Warning: this album is not for the fainthearted. But once you hear this, you won’t ever be the same person again. Suddenly all other music will just seem repetitive in comparison! Red Velvet have been trendsetters from the start with their experimental tracks and unique concepts but with this album they said that they don’t care if you don’t like it: this is the start of the new age and before you know it, you’ll be begging everyone else to join in.
Zimzalabim is based on awesome Hitchhiker-style percussive riffs that seem like they’ll jar strongly with Red Velvet’s distinctive singing and talk-rapping, but somehow fit perfectly. This almost jarring quality reminds you of f(x)’s ‘Red Light” – maybe fans have been ready for this kind of music for years already. I’d almost got used to the craziness of the song by the prec-horus, but when the chorus came in, I was in complete shock from their deep voices and the complete change of key and bass! But at the same time, the chorus is the best part of the song, because its weirdness is unbelievably addictive. Zimzalabim is not just a random, crazy song. It features catchy and beautiful melodies and has a powerful bridge and a last chorus that brings back ‘Happiness’ vibes. With this song, Red Velvet are saying “Easy listening is a thing of the past, so get ready for the rollercoaster ride of your life.”
But is that the only amazing song in this album? Hell no! Sunny Side Up is a rhythmic, dreamy and sexy track that tickles your ears and transports you to sun-drenched beaches. It’s catchy enough to be anyone else’s title track, but still maintains that slight unpredictable quality that defines this album. The voice editing in this song brings out the chilled quality of their voices, and the ‘Wait, wait” is the absolute coolest line in any song ever.
Next, let me introduce you to your favourite song for the next month, Milkshake! It is similarly cool and charismatic, but also has just a touch of that freaky quality of Red Velvet’s older hits ‘Attaboy’ and ‘Bad Dracula’. The rap in this song is by far the best of the whole album, but the really defining part of this song is of course the ‘Bom ba-ba bom’ of the beat in the chorus! I had no idea a song could be so dance-worthy and memorable yet so slow tempo.
Are you ready for Bing Bing? I am! It’s one of those fiery, uplifting, upbeat songs that makes you feel like the most special person in the world. It seems to scrap the dry, overused templates of song structure and instead has an incredible chorus that sounds like a pre-chorus, and a post-chorus part that sounds like an intro. This is all tied together with a super catchy riff of course. Soon you’ll realise that our outdated expectations of how a Kpop song should sound are long overdue for a change, and this album will start that!
Next we have Parade. How can anyone describe this powerful song? The start seems like it will be a simple summery song, but the prechorus’s mad structure begins to hint at something deeper. Once you hit the chorus, you’re swept up by burning, sexy tunes mixed with ultra-cool electronic sounds that make you feel like you’re floating up to space. Almost as a joke, the song finally ends with the simple beginning as if to remind you how much the song’s grown since its start.
The last track on this album is LP. That silky smooth, cheeky and fun Red Velvet summer bop to add a touch of magic to even the greyest Monday. Though as smooth as chocolate, it still includes those slight discords just to remind you that Red Velvet are in league of their own. There is not one part of this gorgeous album that could ever be out of place because Red Velvet simply don’t do boring.
I really think that this album is a game changer, and I look forward to a brand new universe of K-pop.
Kpop Review Café’s Overall Ranking: 8/10
Written by Krystal