Here I am to (late) comment the comeback of one of the groups I love the most: Red Velvet. They have skyrocketed my rankings of favorite artists since their debut, especially since the hit of the century known as “Dumb Dumb“. So, for the last 2 years, I get very hyped for every comeback they have, always expecting something differentiated from most k-pop acts.
Like most of today’s pop acts, the group has its ups and downs. Like I said, 2015 was a glorious year to the group, with the superb “The Red”. A slight decline happened in their 2016 releases, with two good singles that didn’t have the same appeal as “Automatic” or “Dumb Dumb”. 2017 is having a major ascendance, with the weirdly exciting “Rookie”, the infectious “Red Flavor” and great b-sides on the way.
So, without further ado, let’s see what their wrap up this year look like.
The album opens with the single Peek-a-Boo, a tropical and creepy jam that peaks in the chorus with a intense tempo. The instrumental is right up there, almost passing over their voices, making it even more frantic. By the 4th listening the song gets out of the ordinary mainstream tropical to the creepy mainstream tropical.
The MV is great, with bizarre, funny and cinematographic scenes from the cult-ish plot with the girls referencing to b-side horror movies from the 80’s. The MV gives the quirkiness to the track, that is one of the most commercial they ever released so far.
and here’s the rest of the album:
Following, we have Look, a wonderful eighties track. It could be on “Reboot” and be a highlight of the album. It’s extremely faithful to the decade, sounding like a played pop from a lost cassette or like a Japanese 80’s city pop remix. I’m very impressed by this production. I really love the idea of showing this side of the Velvet like they also did with “Body Talk”, both remarkable songs.
I Just is a great melodic pbr&b, with a dense instrumental and soulful vocals, resembling some songs from the mid-2000’s like Mariah or Ciara. Kingdom Come is yet another R&B but this one being more of a neo-soul. The drums and adorned vocals give a sultry vibe to it that elevates the characteristic smooth velvet side of the group to a beautiful place.
My Second Date completely differentiates from the first part of the album, sounding like the “Velvet side of the Red side” like some songs from “The Red” or even F(x)’s “Pink Tape”, with the slight creepy feel, the rap break and the busy instrumentals.
Attaboy flirts with hip-hop in a ludic way that strengthens the bits of sonority they inherited from their label older sister group. The song construction in itself shows the charms and elements that made and still make k-pop as a genre what it is.
Perfect 10 is another smooth R&B, with the harmonization and marked vocals. Is not as exciting as the previous ones but still pleases. About Love is a lounge R&B very similar to the trend of releases that happened this year Korea by K-R&B artists, being more on the generic side.
Moonlight Melody is the typical impersonal ballad that ends albums, not showing anything impressive and being the first (and last) uninspiring track from the album.
Red Velvet came with a very strong album that displays the best of their “Velvet” side. Is dancing, smooth, well-produced, varied and dynamic. The album honors multiple sub-genres of R&B from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s with great production and quality. Absent of fillers, containing just one, maybe two dispensable tracks. The overall result of this couldn’t be more satisfying.
Final score: 7,3