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Red Velvet 'Russian Roulette' Album Review

· R

When listening to a new album, it’s always a gamble on how good it’s going to be; make a wrong choice and you’re dead. But with Red Velvet, you can rest assured that their albums are always fun, melodious, crazy and unforgettable, and this album is no exception so you can relax knowing that with Red Velvet, you don’t have to put your life on the line. These tracks’ different moods are perfectly balanced so that there’s never a time when you won’t want to listen to this delicious album.

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase ‘Russian Roulette‘? A sports team of homicidal barbies, right? Me too. The unique and terrifying concept Red Velvet chose for their music video perfectly encapsulates the strangely inspiring idea of the song: you won’t know whether I’ll change your life or end it swiftly, but my love will always be worth the risk. The song features a sweet electronic groove and an irresistibly uplifting beat, filled with charming vocals. The adorable electronic pops and ‘loading sounds’ throughout the song just add that extra bit of magic as well. My favourite part is the la-la-las at the end of the chorus, because you can’t help but think of the fun dance that always puts a smile on your face.

Next up we have one of my favourite Red Velvet B-sides of all time, Lucky Girl. It’s a cheeky, heart-warming and slightly freaky song with just a slight vintage flavour from its ‘shoobidoowah’s and unusual brass-filled intro. Though the verses are sharply rhythmic, full of amazingly wacky clashes and bubbly onomatopoeia, Red Velvet shock you with an unexpectedly melodious chorus, showing off their dazzling vocal ability as the sweet notes melt your ears like butter. I love the Happiness-style second pre-chorus, as Wendy’s belting above a powerfully uplifting bass adds yet another layer of complexity to this perfect track.

As I am myself an innocent vampire who just wants to dance with her human love without facing the judgement of her parents and being feared by others, I find Bad Dracula amazingly relatable. If you found the previous songs an uncontrollable rollercoaster of melody and sass, you’ll have a field day with this one. You go from being hypnotised by the satanic chant of ‘ah ha ha ye-ye-yeah’ to meeting a chorus so madly tuneful and catchy you’ll feel like a puppet unable to resist dancing each time it comes on. The ‘woah’ before each chorus that spirals up higher and higher seems vocally impossible, but you as a listener are surprised every time. This song might not be an easy-listening EDM drop, but I promise that once you’ve recovered from the madness, you’ll have found your new favourite song.

Though still maintaining the electronic sound effects and tuneful brass, Sunny Afternoon creates that relaxed sun-bathing feeling like nothing else in this album. It’s funny how if you listen carefully, you seem to get a little aftershock of the song before in the ‘ye-ye-yeah’ that introduces this song. It sounds velvety smooth with a milky sweetness that can only be recreated by rays of warm sun. The chorus is incredibly catchy again, and every single note seems to be harmonised. This song is in no way flat or boring though, because in between the verses and choruses the song is injected with a bad-ass electric guitar interlude just to remind you that Red Velvet are not to be messed with. Special mention to Wendy’s amazing vocalisations!

Now an absolute classic, Fool, and in my words, the ‘Spongebob theme with pathos’. Like a crystal clear oasis in a scorching desert, not a single note is wasted in this song; each wacky, relatable and sweet second of this beautiful track works together to enchant any listener. The song’s characteristic in-between chords and simple guitar accompaniment meld with Red Velvet’s personality-filled voices to create a truly unique listening experience.

Every album just needs that one summery, twerk-worthy bop, and Some Love is exactly that. With its party-flavoured, powerful tune, sick beat and catchy ‘ai ai’s, this song evokes Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ in everything but its meaning. If you just want to dance with your friends carefree, this is your song. I love the unusual type of English phrases this song contains, like ‘you’re the hottest’ because they never fail to catch my attention when I’m daydreaming.

Finally, that silky sweet serenade to your bae that we all needed: My Dear. Its love-filled, extra cute and vocally challenging sound perfectly encapsulates that warm fuzzy feeling. This song gives you the sweetness of the innocent concepts that so many girl groups have done with that unmistakable crazy flavour that makes Red Velvet one of a kind. The pre-chorus is just the sweetest thing I ever heard. What more can I say?

I don’t think there’s any more praise I could give to this magical mini-album even though it deserves the world, so I’ll leave it at that. Happiness!

Kpop Review Café’s Overall Ranking: 8/10

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Written by Krystal