I know that so far when I’ve done these monthly reviews, I’ve done reviews of the song and music video. And that was my intention for this month too. But I just felt so incredibly uninspired and kind of mad at the idea of having to write three more of those (I’ve written so many recently), so this month I will instead be reviewing the corresponding albums to the songs that got voted in. For September the song that ended up in third place in the poll (with 16% of the votes) was Red Velvet’s ”Dumb Dumb”, which means a review of their very first studio album: ”The Red”!
Red Velvet are supposed to have a ”red” side, which is bright and upbeat, and a ”velvet” side which is more sensual and mature. As the name of the album might suggest, this album is focused on their more cheerful side, which has during their short career been the more emphasized one. Hopefully we’ll get a ”The Velvet” album too eventually, that would be cool. I haven’t written an album review since May, so let’s get properly into this!
Track 1 – Dumb Dumb
This has potential to be my favorite single from Red Velvet so far. Compared to their two previous red singles ”Happiness” and ”Ice Cream Cake”, this is a lot easier to take seriously. Not that I don’t like those singles, I do, but there is something quite juvenile about them that made me not really see them as ”proper” songs. This song is still fun, and super catchy, but it has a maturity to it that I find was completely lacking in the other two.
I’m glad to see that they’re utilizing Yeri more this time around. She was featured so little in ”Ice Cream Cake” that the addition of her made no sense to me. But the way the girls are divided in this song works well for me. Seulgi and Wendy carry the heaviest load in the vocal department and Irene and Yeri do the same in the rap department, with Irene taking the lead. And then Joy is a support in both departments. I like that idea and I think it works well. I also think this might be the best rapping I’ve heard from Irene. She isn’t super strong, not here not in general, but I really liked her part here.
I’m not that fond of the lyrics. Haven’t we had enough songs about girls being awkward in front of their crush? Yes, it’s something many of us can relate to, but I feel like it’s something that’s been done to death.
Track 2 – Huff n Puff
This is the first non-single track I’ve ever heard from Red Velvet, and it’s so good that it makes me feel like such a fool for not going here earlier! The instrumentals are so tight and the girls’ voices play off each other beautifully. I especially enjoyed Irene and Seulgi, they suited the track amazingly.
The lyrics aren’t super duper interesting but they do paint a quite lovely picture of this magic world they end up in. It makes me want it to be a painting, and that isn’t a sentiment many kpop songs awaken.
Track 3 – Campfire
The actual sound of this song isn’t that interesting to me, and I don’t think I’ll listen to it again, but the lyrics really hit home. I have a boyfriend who’s not exactly the sharing type, and that fact alone just makes me want to know everything about him. I want to know his story. Plus he’s the outdoorsy type who’s spent a lot of time around campfires, so these lyrics really reminded me of him. Not sure if it helped, but it definitely reawakened those thoughts.
Track 4 – Red Dress
While I do like the idea of a girl taking charge and kind of forcing a guy to see her for who she really is; this song is only right on the brink of being really good to me. Partly I like it, but it feels a bit draggy during some parts. It’s a fairly solid track though.
Track 5 – Oh Boy
This song does nothing for me. There’s a lot of repetitions in it, but instead of it making the song catchy, it just makes it annoying to me. It’s not a very memorable song to me, not in any way.
Track 6 – Lady’s Room
I don’t think this is a song I’ll be listening to, but I like it all the same. It’s a girl talk song, all about how they lock themselves in a room and share all their secrets about the boys they like etc. I like the female friendship of this song, especially since friendship is not actually that common a theme in kpop. Vocal-wise I think Joy and Seulgi sounded the best in this song; I enjoyed them greatly.
Track 7 – Time Slip
I really like the beat of this song; it has a hip hop flavor that works for these girls. I love the rhythm of the vocals in the verses, and I like the sensual flavor of the chorus. There’s a lot of talk-rapping in this song, which I personally enjoy, and the member that I think did that the absolute best is maknae Yeri. She didn’t have a huge margin, but I think this is the most I’ve enjoyed her so far.
Track 8 – Don’t U Wait No More
This is a song right on the brink of being really good, and while I enjoy the quite witty lyrics they do put me face to face with a common question in kpop: why do you have to wait for him to do something? Why not just do it yourself? I thought we moved on from that when Girl’s Day released their feminist anthem ”Female President”, but I guess not. I know, it isn’t necessary to take this so seriously, it just bugs me, that’s all.
Track 9 – Day 1
This song is super sweet and precious in that cute first love kind of way, but honestly; it just makes me bitter. Because while I don’t have that much to do these days; my boyfriend is super duper busy. I want to kiss every day too! I want to take advantage of all the precious time! I’m sorry; I’m making this review way too personal, am I not? It’s an alright song, but I didn’t find it all that special.
Track 10 – Cool World
I can see what they were going for with this final track, but to me it’s just boring. I do like how Joy’s voice sounds though; she surprised me with how well she can sing. But this feels like a filler to me. I know kpop albums tend to go out on a softer note, but this one didn’t work for me.
Decent album, but out of the ten tracks only three felt like download material to me. So not a great percentage. On the other hand, there wasn’t a track that I found really bad either, so I guess this album is just stable, but not a standout. I liked seeing more of the girls’ talents though; I felt like I got to know all their abilities better.
What do you think of this single and album? I hope you aren’t too upset about this month being album reviews instead; I just couldn’t bare another thousand screenshots.