RED VELVET – 'THE REVE FESTIVAL: FINALE'
1. Psycho *Title
2. In & Out
3. Remember Forever
4. Eyes Locked, Hands Locked
5. Ladies Night
7. Love Is The Way
9. Umpah Umpah
12. Bing Bing
14. Sunny Side Up!
16. La Rouge (Special Track)
As 2019 draws to a close, Red Velvet has unveiled the final chapter in their 'ReVe Festival' trilogy, 'Finale.' This album contains a whopping 16 tracks, all the songs from the two previous mini-albums and four new ones. But being a re-package hasn't hurt any, as it's hit #1 On US iTunes sales charts. As we've reviewed all the other tracks, we'll just focus on the new material for this review.
Their title track, "Psycho," sounds quite upbeat for showcasing a mental disability. True, it starts out with a little bit of instability, and there's a synth line that adds an ominous feel to the chorus. But when I cued it up the first time I didn't notice. It was only when I sat down to listen to it in earnest that I noticed the subtleties. There's an undercurrent of wrongness as the song plays, lending credence to the song's chorus. "In & Out" is R&B with powerful wubs and sugary sweet main verses. I like this one a lot, probably more than their title tracks. It might be the mighty low bass on here, acting as much as percussion as instrumentation.
The only ballad here is "Remember Forever." It starts out pretty stripped down, but soon enough it gets more musical. It sounds quite familiar and has a hint of a carnival behind it. And the scene where the members are talking in high octaves like tweens does little to disabuse one of that notion. "La Rouge" is by far the most uptempo track on here. It's R&B, but it straddles the line between that genre and pop. It's got more in common with funk than anything and even has a horn section. The upshot is that it features those seductive vocals they deliver so well.
From the unsettling "Psycho" to the deep bass of "In & Out," the slow burn "Remember Forever" and the brassy "La Rouge," they've crafted a finale to remember. Not only is it their last album of the year, but also the decade. And it's a pretty good one, pulling all their hits from the other ReVe Festivals into one place. And that is reason enough for a festival.
The girls are flappers in their newest MV for "Psycho."
Well, sort of. The members' clothing is about 100 years out of date, as we've gone full circle from the 1920s and the 2020s are just around the corner. The girls are dressed in lace and feathers, talking to each other through balls of yarn, connected to each other by strands of -- what else? -- yarn (a variation on the string between two cups).
Of course, all is not well in the flapper's paradise. Remember, this song is about the girls feeling like psychos with the rollercoaster ride of a relationship. So Joy sees Yeri jumping up and down on her bed, so Joy runs off and drags Irene upstairs with her. Meanwhile, the other members talk on yarn phones. Wendy looks particularly hard hit by this, looking more messed up than I've ever seen her. But wait...there's more. A picture is dropped, the shards turning to butterflies which appear sporadically throughout the rest of the MV.
The MV has a bit of a dreamlike quality to it, as things happen that don't quite make sense. I think that's deliberate here, as we watch what's going on, but it doesn't connect obviously to any larger narrative. We're passive observers of their nightmare, even as we try to find meaning.
Like any good MV, there's dancing here. There are gestures, sometimes near the head, indicating they're crazy. Otherwise, the movements are tight and precise, and what you hope you'd see from a veteran group like Red Velvet. I can't find a thing to complain about here.
But, just like the song, there's hope. As they sing that they'll be okay and survive, they smile and dance and cavort like they're truly happy. A good endnote to a long year. This was a dynamic and exciting MV to watch and definitely earns my thumbs up.
MV SCORE: 8.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6