If We’re Being Honest, the new Red Velvet song “Rookie” kinda sucks–and a lot of people have noticed (PS: in hindsight, I should’ve seen this coming when the teaser bragged that this was “produced by The Colleagues”. WTF are The Colleagues? When a song brags on some producers no one’s ever heard of, it’s probably gonna suck. Fire the flippin’ The Colleagues Right Now!!!)

You know it’s bad when the fans at the comments under the official video keep asking, “Am I the only one who likes this song?”

But others aren’t going to sugarcoat.  Well, okay, Vanessa Kay tries to sugarcoat:

I like Red Velvet, but surprisingly, the song is……. well, um……. you know……. lemme just sugar coat…. Unfortunately, It’s really not the best. I personally thought they could’ve done better😕 really tried to like it tho~~ Oh well…. 😥

Dann Cardona writes:

we must be honest… what a bad song!!!! how come they debut with four amazing songs: Happiness, Ice cream cAke, Dumb Dumb & that ballad song but lately they release such boring & weak songs as Russian Roulette & this garbage….. ?

Grecia Castro writes:

SM??? What is THIS!!!?? D: NONO NONO!!!

Aldo Santosa writes:

whats with the weak ass hook?

jessmato production:

im a fucking huge red velvet stan but this song is not catchy & to me its not nice like i hate this song(???) but they all looked pretty in this mv, except fr wendy braids omg.

Christian Bolding writes:

There’s a difference between hating and critiquing, folks. Personally, I think this song was a waste of their talents. Hardly any actual vocals, just strange, in tempo speaking. Not much of a song. It sure ain’t rap either. Bring back the Velvet side immediately…

Commenter bacon tries to keep the sunny side up:

I acc love this song it’s really catchy once u listen to it like 10 times


Dedy Newbie has the same idea:

maybe, I have to listen this song in many time for being like this song

–Personally, I’d hate to have to try.

irish LF insists:


But NinjaKiller999 says:

lmao its lack of honest feedback that hurts group in the long run. if so many people weren’t in denial and didn’t say dumb shit like ” lets not say it didnt meet expectations cause it might hurt RV” then comebacks would actually improve since SM would know what to work on, but you guys are lying to them when you do shit like this and hurt RV in the longrun.

And that’s in reply to the top-voted comment under the MV, which really tells you all you need to know:

Let’s not say it’s disappointing because red velvet actually worked hard to prepare this and this is supposed to be their best era where sm will promote them a lot. If the publics reaction isn’t good, sm might stop paying attention to rv and that ain’t good

–My final word: this really is a very weak (and annoying song).  I can’t think of a single single from any K-pop girl group remotely in the upper echelons that is this annoying and flabby and half-baked.  Even the video, though it has a lot of cute and colorful stuff, feels strangely derivative, not only of “Happiness” and “Dumb Dumb” but also of Ladies’ Code’s “Pretty Pretty” and of course f(X) with the see-thru plastic skirts and also hints here and there of Kara.

Now all of the videos I just invoked are classics.  Maybe with the sound off this isn’t a bad video, but I honestly didn’t appreciate the whole 30 seconds of near-total silence at the end as if we had just watched the most epic music video ever.  This wasn’t SNSD’s “Paparazzi”, SM Ent!

But what is going on here?  Red Velvet isn’t supposed to be some weaksauce group that takes hook-free songs and somehow makes them “art” by dressing colorfully.  The commenter above who alluded to the strength of their great run of songs prior to “Russian Roulette” is absolutely correct:  Red Velvet was doing practically everything right (except, frankly, I don’t think their album filler is really too strong– they have always relied there upon Western producers too much.  Oh My Girl uses them a lot too, but their albums have featured some real gems like “Playground” and “I Found Love” whereas honestly I haven’t found a non-video Red Velvet track I love that much).

But never mind that: at the level of the songs they promote and/or release videos for, they were working at a stratospherically high level.  Even if “Ice Cream Cake” the song wasn’t something I madly loved, I quite liked it, and the video was ingenious.  As for “Happiness”, “Automatic”, “Dumb Dumb”, and “One of these nights”– these are all, both songs and videos, sensational.

“Russian Roulette” could be forgiven as an in-character and quirky song/video that just isn’t quite as fetching as the others.  But this song is really annoying and lazy and anti-earwormy.  The video can’t save it; and while the video might be addicting with a good song, it’s not so loveable or strong even on its own as to truly compete with their stellar back catalog.

Clearly those commenters I talked about a couple of weeks ago who were lamenting ‘Russian Roulette” yet insisting that SM Ent had some masterplan to take Red Velvet over the top of the competition were whistling past the grave.  Red Velvet already pretty much was at the top of the game (were all those trophies for “Ice Cream Cake” just some warmer-upper?).  They may coast for a while based on their popularity, but who the devil greenlighted this single?  And who are these crapwits “The Colleagues”?!?  THEY SUCK.







  1. Anonymous · · Reply

    You’ve got it wrong. Producers leave their sound signature in the song an purpose so they know who made that banging track: for example, “if young metro don’t trust you ima shoot you” , “Sonny Digital” ” Oh my god, what is this? An L beat?” and many more. When a listener hears this, they’ll know the song will be good. In addition, sound signatures like that are becoming more common these days; it’s like an artist who signs his painting.

    One last thing, if people keep wanting an artist to sound like they did in the past, then those people will have a very hard time. The majority of this article loves to compare Rookie with other songs and doesn’t look at it subjectively. it sucks you don’t like this song but the rest of Red Velvets fans will continue to blast this whole album 24/7.

    1. “You’ve got it wrong. Producers leave their sound signature in the song an purpose so they know who made that banging track:”

      Gee, you think? I mean, I live in America, I’ve only been hearing idiot nignog “producers” brag about deyselves over the intro for about 20 years now. But thanks for the update on that, Jay Why Pay!

      I’m sorry, child, but there is absolutely nothing “banging” (that expression is about 20 years out of date too) about “Rookie”. This is just about the worst K-pop single ever. Yes, it’s tolerable for about the first thirty seconds (minus the idiot “The Colleagues” bragging on themselves), but this is about the most tepid song imaginable. It goes absolutely nowhere. There is no hook, no melody, no groove, no nothing. It’s not even mixed well. It is disastrously, arrogantly awful.

      And “the majority of this article” is simply quotes from honest Red Velvet fans despairing of the fact that, for two singles in a row, SM Ent has given Red Velvet subpar material, an inexplicable falling off from the meticulous standards they’d set in the past. And this, frankly, is MUCH worse than “Russian Roulette”. It’s like they’ve decided “fun but weird” should just mean “weird but boring” from now on.

      Look, you simply cannot brainwash people to swallow “Rookie”. This song truly is BAD. Not the kind of “squint and maybe it’s not so bad” kind of mediocrity that clung to a song like, say, miss A’s “Only You”, a song which maybe isn’t AWFUL but was CLEARLYla falling-off from their peak. Alas, “Rookie” is really and truly undeserving– it is just very very hard to imagine how anybody in a room didn’t veto it as a single. I would skip it even as an album track–it’s annoying, and not even in a “it got stuck in my head” sort of way because the song is as runny as bad diarrhea. There is nothing for the mind to hold onto.

      If I didn’t know any better I’d think somebody was deliberately trying to kill off Red Velvet’s career. There are those who argue that 4minute’s “Hate” was a deliberate “Springtime for Hitler” style exercise to justify disbanding the group. “Rookie” is appallingly bad. I mean it’s like listening to Spica’s “I Did It” without treating it as a comedy track.

      It’s very painful, but sometimes the truth really must be confronted. “Rookie” is absolutely GODAWFUL.

    2. –Incidentally, if by any chance you happen to be an intern with SM Ent doing damage control by commenting on the blogs of negative reviews, could you tell your bosses something for me?

      Look, f(X) released a lot of crappy paint-by-numbers Eurodance tracks, like “Electric Shock” and that thing they did the year after “Electro Shock” (“Pinocchio” counts too, although I’ve always had a soft spot for it since Sulli was so cute in the video). That stuff wasn’t ART, and I’ve never understood or approved of the way f(X) got favorable reviews from the few Western “journalists” who deign to take an interest in K-pop, considering how poorly representative f(X) was of the depth and artistry of the field (maybe SM Ent paid them to give favorable reviews?), but at least its commercial appeal was understandable.

      So if it’s a choice between Red Velvet going the standard Eurodance pop jam route versus doing this piss-poor bad “arty” version of same, just give us the straight up mindless but danceable stuff and stop torturing us with these awful attempts to make something self-consciously pretentious and annoying. I mean, quite frankly, even “Dumb Dumb” (a VERY fun song with a BRILLIANT video), isn’t really the musical equivalent of a masterpiece like “Lovey Dovey” or “No No No” or WJSN’s “Secret” or “I Wish”; but it got the job done and it won prizes, didn’t it?

      Frankly, SM Ent may be the home of glorious music videos, but its record in music is spotty. Right now I’m enthralled with Seohyun’s “Don’t Say No”, and I really enjoy Luna’s “Free Somebody” too. But these are rare exceptions of late. “One of these nights” is a masterpiece all around, and we’ll always remember that– but for God’s sake what is SM Ent’s revulsion to hiring a native-born Korean producer? Yeah yeah Kenzie, though apparently she only writes lyrics now. I mean what is your problem? Do you honestly think that Swedish shit you pay for and freaking Teddy Riley are the global standard for excellence? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!?

      I mean there are like NINE freaking composers credited to “Rookie”. I guess there’s a sample or two in there somewhere, which is funny since I can’t find a hook or a tune or much of a beat. Go figure. Maybe too many fingers in the shit pie, is that part of the problem?

      A.de’s “Good Time”, a relentlessly simple, rather deliberately “dumb” production (by Sweetune, no less!) is vastly more satisfying and earwormy than “Rookie”, and it doesn’t make me feel like throwing up afterwards.

      And I’m actually kinda serious about the throwing up bit, because there truly is something about “Rookie” that is so empty and yuck that it makes my stomach feel like I just swallowed a big gob of snot. I mean it’s just AWFUL!!!

      1. jenny tran · · Reply

        what nignog?

        1. An uncivilized black person

  2. Passerby · · Reply

    You need to find a new hobby buddy.
    Also nignog? Really?
    You can be racist or have horrible taste, but pick a struggle, don’t be both.

    1. Racism is in perfectly good taste– race being real, and the preservation of noble races a beautiful good.

      “Rookie” remains, not only by far the worst song ever released by Red Velvet, but the worst single of the year. Even “Russian Roulette”, iffy as it is, would be a welcome return to form at this point.

      And don’t call me “buddy”, nignog

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