Once again, the talented Red Velvet return to own the K-Pop scene with their latest song "Russian Roulette" off their 3rd mini album 'Russian Roulette'.
- Russian Roulette
- Lucky Girl
- Bad Dracula
- Sunny Afternoon
- Some Love
- My Dear
"Russian Roulette" is quite the quirky song as it emulates Japanese pop styles with a K-Pop twist both visually and auditorily.
The MV is beyond aesthetically appealing as it absorbs your entire mind and keeps your eyes glued to the screen with the multiple effects. The key point of this MV involves the stiff bodies and almost emotionless acting. It is more based on Red Velvet's actions, and the viewer becomes more absorbed with what is being done. The style of filming also captures each member's beauty without an overdose of aegyo.
"Russian Roulette" contains a lot of menacing symbolism that is quite eye-catching. Visuals such as the crow, which is associated with the trait of being a trickster, pairs nicely with the tomfoolery of infamous duo 'Tom & Jerry.' The girls can be seen mimicking these same dangerous, devious acts which add a touch of playfulness to this upbeat song.
I enjoy that Red Velvet keeps its original, sports-chic style while also getting a revamp on its music, similar to that of f(x)'s "4 Walls." The change is refreshing without being a drastic turn. It strays away from hits like "Ice Cream Cake" and "Dumb Dumb" without losing its identity in music.
The lyrics are what tie the theme in together nicely as the song voices concerns with "love being an easy game." What's funnier is the comparison to "the risky aim of Russian Roulette." Russian Roulette is all left up to chance, just like romance. You can be sneaky or think you are playing the game, but in the end, it is the gun that leaves behind one victor. Overall, it is a sweet and catchy advisory on how dangerous love can be. However, the album offers some different tastes that you can see below!
For the rest of the album, Red Velvet try on some new concepts and sounds that really make this album a winner. Similar to MAMAMOO's "Recipe," "Lucky Girl" opens up with a retro, jazzy style but breaks into funkier, silly sounds that seem random but somehow glue the song together wonderfully. As expected, their vocals shine nicely alongside the random circus melodies, clapping, trumpets blaring and few lines of "shoo bi do bop" throughout the track. The instrumental has a lot of highs; it is the kind of sound that gets you up and singing in no time - just like a lucky girl.
What is so lovable about this album is how the fun is never-ending and the song transitions are well-crafted. "Bad Dracula" opens up with a heart pumping "Ha, ha, ha - Yea, yea, yea" and has a real 8-bit, video game-like virtual sound. The way the instrumental escalates alongside the eerily deep muttering of "Bad Dracula" makes the song a tornado of feels. This song's purpose was meant to be extra and random in a sense as you may think to yourself, "I don't know what is going on, but I am loving it!"
Quite possibly the main ballad of the album, "Sunny Afternoon" is a bit more tamed but offers a lot of well-added ab-libs, soft guitar strumming, and fluttery, synthesized sounds. It gives an angelic feeling with the shimmery instrumental paired with their relaxed vocals. "Sunny Afternoon" really provides the lead vocals Seulgi and Wendy a chance to shine with their gentle high-notes and falsettos. The repetition of the chorus "Having a Sunny Afternoon" will have listeners humming the tune in no time.
With "Fool" following right after, this song sounds quite commercialized, as if for a kids' breakfast cereal ad in America or even a Youtuber's DIY tutorial instrumental- but it is still quite lovable. It carries over the delightfully, cheery atmosphere of "Sunny Afternoon." I enjoy most that the style of "Fool" isn't typical like most K-Pop songs that are expressing the theme of being a 'babo (fool).' The fun strumming of the ukulele, few taps of a bell and the rise in tempo as they whimsically sing "Foo-o-o-o-ool" makes "Fool" a song that outshines the rest of the tracks.
Although "Fool" reigns supreme on this mini album, in my opinion at least, Red Velvet makes me fall in love all over again with "Some Love." Red Velvet prove they can still make a hot, R&B influenced track with "Some Love." The song also has a bit of a tropical island sound with hints of the dance-hall genre, like the addictive whistle tune. It offers up a sexy, smooth, move-your-hips feeling similar to Rihanna's "Work."
The cool yet repetitious "Just, gimme, gimme, gimme some love" makes it the ear candy it is. This song definitely deserves a performance of its own as it has great potential as a dance track. Songs like "Some Love" and "Fool" are what make this album more of a hit than the actual promoted song "Russian Roulette."
Finally, the album draws to a close with "My Dear," another funky, but soft track. Out of all their songs on the album, it seems to have the least hype around it as it isn't extraordinary. The instrumental seems to borrow a lot of style from other typical side tracks and doesn't have as much flavor as the others.
"My Dear" is more of a vocal track where the tender voices of Red Velvet, paired with their sweet lyrics, make it more bubbly and uplifting but nothing more. While maintaining a lovely charm that can be found in some of the previous tracks, "My Dear" simply ends the album nicely. The strawberry on a cake of many unique layers.
In the end, Red Velvet's mini album "Russian Roulette" offers a big impact and brings in energy to the K-Pop scene again. Frankly, the album doesn't contain any tracks that are forgettable or boring. Each song offers something distinct and lively, and really dives deep into the group's new, mischievous style. Out of all their albums, Red Velvet really mastered their playful image and wonderful sounds with "Russian Roulette."