New Red Velvet album hits all marks

Kian Hagerman
Mesa Legend

The members of Red Velvet pose with former culture minister Cho Yoon-Sun at Korea Sale Festa in 2016.
The members of Red Velvet pose with former culture minister Cho Yoon-Sun at Korea Sale Festa in 2016.

After a very successful year in 2016, Red Velvet has released their first project of 2017 “Rookie” which is their fourth mini album. There are six tracks in total, each with a unique sound of its own infused with the group’s impressive vocal range. Made up of Wendy, Irene, Seulgi, Joy and Yuri the group pairs the singsong style of rap popular in Korean music with singing.

Starting off with the title track “Rookie” the pace varies from song to song, the album changing between a number of moods as well as genres. The group, like many Korean pop artists adheres to a concept; in Red Velvet’s case the Red aspect of their music is fun music that one can dance to, while their Velvet side manifests in their slower cuts.

Red Velvet consistently puts out well-produced music that I enjoy, and “Rookie” is not the album where this trend ends. Eclectic is the perfect word to describe the sound of the group, though nothing comes across as excessive or haphazard. Red Velvet’s “Rookie” can be purchased as both a physical copy as well as digitally through various services like Amazon and iTunes.

Track breakdown

The driving rhythm of the percussion, accompanied by the bright horns and saccharine-drenched melody match up well with lyrics about trying to hide one’s feelings when in love with someone, while also wishing those feelings would be returned.

“Little Little”
This track is archetypal of the Velvet portion of the group’s concept, a quiet song in comparison to “Rookie” that addresses many similar themes lyrically.
The harmonizing of the group throughout makes this song memorable.
“Happily Ever After”
The production on this one is a bit odd, and the track is my least favorite on the album.
It doesn’t sound bad, though I do think it sounds out of place.

“Talk To Me”
This one is difficult to describe; the beat has elements of the trap genre without the heavy bass use that defines trap.
The lyrics are summed up by the track’s title, an expression of desire to be approached romantically.
The rapid-fire alternating between group members is a highlight.
“Body Talk”
Starting off with a droning bass, the use of various claps combine into a great rhythm to go with some synthesizer sounds that might be found on an ‘80s album by Toto or Phil Collins.

“Last Love”
A solo song that would fit perfectly on a Disney soundtrack.
Wendy’s singing is at times sweeping and powerful, though tender moments are also present.
“Last Love” is a beautiful finale to the album that should not be skipped.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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