R, Rosé's debut mini-album, reminds us of something forgotten in the grand scheme of things
Rosé is the second BLACKPINK member to jump into the music scene on her own, following Jennie's debut with Solo three years later. R, initially called RS1 by fans, was a long time coming. Everyone knew that Rosé’s love for music would eventually flourish into a show-stopping solo debut, if her interviews and sneak peeks from their Netflix documentary, Light Up The Sky, were any indication.
Safe to say that the wait was definitely worth it, especially when Gone was first performed at The Show last January 31. Come March 12, Rosé stunned the world by debuting her first mini-album entitled R and dropping a music video for the first track: On The Ground.
R is a mini-album packed with self-awareness, heartbreak and melancholy with just two songs. In On The Ground, Rosé sings about the turbulent journey in looking for one’s life purpose. It's a track that marries both indie-rock and pop, carrying a reminder often forgotten in the grand scheme of things. When we’re too caught up in the hunt for greatness, we forget that everything we need is nearby or On The Ground.
Meanwhile, Gone is a straightforward and painful heartbreak ballad, almost reminiscent of early 2000s singles we’d get from Avril Lavigne. Here, Rosé shows restraint. She doesn't belt out the lyrics like she does in group comebacks. All throughout the song, she lulls us into a quiet headspace with her steady vocals. She sounds pained and lovelorn that it could make even the hardest hearts feel some a bit of her pain.
This mini-album is starkly different from the complex and high-energy beats we get from BLACKPINK’s usual sound. R shows a side of Rosé that's stripped down, shedding all the layers and buckling us back down to the basics. Her debut is proof that a first dip into the music scene need not be grand to make a splash.
The year 2020 proved to be a wonderful year for BLACKPINK and BLINKs, with them releasing multiple hit singles, a record-breaking album called The Album and a Netflix documentary. They continue the momentum and welcomed 2021 with The Show, an online concert that earned ?10.5 billion and drew approximately 280,000 viewers across the world. As of this writing, each BLACKPINK member is also busy with their individual forays into fashion, TV and music.
This goes to show that while BLACKPINK as a group and as individuals are here to stay. Now all that's left to do is stay tuned and keep our eyes and ears open.
Stream Rosé's mini album R in all major streaming platforms.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver