Well, the ghastly overhyped K-pop Summer Of Summer is finally over. Now 8NSD is left ROBBING AN EMPTY HOUSE–yes you heard me, you little SONE bitches, your overthehill idols are just hanging around with their shitty Disneypop crap raking in trophies because AOA and SISTAR and Girl’s Day and glorious APINK aren’t around to kick their scrawny asses– but K-pop can finally settle back into some sort of decent rhythm and what nicer way to kick off Autumn than a forthcoming comeback from our own Red Velvet?
Of course, probably the only Korean credited on the songs will be poor Kenzie, knocked down to eighth on the list behind a bunch of gated-community Swedes and Teddy frickin’ Riley [NB: This woman Kenzie created what is probably SNSD’s 2nd most defining song “Oh!” so WHY THE HELL is she not given a leading role in songwriting at SM Ent?]. But still, it’ll be cute and colorful. And even though I still often cannot tell apart Seulgi and Irene (sorry y’all!), they are a loveable bunch (esp. Joy who I will call my bias) and probably the video will be brilliant, as they all have been to some degree and two of which (“Happiness” and “Automatic”) fiercely compete to hold rank as the best music videos of their respective years.
Truth be told, this audio snippet of “Dumb Dumb” seems to straddle a bit uncomfortably the worlds of urban jamz “funk” and East Asian childish whimsy. Red Velvet can be very sake-she when they’re being sake-she, but I sometimes wish, given how much cuteness there is in their concept, that they’d tone it down a little. I know SM Ent has tried to make this duality a “thing” by instructing their netizen bitches to helpfully explain that “the ‘Red’ means colorful and the ‘Velvet’ means sexy!” but this can only go on for so long. Basically the Red Velvet members come across as loveable and innocent, and I don’t think louring miss A-style moodiness is going to work for them long-term.
Yes, “Automatic” works brilliantly because it’s a sort of Nancy Drew wet dream; but the cover of “So Natural”, though it maintains plausible deniability, is really just a bit too leggy to sit comfortably with “Happiness”. Even f(X), for all their spaciness, never put on conspicuous winks. I hope Red Velvet will keep it– basically–pure. Don’t go all 4minute mechanoid on us here. “Ice Cream Cake”s self-conscious hipsterism already dampened my enthusiasm: plus, all that Bjork-style programming noise and clutter is only twenty years out of date. Reason #47,207 why SM Ent needs to ditch their idiot dependence on Western producers and cultivate a stable of homegrown talent.