Red Velvet - Bad Boy
Red Velvet is a five-member girl group under SM entertainment. For the uninitiated, they've swept music charts multiple times with more than a handful of their addictive and unique songs. Their last comeback, "Peek-A-Boo," was just over two months ago and the girls are already back. From the teasers we got, the song looked to be taking a similarly dark theme for the concept, which makes sense since this latest release is the feature of a repackage of their last album.
We're introduced to the song with the drowned out sounds of what could be a synthed up vibraphone, smacking out a very simplistic set of notes. After a few rounds through, the drums snap in along with Irene's voice. A much groovier synth bass falls in halfway through our first verse and adds a bit more texture to what we're hearing while also providing a weird transition into the pre-chorus where none of the instrumentals switch up at all. The chorus slips in a catchy two note "ooh ooh" alongside a siren that aligns perfectly with it and some heavier bass tones.
This song took me by complete surprise upon my first listen. It coheres so well with the rest of Red Velvet's discography and yet it still brings a host of new ideas that make this release a standout from their others. This song focuses much more on their vocals and harmonies rather than the instrumentals, and it really shows if you ignore the singing. There's simplicity and skimpiness plastered all over this side of the song and it takes Red Velvet's colorful serenading to actually unify this song's pieces as a more complete whole.
There's clearly some trap-influenced percussion occurring throughout the song, but there's little more than that. Instead, this song plants itself firmly in the boundaries of R&B and doesn't budge much further. There's often been hip-hop elements in Red Velvet's songs so this is not surprising, but I still think that the melding of these genres for them has never been done better. I could have done without the footsteps in the song, but otherwise I was so pleased with everything else about "Bad Boy" that it doesn't matter much in the end.
The video starts off with all of the girls in a tub with some snow slowly drifting down upon them and then we're quickly shown several shots of them in some ice chasm on a bed, as well as some of the choreography shots. There's shots of the girls dancing in front of some mannequins, the girls reading some books at the dinner table before setting a camera on fire and simply watching it burn, and a mix of both black and white shots with more vividly-styled red rooms.
Honestly there is an array of weird and interesting scenes in this video that I can't go over them all. The girls mostly seem to be just looking drop-dead gorgeous while either dancing, sleeping, or just doing general acts. If there is any kind of meaning behind this video it's absolutely lost on me. The sets and girls are bewitchingly alluring, and I think that falls in line for what you expect out of Red Velvet. There's less going on than I was expecting because of the teasers, but overall I'm not too upset about it. Seeing parts of this choreography definitely has me needing a dance version released, though. (DON'T DISAPPOINT US, SM.)
It's no secret that I'm a longtime fan of Red Velvet, but that doesn't mean I blindly love everything that they do. However, with "Bad Boy," I absolutely am in love with it. I can see myself listening to this for a long time to come and it might actually be one of my favorite releases from them ever. If you're a fan of Red Velvet, or even if you just want to hear a divine merging of hard-hitting hip-hop and smooth R&B, I wholeheartedly recommend "Bad Boy."