RED VELVET – 'THE REVE FESTIVAL: DAY 1'
2. Sunny Side Up!
4. Bing Bing
A couple of months ahead of their fifth anniversary in August, Red Velvet has released a new mini-album, 'The ReVe Festival: Day 1.' It's part of a series, and additional days are coming. The cover is interesting, too, having nods to their previous concepts in an amusement park setting. The album is already setting records, as it has reached #1 on the U.S. iTunes Albums Chart – something no other girl group has ever achieved.
But "Zimzalabim" is a disappointing song. And it's sad, because the lyrics are hopeful, about chasing your dreams and letting go of negative feelings. And there's nothing wrong with the main verses, but the mindless repetition of the chorus just turned me cold. The tune was meant to be maddeningly catchy. Instead, it's just maddening. I like quite a few of Red Velvet's tunes, but I don't think I can count this one among them. The song's title is like the western phrase 'abracadabra,' but this was less than magical. Now, "Sunny Side Up" is more like it. The tune kinda has a reggae vibe running through it, but they give their harmonies and R&B leanings to it, on top of some of the sweetest voices I've heard coming from these girls. It's laid-back, refreshing, and just an awesome bop. If I were in charge, this would be the title track. "Milkshake" worried me when it started. Was it going to be ridiculously cutesy? But I needn't have worried. They bring that R&B vibe to this one as well. It's got some things in common with western swing, but I like it overall. They shake this one up and do something entirely different with it. There's sweet and sensual in equal measure to this one, and the song is better for it.
With an awesome bass line and strumming guitar, "Bing Bing" comes in like a lion. Wendy, Joy, and Seulgi just dominate here, with throaty soulful vocals that just grabbed my heart. But it's a playful song if you want to judge from the lyrics. You can take them metaphorically because otherwise, it sounds like someone getting drunk. Despite that, this song is catchy as all get out. When it starts, "Parade" didn't sound very parade like at first. As a matter of fact, it seemed very childish, and not really worthy of these ladies' voices. Well, the chorus changed my mind. Crashing, ringing, horns blasting, and all the girls singing their hearts out. Yeah, it sounds a lot like a parade now. And it's a lot of fun. "LP" sounds a bit vintage. It's got those retro stylings, and even sounds like a vinyl record being cued up at the beginning. I like how this all shakes out, and we get one more chance to hear these girls' amazing vocals before the LP ends. They even have a sax in the middle part. Do I like this one? Oh yeah.
This was quite a good album. Of course, if you're starting a new album series, you want to put your best foot forward. They did. If I thought some of their other tunes were quite good, I hadn't heard anything yet. Everything from good retro to R&B to playful pop finds its way on here, and the album is one good time. Like 'Ice Cream Cake,' this should re-affirm their status as summer comeback queens.
Red Velvet take a ride to a nighttime carnival in "Zimzalabim."
In perhaps a more successful take on the amusement park theme than Momoland (don't hate me), Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy, and Yeri are taking in a night's amusement at a carnival. They enter an elevator that strangely drops from the sky and from there they vanish. There, they do all the things you'd expect at one of these shindigs -- ride a roller coaster, take a ride in the teacups, strike a pose in a photo-booth, ride on the merry-go-round, etc.
But the directors didn't stop there, inserting all kinds of surreal effects, from giant heads and faces on the roller coaster, floating instruments, flying through the park, and sitting on a crescent moon. Like the elevator wasn't weird enough!
Of course, you have shots of the girls dancing and whirling and dropping at various points. They're hardly a rookie band, so you'd expect them to have some pretty jaw-dropping choreo. But that wasn't the only thing.
Just in case you weren't blinded by the eye-popping colors, their outfits were as crazy as the song. Just like the song, they borrowed a little from here and a little from there to create a rather unique wardrobe for the five. It almost reminds me of the halcyon days of K-pop, when performers donned the most outlandish costumes for their MVs.
I have to say, this was quite awesome. Even if I weren't the song's biggest fan before I cued this up, I found myself enjoying it more. Whether you like the song or not, you can't deny that this was one poppin' MV.
MV SCORE: 9.0
ALBUM SCORE: 9.0