on the emotions of angst and suffering: aside from Rosé’s shots with lots of white background to complement her pink hair, most of the scenes feature Jennie, Lisa, and Jisoo in darker settings or in more isolated spaces (e.g., Lisa with the car in the second verse, Jennie confined in some sort of hospital in the second verse).
The chorus of “Lovesick Girls” steps on my face every freaking time I hear it now which I so appreciate. I first love the unabashed in-your-face delivery of the title line “WE ARE THE LOVESICK GIRLS!” I just so enjoy how the verses create this emotional dynamic of resisting connection and agonizing over wanting connection, all for the chorus to just fucking reverse that buildup completely and feature all of BlackPink yelling in unison, with no shame, that they are the lovesick girls, that, in roughly translated terms, they are nothing without the pain of love. This chorus reminds me of the therapeutic notion that if you embrace and accept your emotions, you can take away some of their power over you. When I listen to this chorus, I think to myself, “wow Thomas, it’s actually powerful for you to accept and acknowledge how much deep emotion you feel for your friends and how you do want a man to
top love you, amazing.” I also love how the music video always shows all of BlackPink dancing and having a great time together during the choruses. This sense of togetherness, combined with the unified delivery of the chorus, highlight how social support can buffer the pain that often accompanies meaningful interpersonal connection.
This song’s bridge and final chorus shine the brightest for me and turn me into a whimpering obsessive love-ridden fanboy. I have no idea how to convey how much I love the bridge and the final chorus other than to say I love it as much as I love books, Jeni’s ice cream, and the destruction of white supremacy combined. The bridge of “Lovesick Girls” highlights the power of love and of accepting your own heartbreak no matter what others say. When Rosé delivers her iconic lines with her bright piercing tones about how when the pain of love fades all you’re left with is a feeling that is thrilling? I screamed. When Jisoo essentially says with her rich and deeper vocals that she doesn’t hear what anyone else says, that even if love hurts she’s okay, that she pities people who pity her for her authentic emotional experience of love? I screamed even louder. As someone who is familiar with the pull to push away my own desire for connection, I feel such a sense of catharsis when Rosé and Jisoo deliver these lyrics about heartache with such openness and raw emotion.
This sense of catharsis intensifies even further when the final chorus hits. If I had to choose between eventually dating a man or listening to the final chorus of “Lovesick Girls” on repeat for the rest of my life, I would definitely choose to listen to the final chorus of “Lovesick Girls” on repeat for the rest of my life. As this video articulates around its four-minute mark, the production of the final chorus shifts compared to the first chorus. In the first and second chorus, BlackPink sings about how they are the lovesick girls, though the music sounds bouncier and more chaotic. In the final chorus, though, a guitar (I think?) pairs with the main instrumentation to deliver more of a sense of celebration, openness, and release. This final chorus, especially with Rosé’s beautifully-sung lines toward the end, convey this feeling of honoring the pain you’ve experienced and rejoicing in how you’ve come out at the other end even stronger and wiser. The music video is just gorgeous too: the shots of BlackPink together in an open field perfectly represent the opening of one’s heart to love and connection after a period of much-needed healing and more isolated reflection.
As someone who has had painful friendship breakups and who generally dislikes my attraction to men, I appreciate “Lovesick Girls” because the song describes a journey toward accepting one’s desire for love. This track highlights how relationships entail both pain and joy, that when you open yourself up you risk both rejection and connection. At the end of the first and second chorus, Jennie asks us “but why we still looking for love?” At the song’s conclusion, she instead says “but we’re still looking for love.” She’s stopped asking why, and she’s stopped questioning what makes us want love even though it hurts. She’s accepting the human search for love instead, both the hurt and happiness it entails.
How do you feel or think about BlackPink’s song “Lovesick Girls?” General reactions to this post? I appreciate BlackPink for releasing “How You Like That” and “Lovesick Girls” and bringing me some moments of joy despite 2020 sucking overall. Anyway, I wanted to share this more fun post before returning to my writing that focuses on internal and interpersonal angst, overcoming trauma and resisting societal oppression, etc. Also this month may be pretty busy for me – I’m prepping to teach a course in January, starting the data collection process for my dissertation, and I’m working on a revise and resubmit plus multiple other projects. I’m still gonna try to write on this blog though because I value it just as much if not more than my day job. Until next post!