Red Velvet - The Perfect Red Velvet

 
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Release Date: January 29th, 2018
Label: SM Entertainment
Genre: Pop/R&B
Length: 12 Songs/41:30


 

01. Bad Boy {9/10} 
If you haven't checked out my full thoughts on "Bad Boy" already, you can see my review here. If you want the TL;DR of it, I thought it was decent, but was one of Red Velvet's best attempts at R&B with a slight fusion of hip-hop. 

02. All Right {9/10}
"All Right" is one of the three new tracks on this repackage. There's a heavy focus on 80's-style synth with bright, cheerful tones. A funky bassline is slapped on while an accompanying guitar strums in the distance, and then there's the beautiful work done with the vocals. Gorgeous high notes and melting harmonies slather this song in what I would say is the absolute essence of what makes Red Velvet so irresistible. This song strides a line that in my opinion is right between their Red side and Velvet side, and it's delightful because of it. The breakdown section just after the raps is just too cute and this whole song makes you feel like getting up and dancing. 

03. Peek-A-Boo {9/10}
Peek-A-Boo was the title track of the original album, The Perfect Velvet. While I did get to do a reaction video for this, I didn't actually get a chance to fully review it, sadly. The instrumentals instantly begin with chilling, eerie sounds and it perfectly sets the tone for the song. The drumbeat really pounds in this song and the way it fades back for the pre-chorus really makes it noticeable when it booms back in during the refrain. There's a good mix of focus on the instrumentals and the addictive vocal melody at play, and the bridge for this song works so well at pulling everything together. Peek-A-Boo was one of my favorite songs of last year, and I still jam out to it when it crops up on my playlist.

04. Look {9/10} 
"Look" is another 80's-styled synth-heavy song, but in comparison to "All Right" it feels a lot heavier and is overall darker in tone. If I were to simplify it, I'd say that "All Right" is more fun while "Look" is more groovy. There's a simple percussion throughout it and instead we get a heavier focus on the luscious, ringing vocals and the rich synth tunes. The chorus is so damn catchy that you can't help but sing along to it. The ending to the song features some random guy which was a bit weird, but I really appreciated the Michael Jackson-esque beatboxing as a way to close the song out, especially when it was layered beneath the final chorus. 

05. I Just {9/10} 
This song literally wastes no time before slamming your ears with a loud, harsh introduction. The vocal samples alongside those unwieldy synth chords immediately creates the space for a dramatic, emotional pull that you feel even without knowing the lyrics. The escalation of their voices just before the chorus is interesting and really drives the song's pace and tension, especially with the refrain openly and unashamedly offering a gloomy texture right after. "I Just" is a citation of Red Velvet's exquisite harmonies, but more than that, it firmly imprints their ability to furnish a song with emotional weight in an impressively understated tone. 

06. Kingdom Come {10/10} 
"Kingdom Come" features some of the most hushed synth chords of the entire album, allowing for more attention to be focused on the vocals and marching drumbeat. This decision alone provides the song a distinct and surreal atmosphere, and Red Velvet do not disappoint in taking this song from a straightforward, clean idea and elevating it into blissful heaven for your ears. Harmonies run abound all over this song and shamelessly flaunt the girls' vocal capabilities as well as their alluring vocal colors. This is some of the best use of Red Velvet's voices to date and the instrumentals rightfully take their place far beneath them to let them shine. 

07. Time To Love {7/10} ♫ ▼
"Time To Love" is the last new track on this repackage, adding a slower, more R&B-styled type of ballad to the album. The use of a piano initially sets this song apart from most of the other tracks up to this point, but it still falls very much in line with Red Velvet and their style. There's a great use of space in this song, filtering the instruments down and really just letting Red Velvet's vocals take the wheel and drive the song forward. I have to say that this song isn't that special, sadly, and Red Velvet have definitely done some better songs in a similar vein. Still, the production values and gorgeous use of their vocals land this as a solid track along with the rest.

08. My Second Date {9/10} 
"My Second Date" has the one of the most intriguing instrumentals used on this album in my opinion. It's certainly not the first time that Red Velvet has experimented with a more eerie style of instrumentation to contrast with their brighter tones, but more than reminding me of something like "Ice Cream Cake" or "Peek-A-Boo," my mind actually wandered back to f(x)'s "Shadow" from 2013. I'd say that "Second Date" has much more experimentation going on, but there are very similar vibes here. I love everything about this song's crazy instrumentation, and Red Velvet's vocals definitely cruised the beat marvelously. 

09. Attaboy {10/10} ▲
Finally I get to talk about "Attaboy!" When I first heard this song last year, I was really sad that I wasn't able to do a review on it at that time. This song starts off sounding extremely strange, and I was actually really put off from it at first. The presentation of the introduction sounded so busy and crazy, and the vocals were styled in a way I was not expecting from Red Velvet. However, by the time I heard that first chorus, the pieces of this puzzle fit together and I quickly saw the song in its full glory. This is as much of a hip-hop approach as we'll ever get from Red Velvet, I suspect, but damn was it a wonderfully unexpected attempt that floored me. That wavy chorus, that booming bass, that ascending bridge.. all of this song melds together into a compounded, nonstop ride of jubilance.

10. Perfect 10 {8/10} 
"Perfect 10" is a much-needed pause from the excitement that "Attaboy" hammered out, slowing us down for a smooth and jazzy R&B melody. Muffled synth chords and finger snaps permeate a majority of this song, once more focusing on Red Velvet's vocal capabilities. This song has them singing in a more hushed manner as well, softening things up to take a different approach than we've heard from the previous slower tracks on this album. Once more the harmonies are used beautifully and cement this as another track to brandish Red Velvet's overall vocal proficiency. 

11. About Love {8/10} 
This track has a brighter tone to it, having a more upbeat synth rhythm and drumbeat alongside the faster-paced singing. The instrumentals have more of a presence than a lot of the other tracks on the album, but they still never come close to overpowering the vocal melodies. The song is fairly standard in comparison to almost every song, but the production values and efforts are still there to lift it. The last bit of this song really pulls things together as we get several showings of members' voices and how they intertwine to act as synergies to one another. 

12. Moonlight Melody {9/10} 
"Moonlight Melody" is the closing track to the album, and thus it's a slow ballad that fittingly ends things. This song isn't a full-on ballad, opting to use sedated, cordial instrumentals and tones rather than something mournful or melancholy. The combination of piano, acoustic guitar, violin, and very light percussion to accompany the girls' enchanting voices was a lovely decision. Things stay rather simple and straightforward in this track, and it helps you really hear how heavenly Red Velvet's voices can be instead of distracting you with other things. Red Velvet has a penchant for putting out satisfying ballads, and this song is no different.

 
 

▲ = Favorite song on the album
▼ = Least fav. song on the album
 ♫ = New songs on repackage
 

 

Summary
The Perfect Red Velvet adds another notch to Red Velvet's belt of impossibly great discography. Honestly, I don't think there is another group that consistently slams out as many amazing b-sides as Red Velvet, and it's one of the reasons that I initially fell in love with them. Every song feels lovingly-crafted and intentional in its inclusion, and the production values of each are obvious the instant that you hear them. The Perfect Red Velvet is an incredible album that I fully recommend to any K-pop listener. 

Overall Score: 9/10