Red Velvet: The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Rhythm Album Review


For the first half of their career, Red Velvet paid equal attention to both halves of their name: “Red” for catchy pop confidence, “velvet” for sleek restraint. Titles of their past releases, The Red and perfect velvet, were prosaically clear which side the music was playing for, but since the explicit mixing of the two on 2018 The perfect red velvet, the genre-blending girl group merged their dueling components with increasing abandon. On their latest mini-album, The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Beatreleased just a fortnight before the ominous glow of the Japanese feature film Flowering, Red Velvet returns with a verdant dance-pop sound. Dressed in pre-Raphaelite finery in the artwork and videos of the era, the queens of daring summer hits deliberately make a comeback with a refined springtime landscape.

feel my rhythm is colored in flowery detail: a stroll from purple and green to yellow and blue in the fading “Rainbow Halo”, the tranquility of “petals” fluttering in “In My Dreams”, puffy “confetti” on the hook of ” Feel My Rhythm.” Bold and elegant, “Feel My Rhythm” is one of Red Velvet’s best tracks. Reminiscent of the elegant blackness of their 2019 hit “Psycho”, “Feel My Rhythm” is based on a melancholy sample of “Air on the Bach’s G String” layered over a thumping EDM trap beat. But the song’s thrill isn’t based on the superficial spectacle of the two genres’ contrast. Instead, the contradictions of “Feel My Rhythm” serve to elevate the harmony, playing as smooth and lush as the similar pop concept on Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony.” Yeri’s spoken delivery of “Catch Me In Your Motion / G-give me another direction” stutters in time with the banging beat behind her, sounding unharmonious but deftly avoiding disharmony.

The wandering “BAMBOLEO” plays at a five-pronged intersection of nations – its title probably derives from a Spanish-language song by a French band, its K-pop melody adorned with urban Japanese pop styles, its romantically stated hook in English. But it mostly avoids chaos, sounding as dreamy as a Tokyo-tinged cut from contemporary K-pop YUKIKA’s 2021 EP. Timeabout. Only “Good, Bad, Ugly” feels underwhelming in the context of the mini, strolling lukewarmly and immemorially into well-rehearsed R&B. Likewise, “Beg for Me” declares itself sensually commanding but quite chaste in its execution. The sung invocation of “Dance for me, work for me, beg for me, die for me” and the whispered request for “get your freak out” are amusingly barren – only Wendy and Joy’s rapping shines brightly. real sensuality, delivered with a dark smirk and whispered haste. But the luxurious and soft “In My Dreams” brings a more complex conclusion. Despite all the ornate bravado and glamor through feel my rhythmthe ballad centers on a surprisingly tender admission of rejection: “In my dreams, you love me back.”

In the video for “Feel My Rhythm,” the members of Red Velvet drape themselves in the visual beauty of Western classics – Seulgi seated in striking Stygian styles, Joy rapturously posed as John Everett Millais’ “Ophelia,” Irene doing a bow through the frame in a diaphanous recreation of Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s famous swing. But it’s the less visible Bosch references that ring the loudest. “The Garden of Earthly Delights” isn’t as immediately Instagrammable as Monet’s Lilies, but its spooky presence – the surreal details of the triptych scattered across a landscape of monstrous backdrops – feels like an apt metaphor for Red Velvet’s mythical stature in the modern landscape of K-pop. Despite having stumbled over last year Queen, feel my rhythm wakes up from complacency and restores the kingship of the group without compromising its principles. Resolutely stylish and vocal amidst a fourth generation of flashy Blackpink-influenced girl groups, Red Velvet shrugs off trends and embraces their idiosyncrasy.


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