Last fall, Jisoo shocked an L.A. crowd when she brought out Camila Cabello for a surprise duet of Cabello’s “Liar” during one of the final stops on Blackpink’s North American tour. While the other members of Blackpink had previously released singles prior to the tour, Jisoo had yet to debut a solo track. But the “Liar” cover quickly created a fervor among fans, who saw her come alive on the sultry, reggae-inspired track. Anticipation for a Jisoo-only release quickly hit an all-time high.
Now, two weeks before Blackpink’s next headlining gig — at Coachella, natch — Jisoo arrives with “Flower,” from her debut single-album ME. If “Liar” gave fans a taste of Jisoo’s solo prowess, “Flower” cements the singer as a certified solo star.
A sophisticated track with a staccato, Latin-tinged melody and Caribbean-inspired percussion, “Flower” feels instantly familiar yet unlike anything else on the radio at the same time. True to the name of the song, Jisoo’s voice is in full bloom, with breathy vocals that blossom into a beautiful falsetto by the time she hits a sweeping chorus.
“Flower” deviates from the hard-hitting anthems of Blackpink’s latest album in favor of a relaxed, mid-tempo groove. But Jisoo knows how to keep the listener’s attention, alternating between feisty and coy as she sings about leaving a past relationship behind. “You and me burned up like a fire,” she declares, “but i’m going to be okay.”
The Korean lyrics tell the story of the relationship’s push and pull: “Your gaze has changed, but maybe that was me,” she sings. At one point in the song, the singer likens herself to a butterfly that has flown away, with no one left to catch her — or reign her in. “All that’s left,” Jisoo coos, “is the scent of flowers I left behind.”
Though she’s had a hand in writing many of Blackpink’s songs, Jisoo left “Flower” to long-time collaborators Vince and Teddy Park. Yet the lyrics still manage to feel incredibly personal, a testament to the vulnerability Jisoo pulls out of her delivery. There’s a confidence to her voice that isn’t always as apparent when it’s blended with three other singers. But on this solo track, it’s clear that Jisoo is firmly in control.
“Flower” is one of two songs on ME, which also features the head-nodding pop track, “All Eyes on Me.” At just under three minutes in length, “Flower” ends right as you’re settling into its finger-snapping production, but perhaps it’s best to be left wanting more.
Blackpink fans have long known about the many charms of Jisoo, but on her excellent debut single, the rest of the world finally gets to hear from one of K-pop’s most beloved stars. With “Flower” as her launching pad, the whole world will be waiting to see what Jisoo does next.