While most modern artists choose to collaborate with their peers, Red Velvet has created K-pop’s next spring classic, “Feel My Rhythm,” by collaborating with none other than classical music legend Johann Sebastian Bach. . Cleverly released on March 21 (Bach’s birthday), Red Velvet’s ‘The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Rhythm’ does more than just highlight fun rhythms as the title suggests; it features six quirky songs that work together to make one of Red Velvet’s most cohesive and sonically pleasing albums to date.
The title of the album is a reference to the first single, “Feel My Rhythm”, and an homage to Red Velvet’s music festival concept, the ReVe Festival. The similarities to previous Red Velvet projects end with the title. In their latest effort, the quintet challenged themselves to create “springtime” music. In an interview about the new project, Red Velvet’s visionary leader Irene noted“We wanted to show off and branch out by releasing an album in the spring. We focused on inviting people into the spring of Red Velvet by expressing how we came to the spring of the winter season.
So far, their style experimentation has worked. As of March 20, “The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Rhythm” has garnered an impressive 516,866 pre-orders, making it Red Velvet’s most pre-ordered album to date.
If “Red Flavor” and “Power Up” are Red Velvet’s summer bops, “Psycho” is their winter hit, and “Peek-A-Boo” is their fall anthem, then Red Velvet completes its title as “Queens of the Seasons” with their last title and stunning song of the spring, “Feel My Rhythm”. Sampling Bach’s arrangement “Air on the G String”, “Feel My Rhythm” doesn’t shy away from blending the elegance of classical music with the intensity of K-pop.
On first listen, the song is a bit overwhelming: instrumentals and vocals come together in a convoluted sound. It begins deceptively simple with the pairing of silken vocals and violins of Wendy and Seulgi playing the melody of “Air on the G String”, albeit in the key of C sharp major (Bach’s arrangement is at the origin in the key of D major. The song does an instant 180 with the entry of Irene and the introduction of high hats that drive the rhythm of the song forward. Bach’s violin melody returns as a motif, especially during the chorus, to inject a springtime, elegant quality amidst all the pop musical K-chaos. notes in the following lines, “Follow follow my heartbeat / 해가 떠올 때까지” adds “Feel My Rhythm” is the perfect child of “Power Up” and “Psycho” by Red Velvet.
The second and third tracks, “Rainbow Halo” and “Beg For Me”, both find their roots in the “Velvet” side of Red Velvet’s musical style with groovy R&B-inspired melodies. “Rainbow Halo” excels in its pre-chorus which features the members doing a clever vocal rendition of the lyrics “니가 쿵하고 떨어진 자리 / 누군가 쓱하고 그려놓은 그림”, which roughly translates to “The place where you fell with a thud / The painting that was drawn by someone with a whoosh”, with funny voices at the words “thud” and “whoosh”. Meanwhile, Joy and Yeri’s soft and chic voices get married particularly well with the sexier groove of “Beg For Me” with an unexpected but well-executed rap verse from lead vocalist (yes, you read that right) Wendy.
The next track, “BAMBOLEO”, is the perfect song for a late night car ride with all the windows rolled down and the spring breeze blowing. Red Velvet’s retro instrumentals and dreamy vocals, especially the breathless adlibs of Seulgi, manage to portray the dance all night theme and the title, which means “sway” in Spanish. “Good, Bad, Ugly, on the other hand, lets Red Velvet’s vocals shine through its slower, ballad-like tempo. Although this song is arguably the least memorable on the album due to its repetitive, it contains beautiful lyrics that revolve around self-love, including: “Life is a box of chocolates / Sometimes good, sometimes bad and ugly / But I love me.”
But the best track on the B-side of this well-crafted album is the finale, “In My Dreams.” The song is like a music box that winds up at the beginning with soft vocals and builds on the chorus which fills with powerful fanfare before finally ending with a soft, melancholic echo. The members of Red Velvet take turns singing the main line, “In my dreams, you love me back”, but Irene’s version is the most haunting. This song is the perfect ending to an album that showcased the best of Red Velvet.
During their press conference, Red Velvet lead singer Wendy noted, “Beyond the summer queens, we want to reach the place of the spring queens.” From this author’s point of view, Red Velvet more than earned the title with this masterpiece of an album.