Friday, September 25, 2015

#NOWKPOPPING: Red Velvet gains respect, Super Junior...remains "Magic"al

L to R: Super Junior, Red Velvet
RED VELVET - The Red Album 
I'll admit. I initially tossed off SM Entertainment's latest production as a f(x) placeholder. Their latest release, LP The Red Album, has put those cavalier thoughts to bed. 

Initially presented as a quartet, Red Velvet is now a five-piece girl group built on quirky fashion appeal (like f(x)) and strong vocal performances with a flair for the dramatic, vintage-inspired melisma (think Girls' Generation-TTS). The Red Album is an admirably cohesive set of mostly uptempo dance songs, set to put on display the "red" side of RV -- the spicy, high-energy side. (This leads one to assume the re-package/next release will be The Velvet Album, full of syrupy ballads...but I hope not).

Fashion Risks + Vocals...remind you of anyone? SM Entertainment has been releasing successive groups as mirror reflections of each other -- TVXQ! & The GraceSuper Junior & Girls' Generation, and SHINee & f(x)...or so we thought. Perhaps RV is SHINee's true female mirror and f(x) truly is their own thing. (Regardless, I'm just happy they will soon be coming back, even if it is sans Sulli.)

Despite my naysaying best efforts, The Red Album won me and many of my Twitter friends over. The highlight for me without question is the effervescent "Red Dress", complete with a just handful of tempo changes. The group is currently promoting around their single, "Dumb Dumb", which is another big highlight -- but mostly because it sounds like the KPOP version of Jessie J/Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj's "Bang Bang" with a weird tacked on rap in Korean about Michael Jackson. (Before your Red Velvet-ites come at me, that's not a drag -- I adore "Bang Bang".)


I would have been more than happy to have my boys in Super Junior go officially radio silent following the release of the quite good bop that is/was "Devil" but instead, a supposed "Part 2" of their tenth anniversary "special album" (whatever that means -- we are not gonna talk about that cover art because your girl will just get heated) was recently released, including a new song and music video for "Magic", a decidedly lite Euro-pop dance ditty.

It's cute and everything but it lacks the sass "Devil" had. Shrug. Sure, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to see my geriatric idol boys knock each other out of the way for a girl's/the camera's attention. Their sense of humor was always their strongest attribute. But a part of me remains forlorn that "Devil" didn't take a stronger hold.

The repackage also includes a pretty great rap homage track called "You Got It" (featuring only a handful of members, including Donghae only on the vocal bridge and not rapping -- sad face). It also somewhat confirmed brewing rumors of another Super Junior sub-unit that will promote during the EunSiHae military hiatus tentatively dubbed Super Junior-H&L, featuring the two elde(rly)st members Heechul & Leeteuk. This makes sense, considering its most popular spinoff group -- Mandopop-focused Super Junior-M -- will be down four of its eight members. No shade to Chul & Teuk, as I'm all for SuJu doing something while EunSiHae fulfill their civic duty, but could we also get that Super Junior-KRY (Kyuhyun, Ryeowook, Yesung) album we were promised? Kthanks.

PS - Less than a month left before my husband bias leaves to join the police for two years. No, I'm not crying, shut up. Now, don't mind me. I'll just be over here twiddling my thumbs, trying to figure out what the hell to do in KPOP land once both he and the original bias (due for service in November) have left.

My plan of action is outlined by Heechul (the blonde) in the below gif thusly. Gif credit goes here.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Of the two tracks, I like SJ's more, although it sounds a LOT like the MJ/JT duet "Love Never Felt So Good." I think I'm just over the whole "Bang Bang" vibed songs.

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