The B-Sides: Red Velvet (Red Side)

Red Velvet, SM Entertainment’s latest girl group, has gained immense popularity as of late, and for good reason too. Their irrepressible spirit and energy has gained the hearts of Koreans, as well as K-pop fans internationally. Also, another major factor comes to play. Unlike many girl groups at the moment, Red Velvet is able to tackle both upbeat jams (their Red side) and solemn ballads (their Velvet side) with extreme ease. But in this article, I will zoom in on the former and list my favorite songs from their Red side.

1. Oh Boy (Album: The Red)

Oh Boy never fails to make my mouth drop wide open with amazement. It feels like a R&B song that would be sung by a girl group in the 90s, and Red Velvet tackled it perfectly. Their vocals here are no joke, as they reach soaring heights I never thought would come out from them. The instrumentals are filled with screaming synths and flavorful piano chords, which is just perfect for me. Quintessential yet modern, that is exactly the quality Oh Boy possesses that makes it a timeless classic.

2. Time Slip (Album: The Red)

Time Slip is another beast of a song. One might be reminded of Iggy Azalea’s Fancy when listening to this song, and I do agree that they sound similar, especially due to the deep synthesizers in the verses. But it is also because of this that it sounds different from the general style of K-pop. Plus, the chorus differs from the verses drastically, being almost ballad-like and ethereal. To top it all off, it is nonchalant, and their vocal delivery sounds as though as they have no concerns about the future. I have rarely gotten this vibe from K-pop songs, and I am surprised yet again. This song is even about sleeping! My type of song! Anyway, Time Slip is unique and acts as a pleasant surprise gift to Red Velvet’s discography.

3. Bad Dracula (Album: Russian Roulette)

Bad Dracula is, basically, a fun mess of a song. While I would usually criticize a song for lacking flow, over here, it feels more of an artistic endeavor and not due to sheer laziness. It feels like it was purposely made to be detached and random, and not accidentally. I fully appreciate Red Velvet stepping out of the safe zone and branching out into new territories over here, and it is a great song for a party night!

4. Zoo (Album: The Red Summer)

Zoo is probably the wildest of Red Velvet’s songs (hence the name of the song!), featuring samples of some animal noises. It is a phenomenal EDM track with plenty of personality and energy. I have already lauded LDN Noise for doing a great job with producing EXO’s Power, and I am going to do it again. They have truly brought a new music perspective to Red Velvet through this song. Thanks to them, this is a neat diversion from their more traditional position in music.

5. Talk To Me (Album: Rookie)

Talk To Me reminds me of The Sound of Music for some reason; maybe it’s the familiarity of the piano chords in the song and how similar they sound to the movie’s soundtrack. I also feel that this wouldn’t feel out of place out of a musical, as it is a traditional yet catchy song that appeals to all age groups because of how pleasant it sounds. I just can’t get the chorus out of my head and I sometimes even find myself humming to it in class; that’s how catchy it is. Do yourself a favor and take a listen.

6. Some Love (Album: Russian Roulette)

Some Love ends this playlist as a soft EDM track. What makes it memorable is that it doesn’t hit hard with a rapidly changing beat like most EDM tracks do, rather, all of the elements of the song come together peacefully without any shocks or sudden twists. I have seen a few music critics dismiss this song as an effort to copy f(x), another SM Entertainment girl group, but I personally think that it is good that Red Velvet are looking up to a group with extreme success with experimental songs. It seems like f(x) have passed on the baton to Red Velvet for the title of SM’s main experiment group, and this song embodies that perfectly well.

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