ROSÉ’ has become the second member of BLACKPINK to launch a solo project, and with the release of her two track EP ‘R’ she’s impressively laid the foundations for what could be a huge moment for her. ‘On The Ground’ and ‘Gone’ highlight her strength in artistry with a guitar led production that allows her soothing vocals to glide over the top. 

Lead single ‘On The Ground’ is the big pop track that easily deserves heavy rotation globally. Reflecting on finding the balance of her success with her inter-personal relationships she sings about the level of love she has for someone where she would walk away from her dream to be with them. It’s a grounding sort of love that is so hard to let go of when you are so busy or travelling. “My world’s been hectic, seems electric, but I’ve been waking up with your voice in my head. And I’m tryna send a message and let you know that every single minute I’m without you, I regret it” she sings. 

Beginning with the strumming of an acoustic guitar and simple pop production, she builds up to this trance inspired electronic beat drop that feels a bit out of place with the emotional context of this song. But it’s an aesthetic contrast that brings a familiar sound her fans are used to hearing from BLACKPINK. With each listen the parallel aesthetic grows on you, and it’s a bold and memorable direction that will stick with you.

On the other end of the spectrum, ‘Gone’ stays in the simple acoustic lane and doesn’t stray away from the emotional unravelling. Opening up about a heartbreak that caused her a lot of pain, she lets this story be the main centre piece in the spotlight without any production gimmicks. “Another story that’s sad and true. I can feel the pain, can you? You had to be the one to let me down, to colour me blue” she vulnerably sings. 

Both of these songs are strong introductory offerings to who ROSÉ’ is as a solo artist, and hopefully it’s only the beginning of this story.