Red Velvet - Russian Roulette

Red Velvet: Russian Roulette

Yes, we're a little late with this one, and the extra time we took to hoist this little perky ditty up on the KPOppa.com website was needed to let it steep a little in our minds, anxious with high expectations for the comeback of Korea's state-of-the-art girl group, Red Velvet.

Honestly, this is a song that Stellar or AOA could have done. We love Stellar and AOA, but aside from a few outstanding and memorable songs like "Vibrato," "Miniskirt" and, say, "Heart Attack" they haven't the record, as good as they are, of contually cranking out hits that could truly be considered "epic" or "game-chainging" like SNSD's five perky sunbaes have in such a short amount of time. In fact, the only thing really separating this number from an SNSD poptart is the quirky, odd music video. "Russian Roulette" is a well-written and seamlessly produced package of formula KPop which is pleasant to listen to and we could certainly recommend it for your workout, driving or even your party playlists. But the song does not have the explosive iconic punch of the songs that wowed even hardcore and jealous f(X) stans. Releases like "Happiness," "Ice Cream Cake" or the mind-boggling "Dumb Dumb."

But it is our Song of the Week, and it's a catchy little ditty. The video is surprisingly dark, but produced with a primary-color minimalist "cartooniness" not unlike of some of Orange Caramel's best and later releases. The girls are dead-pan as they plot each other's demise; their blank expressions match the smooth but surprisingly restrained nature of the vocals. It seems like SM just ordered up more robotics for RV since the toy girls in "Dumb Dumb" were so popular. The dancing wallpaper that comes in at the end is particularly fun to watch. Slick, tight, saccharine harmonies drive "Russian Roulette" instead of the pugilistic belting in "Dumb Dumb" or the coy playfulness of "Ice Cream Cake." And there is actually a little tiny synth solo which is reminiscent of late-seventies Stevie Wonder. It's a darling song, and perhaps the high bar set by their previous hits from their "Red" mode (as opposed to thier "Velvet" mode) is a difficult one to vault. So we'll enjoy it and hope for more in the near future from this ridiculously talented quintet.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Mamamoo - New York: Perhaps next week. Still absorbing it.

바다 X 려욱 - Cosmic: Same here. Great to see/hear KPop pioneer Bada with one of our favorite Super Juniors.

 

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