2 October 2020
THE ALBUM is the debut Korean-language studio album by BLACKPINK, released on October 2, 2020, by YG Entertainment and Interscope. It is the group's first full-length work since their debut in 2016. For the album, they recorded over ten new songs and worked with a variety of producers including Teddy, Tommy Brown, R. Tee, Steven Franks and 24. Eight songs made the final track list, including two collaborations: "Ice Cream" with Selena Gomez, and "Bet You Wanna" featuring Cardi B. The album explores the group's mature side through the themes of love and the complexities of growing up. Musically, The Album utilizes pop, R&B, hip hop, EDM and trap elements.
Supported by three singles in total, two of which were pre-released and became top forty hits on the Billboard Hot 100 — lead single "How You Like That" landed at the #23 spot; "Ice Cream" peaked at #13 to become BLACKPINK's highest-charting song in the United States; the third single "Lovesick Girls" reached #59 on the chart. To promote the album, Blackpink is set to headline a virtual pay-per-view concert, titled "The Show" on December 27, 2020. THE ALBUM received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who commended the girls' vocal ability and stylistic variety; however, a few critics found the album short and its production outdated.
Commercially, it debuted at #2 on the US Billboard 200 with 110,000 units moved, and is the highest-charting female Korean album and the highest-charting album by an all-female group since Danity Kane's Welcome to the Dollhouse (2008). Elsewhere, it reached number one in New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea, and opened inside the top 10 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. In November 2020, it debuted at #2 on the Gaon Monthly album chart with 1,092,550 copies sold and became the best selling album by a girl group in the chart's history.
The album received nominations for Album of the Year at the 2020 Melon Music Awards and the 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards, with its single "How You Like That" winning Best Female Dance Award at both. BLACKPINK promoted the album with televised live performances on Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and various South Korean music programs including Music Core and Inkigayo.
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