Red Velvet are back with the third and final instalment of their riveting full length album The ReVe Festival. It’s been one hell of a ride – beginning this summer with the mind boggling Zimzalabim, followed by the flavourful Umpah Umpah. Finally we have Psycho, which is unlike anything RV have done before. Let’s get into the review.
Psycho starts off with the distinct vocalisations of Wendy and Seulgi, who are easily some of Kpop’s strongest vocalists. The track’s instrumental has several layers that expertly intertwine: from the strong beat and the use of strings, to the electro-sounding twists and turns. The combination of playful raps, sultry vocals and interesting melodies remind me of the group’s earlier songs Cool Hot Sweet Love and Stupid Cupid, which lean more towards the group’s “velvet” style. The song’s texture gives off that expensive and high quality production feeling that most SM Entertainment artists have. The melody in the verses really reminds me of the song Secrets by One Republic, but this connection is a nice one! The chorus itself is unexpected, but when you hear it you realise that it could not possibly have been any different. Nothing that Red Velvet makes is truly “easy listening”, due to the heavily experimental music style that the group has, but this song seems to be one that is designed to be a smash hit for the casual listener too (like their groundbreaking Bad Boy, for example). That being said, this song definitely lives up to my sky-high expectations for their finale song for this year, and I know I will be playing this on repeat for a long time to come.
The next track In & Out has a distinct RnB vibe, which is refreshing to hear from Red Velvet, who don’t really dabble in this genre as much as I think they should. This song has that “produced by Groovy Room” feeling, but of course with the classic Red Velvet quirkiness and eccentricity added into the mix (especially thanks to the rappers Irene and Yeri). What I enjoyed most about this song was the frequent baking analogies (I mean, it’s impossible not to fall for Irene after her “chocolate, coconut, ice cream line”). I loved the lyric “Step 1: Mix It, Step 2: Bake It, Step 3: Serve it, then I taste it”. It makes Red Velvet seem like sexy witches, standing over a cauldron making a love potion… (an idea for their next music video perhaps?).
Remember Forever is a warm hearted ballad with a distinctly nostalgic feeling. As a Reveluv, I’ve sorely missed some classic ballad action from the music that Red Velvet have released this year, so I am definitely satisfied with this track. I can tell that the ladies have hugely improved as singers as time has gone on, as with this track their voices are all bold and confident, making this song is even more enjoyable to listen to. Yeri’s rap is another highlight – her distinctive voice gives this otherwise sugary ballad a freaky twist.
The last song on this album is the special track La Rouge, which was first showcased at Red Velvet’s Korean concert of the same name earlier this year. With this song Red Velvet attempt a more sassy, mature and sexual concept, and boy do they deliver! This song reminds me of the fierce and girly concept in Girls’ Generation-TTS’s “Twinkle”. Red Velvet’s musical prowess is no joke, and the way that they can effortlessly pull of such a range of vocally challenging songs is really incredible.
With the release of Psycho, Red Velvet have ended the decade with a bang. At this point, they have surpassed the rest of the Kpop industry and are really only competing against themselves to claim the title of song of the year. The only question is, will it be Zimzalabim, Umpah Umpah or Psycho?
Kpop Review Café’s Album Ranking: 8/10
Written by Jessica