Red Velvet
The Red


4.0
excellent

Review

by Arche USER (86 Reviews)
August 14th, 2017 | 45 replies


Release Date: 09/09/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A gutsy, silly breeze of an album to listen to.

Particularly in the heavily-manufactured, cut-throat world of K-Pop, immediacy is power; consequentially The Red's opening track 'Dumb Dumb' doesn't so much allow the listener to test the waters (so to speak) as spear-tackles them in, head first, probably without checking that they can swim. Within the first few seconds, the track's eponymous refrain rings out with all the urbane verve of an Oompa Loompa chorus, stuttering and repeating before itself bursting into feisty, horns-and-claps pop-rap; survive the initial onslaught, and the hastily-imposed ohrwurm irreversibly burrows its way into your grey matter, inevitably coming back in a form of verbal recall whose only purpose is to embarrass you in public, apparently. Yes, it's fantastic.

From this point, Red Velvet proffer a mélange of boisterous, hook-ridden pop and R&B cool, and to their credit, the balance between girl-power swagger and free-spirited enjoyability is struck admirably. Outside of its adorably silly mantra 'Dumb Dumb' has some real gut behind it, a little spike of moxy that permeates much of the album – 'Lady's Room' imbues the 'girls' night out' atmosphere perfectly, while the thoroughly modern 'Time Slip' carries an adolescent arrogance in its jerky make-up. Importantly, when Red Velvet's sugar highs wear off a little the results are still excellent. The funk-laced 'Campfire' is a welcome break from the energising double-whammy of 'Dumb Dumb' and 'Huff n Puff'; it's still delightfully airheaded, but trades a little of the 'crash now, ask questions later' for a little attractive flightiness. Further still, closer 'Cool World' proves to be a wonderful wind-down, its more mature approach still yielding infectious lines despite not being as in-your-face as excitable low-point 'Don't U Wait No More' (for its own good).

Caution, however, is warranted. 'Day 1' is a peculiar yet endearing mixture of J-poppish whimsy and 'mod revival' idiosyncrasies, its thinner verses punctuated by stabs not dissimilar to The Style Council's 'Shout To The Top'. While an undeniably great piece of music, herein lies The Red's greatest issue; the music itself is not the problem, but several tracks have features which feel 'borrowed' from other popular groups. For example, the spunky pop-rap verses of 'Dumb Dumb' and 'Red Dress' bear a striking resemblance to those of UK group Little Mix with their clap-led, choppy aesthetic. This, however, is forgiveable, as temporal similarities points to the style simply being en vogue at the time of release; perhaps more pressingly, the synth stabs in 'Time Slip' feel pirated from the widely recognisable intro of Iggy Azalea/Charlie XCX's 'Fancy'. On these occasions, the experience does feel cheapened somewhat, but if there's one thing which K-Pop doesn't command, it's thought – and ultimately, this is what's so lovely about The Red. Red Velvet's brand of attitude-strewn K-Pop may not be the most original cut out there, but there's a rollicking good time to be had.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Archelirion
August 14th 2017


5650 Comments


2 K-Pop reviews on the bounce? Uh-oh. This can't be good.

Any corrections, comments and whathaveyou as always greatly appreciated :] Check it out here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kKCioq-9aA

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 14th 2017


24364 Comments


3 para reviews ftw!!

that sentence in the first para is a thing of description beauty man ugh. not a k-pop guy but u a convincing fellow

verdant
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2017


2397 Comments


first paragraph is about as good an introduction to this review as Dumb Dumb is to the record.. which is to say, very.

so great aaron; eloquent and entertaining to read.

CalculatingInfinity
August 14th 2017


8822 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nice to see you both enjoying this :]

Archelirion
August 14th 2017


5650 Comments


Thanks guys ^ ^ I'm kinda happy with that introduction myself - was sat at work thinking about it and then I was like 'shit yes m8'


Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
August 14th 2017


24364 Comments


yeah man its super satisfying when u actually like something you've written so major props (:

clavier
Staff Reviewer
August 14th 2017


848 Comments


Seems like we've got a resident k-pop expert now...will be interesting to see what you cover next. Lovely review, of course.

Digging: Feed Me Jack - Ultra Ego

Archelirion
August 14th 2017


5650 Comments


Heh, maybe not just yet (though there may be another one on the horizon...)
Thanks ^ ^

superluminals
August 14th 2017


948 Comments


Sputnik's is so late to party on this one lol

Nice to see a review

hal1ax
August 14th 2017


13321 Comments


sounds like something i might dig. gnna dload

Archelirion
August 14th 2017


5650 Comments


Yeah, I only stumbled across it cos apparently someone Dub'd Dumb Dumb one day and I saved it - went over them last week and checked it out. @lum Any other sweet K-stuff I should be getting on that you know of?

Hope you dig hal :]

superluminals
August 14th 2017


948 Comments


Luna (kr) - free somebody

Wonder girls - reboot

I think you'd like red velvets eps as well, disregard my ratings on them kpop is growing off me lately

Archelirion
August 14th 2017


5650 Comments


Yeah I had a little look on RYM at their EPs and Russian Roulette in particular seems kinda well received so I'll give those a bash
Thanks for the recs :]

superluminals
August 14th 2017


948 Comments


All of them are pretty good rym is really harsh on kpop

Yw!

foxblood
August 14th 2017


9488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this album

zakalwe
August 14th 2017


26709 Comments


I have no doubt it's fucking useless

Digging: OLD - Formula

foxblood
August 14th 2017


9488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

well it is pop

zakalwe
August 14th 2017


26709 Comments


It's K-Pop which means it's wanked over by business men sniffing knickers stuffed to the frilly rim with amyl nitrate as they shed tears of guilt over the fact they'll never find love outside opening a package containing a plastic vagina.

literallyzach
August 14th 2017


507 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

okay zakalwe back to the music. it's fun and bright and so slickly produced. their new ep is a good time too, thanks for reviewing!!

hal1ax
August 14th 2017


13321 Comments


what? how is k-pop at all indicative of the tripe you just spewed out



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