After being anticipated for years, Rosé – member of the massively successful girl-group BLACKPINK – has arrived with her debut solo project, R, which features two emotional tracks titled “On the Ground” and “Gone”.
Demonstrating a completely unexpected sound, “On the Ground” opts for pop-rock production with propulsive electronic elements and introspective lyrics. On this track, Rosé explores the highs of being famous and successful which can lead to feeling hollow and distant from what truly matters: “It’s funny when you want it / Suddenly you have it / You find out that your gold’s just plastic.” This is further emphasised as she sings about missing people she doesn’t get to see as much due to working; “And I’m trying to send a message / And let you know that every single minute I’m without you I regret it,” she sings over drums and smooth guitar strums.
Despite the pathos in this track, it ultimately proves to be a feel-good song about realising what’s important. “Everything I need is on the ground,” she sings victoriously before a post-chorus breakdown of smooth electronic synths arrive to elevate the song to new heights. It is about finding strength and assurance that the people you love will always be there no matter how far away they may be.
Contrastingly, “Gone” – the first track teased for this project – is a moody, guitar-driven break-up track which finds Rosé blindsided over the sudden end of a relationship. Over stripped-back production filled with impressive melodies, Rosé flexes her signature emotive vocals. “I see you changed your number / That’s why you don’t get my calls / I gave you all of me / Now you don’t wanna be involved,” she sings with the hurt clear in her lower register.
There are some strikingly strong lyrics here that lay her pain bare (“Tell me why you’d have to hit and run me?”) and even her anger (“Hate to see you with someone new / I’ll put a curse on her and you”) in emotional transparency. While the chorus, despite its sadness, is a catchy sing-along moment as she frankly sings “All my love is gone.” It’s a surprisingly angsty track that shows off a new side to Rosé that is satisfying to listen to.
R is a vulnerable and mature solo debut that demonstrates Rosé’s vocals and songwriting skills greatly. We hope that she has the opportunity to create a full-length album in the future.
You can watch the music video for “On the Ground” here and listen to “Gone” via the Spotify embed beneath – or find both on your preferred streaming platform.