Red Velvet has been SM Entertainment's most active girl group in the past year and a half. After the success of “Dumb Dumb” in 2015, they never left the limelight, putting out album after album and promoting endlessly through their individual activities. This year is no different, as they’ve been releasing new songs while keeping their acting and variety show commitments. Earlier this year, they came out with "Rookie," a track that has become one of their best-performing singles, despite its initially negative reception. Now hoping to follow-up with a friendlier approach, they are back with "Red Flavor" roughly four months after wrapping up their promotions for their previous mini-album.
The Red Flavor
For starters, it's safe to say that “Red Flavor” is the group's most straightforward single to date. It immediately captures your attention when the group sings the first line, and it stays in the same attitude all throughout the song. That being said, it was the perfect choice of a title song to come out with after "Rookie" was deemed anti-climatic by a lot of people. The track sounds almost as upbeat as "Happiness," which I say is the group's brightest effort to date. The way the group unites their vocals through the chorus almost sounds reminiscent of the "La La La" hook of their debut track.
The music video for “Red Flavor” is the group's most relaxed video to date. By relaxed, I mean to say how it refrained from using extravagant sets in the video. They even danced at a veranda instead of a studio-built set. That being said, the video still stays colorful through its other elements. The location of the group's video reminds me of the bedroom scenes in f(x)'s “4 Walls” music video, so the video for the track also has that homey vibe going for it. Overall, the video definitely had a summer theme going for it. The water splashes enhanced the summer mood, especially when put together with their smart use of fruit ensembles. I personally loved the overlay scenes of them turning around while the fruit representing them was being flashed. Man, they’re so pretty.
The Red Summer
The Red Summer, the single’s accompanying mini-album, is Red Velvet's most electronic-sounding mini-album.
The first of the mini-album's B-sides, "You Better Know" is already leaning towards the EDM side. It stays reserved from intro to pre-chorus, until the track progresses and explodes with the synthesizers as Wendy belts out the chorus. It's a very catchy tune with an unpredictable melody that sounds quite uplifting for a pop song.
The best B-side of the mini-album, however, doesn’t come until the third track. “Zoo” is another EDM-influenced track by one of my all-time favorite production teams, LDN Noise. The track takes on a unique tropical house route, different from the standard EDM approach of its predecessor. The kicks in the track are all bouncy, and the synth lines are really playful, so there isn't a single idle moment in the track. You’ll laugh at a few of the animal-influenced sounds in it, along with Wendy’s Tarzan imitation after the chorus, but you’ll be wanting more when the track finishes.
“Mojito” sounds like something that would best fit their The Red album, specifically being a perfect closing track to the LP. The track sounds quiet despite having a fast-driven tempo, but still manages to progress to a chorus that does the job well.
Straying away from the playful formulas, the group shows their Velvet side in the only mid-tempo track in the mini-album. "Hear The Sea" is the mini's other best B-side alongside "Zoo," just because I tend to love the group's Velvet tracks more that their Red ones. The MonoTree-produced track contains a jazzy arrangement topped over a punchy kick-snare arrangement, which work perfectly together. The melody stays quiet all throughout the track, so it makes the track very easy to listen to.
Overall, “Red Flavor” is another superior effort done by the group. It’s totally obvious why the track is being received well, and that’s because it’s one of their most Red-sounding tracks. Their Velvet-focused efforts are usually a gamble with the public, so it’s a smart decision for them to stick to what does well when they want to stay at the top of their game.
“Red Flavor” Title Score – 9.5/10
The Red Summer Album Score – 9.0/10
Music Video Score – 8.5/10