[ Quick Review ] : Zimzalabim by Red Velvet

Discussion in 'K-POP' started by Ash_and_Thorns, Jul 4, 2019.

  1. Ash_and_Thorns

    Ash_and_Thorns Trendsetter

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    Disclaimer : I am not a professional nor a music critic . All of these are just my personal opinions an an ordinary listener .

    Disclaimer 2 : The review is not a flattering nor a postive one . If you know yourself to be easily irritable or if this will ruin your experience as a fan then please don't proceed .

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    After their three comebacks and title tracks in 2018 ; one if which was deemed the best song of that year by billboard and a fan favourite and two that caused much strife between fans and non-fans alike to its 'experiementation' , Red Velvet have finally made their 2019 comeback with Zimzalabim and it's ....not good .

    The name of the track itself is an immediate attention grabber . Zimzalabim being ' A magical word that one would say to complete a trick like abracadabra or alakazam, the word is comprised of 3 names Zim, Zala and Bim the trickster demons ' according to Urban Dictionary promises a magical adventure and it fits well with the concept photos .

    We are initially greeted by heavy percussions and Wendy's overly-cheery and borderline cringy 'welcome' - which fans have compared to a Sim but it goes well with the concept - , almost immediately a buzzing sound ( I'm assuming it's the base line ) starts and it effectively declares what the song is supposed to be :
    Zimzalabim is designed to imitate the trajectory of a roller coaster as it switches between different verses , hooks and chorus while changing genres at the same time to give the listener an incredibly fun and magical experience . The song fails miserably at that though .

    Now , having the repeated 'zimzalabim' as a hook is in its self not a bad idea , it's catchy but is it truly suitable for a chorus ? Even if the answer is yes , preparation is necessary to fully capture the hyptonic effect that the hook seeks to achieve . Sadly , our first verse and our pre-chorus are really not doing that great of a job at creating a very necessary magical energy-rimmed prelude . They're nice but enough to support the chorus so it can land its punch . Had the pre-chorus been far greater in energy and magical feel , the hook would've been far more hyptonic and charming due to the subverted expectation .

    The dance break is also a nice one but I can't help but feel it was badly placed . It shoud've been placed after an explosive segment that releases its energy in that break , not after that chorus .

    Now , if we're imagining this song to be a roller coaster then it would make sense to include a short resting segment before the grand climax so the passengers can rest before they go to expereince one last thrilling loop . That resting period/segment comes in the form of the bridge in this song . Again , the bridge is fine on its own but it makes no sense to include it considering that we need no rest : Everything before it was not exciting nor thrilling .

    The last part of the song does sound good for its credit and it's actually passionate and exciting . Too bad it was late .

    Did anyone notice how this song is 3 minutes long yet it feels so short that you just say : ' That's it ? ' ? No ? Just me ? O.K

    My biggest probelm with this song is how very little time it gives the listener to absorbe each part . My biggest problem with this song is how it spares no time to properly set its verses and pre-chorus thus harming the chorus in the process . My biggest problem with this song is how every segment has very little dynamic with the other segements . My biggest problem with this song is its cohesion .

    The song has a wonderful premise . And a very poor execution .

    Ah well , at least we had Joy's voice and the girls' harmonies :3

     
    Xoxo7, vaahiny, Xaxaveryfunny and 5 others like this.
  2. Haolat

    Haolat Married to @didi2802
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    Do you plan to review the other songs in the album? A lot of people said another track should have been chosen as the title track. Which of the bsides do you think would be a better title track?
     
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  3. Haolat

    Haolat Married to @didi2802
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    I didn’t know a lot of people considered Power up experimental
     
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  4. Ash_and_Thorns

    Ash_and_Thorns Trendsetter

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    I'm in agreement with most people who said that Sunny Side Up was a better fit for title-track . If Zimzalabim is altered a bit , it could serve well as an album intro :3
     
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  5. Ash_and_Thorns

    Ash_and_Thorns Trendsetter

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    Concept wise it was . Notice how the track leaves you a bit ...un-cool after it ends ? As though you're melting slowly? It achieved that well if we take the concept into consideration .
     
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  6. Haolat

    Haolat Married to @didi2802
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    What are your expectations for Reve festival Day 2?
    I have been hoping RV will do something like Automatic or Be natural. I think that style fits them. RV in suits is the best styling
     
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  7. Ash_and_Thorns

    Ash_and_Thorns Trendsetter

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    I honestly don't know what to expect with Red Velvet , they're always surprising . That being said , I've been really digging the theories regarding how Reve Festival Day 1 is one grand illusion and that the girls will slowly break free thus leaning towards a more velvety-style of songs . Maybe Peek-A-Boo route ?
    I would absolutely love it if they do a style in the same vein as Automatic though , it's one of my absolute faves .
     
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  8. chuusaintyves

    chuusaintyves Celebrity

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    I know nothing abt music and because of that reason this didn't make much sense to me...... but i agree, to put it into simple terms, the song sound bad.
     
  9. Zenning

    Zenning Public Figure

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    Interesting read. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I can always appreciate a well thought through analysis piece, so kudos :cool:

    I've been thinking about what makes and/or breaks the song, and I realise it'll be different for everyone depending on preferences.
    One of the biggest strengths of the song I find its unpredictability.
    Its biggest flaws I find the first 2 Zimzalabim choruses and some of the transitions. The rest of it, I don't actually mind, in fact to me the 2nd half of the song is just great and outclasses all of the other songs of the Reve Festival album.

    Why? Several reasons.
    Notice how the 3rd Zimzalabim chorus differs from the previous 2 times, in that it's upbeat and energetic.
    That last Zimzalabim chorus is a great lead-in to the 'nanana hey!' chant at the end, giving it even more of a boost.
    The EDM dance break in itself is ok, but visually, when you combine it with the choreo performance it's powerful and gives the girls esp Wendy a chance to shine.
    The vocal intermezzo is magical, with the 3 vocalists showing off their vocal prowess crowned with the blissful high note of Wendy. Even more, it gets complemented with the duo Irene-Yeri who execute a surprisingly and effortlessly solid harmony.
    These things combined make Zimzalabim a joy to listen to (and watch performed live) especially in the 2nd half.

    Personally, I'd have lengthened that 2nd half, I'd have the chants at the end doubled because they're very catchy and dynamic (and they end too abruptly right now), and I'd have smoothened some of the transitions and done something to the first 2 Zimzalabim choruses. But that's how I think the song would've been even more powerful.

    All in all, you're right, Zimzalabim is the musical equivalent of a rollercoaster ride.
    Depending on whether you like musical equivalents of rollercoaster rides you'll enjoy it more or less. I like that kinda stuff, so for me the song does more right than it does wrong :) (especially because the parts that I find strong and great in the song, I found really great and amazing)
     
  10. Korainism

    Korainism Super Rookie

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    I like how you explain in a interesting-to-read way why you don’t like it. It’s better than just to say „it’s bad“.. ^
     
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  11. vaahiny

    vaahiny Trendsetter

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    it's a very well written review, with which I absolutely disagree.
    For me, the promises of a magic amusement park are 100% fulfilled!
    What I like most about this song is what makes you belittle it: the abrupt transitions.
    That's exactly what we should expect for a song claiming a roller coaster, never knowing what's waiting for us in a second, in what direction we'll go...
    It is the only kpop song that embodies its concept in such a musical way at this extent.
    For me, all the biases are relevant, surprising, and work 100%.
     
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  12. Queeeenie

    Queeeenie Leader

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    The high pitched sing-rapping really doesn't sit well with me, coming in with it straight away was a mistake. They have done this in other songs but never this much.
    I think they could have done it in an actual rap tone (lower, like at the start of 'Happiness') or given it a melody. I was so relieved when Joy came in after the chorus, and then Wendy, I was getting 'Happiness' vibes from that melody, and then I was disappointed again when Irene started 'rapping' (?).
    Dance break was oddly empty, just a beat and then that weird instrument, felt like it needed something else (vocals? extra synths?).
    The 'zimzalabims' just before the 'na na na's at the end, that part was hard to listen to. It stayed on the same note and clashed with the instrumental.
     
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  13. Ash_and_Thorns

    Ash_and_Thorns Trendsetter

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    I actually agree with what you said regarding the latter half of the song being better than the first . They should've really spent time to build up the first half properly instead of jumping straight to the 1st chorus with those lackluster 1st verse and pre-chorus .
    I'm glad you like it . For me , it could've been more an something way better but it failed ~~
     
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  14. Ash_and_Thorns

    Ash_and_Thorns Trendsetter

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    Thank you !
    I'm glad you liked it .
    You see , my problem isn't the abrupt transitions themselves . It's the way they're done : They were too weak for transitions and existed independantly of the other parts :/
    After finishing the song , I was just indifferent to the whole thing instead of feeling the joy and sense of adventure that the track promised .
    All in all , thank you for discussing this with me , it's always a pleasure :3
     
    vaahiny likes this.

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