You’ll never know what to expect when it comes to K-pop girl group Red Velvet.
Born out of a concept that makes it possible for the quintet to deliver absolutely anything—from preppy 8-bit-inspired songs to slinky R&B numbers—the K-pop queens of summer take us on another mystical journey on “The ReVe Festival.”
Celebrating five years since their debut, members Irene, Seulgi, Wendy, Joy and Yeri continue to live up to their title, as they rave about “something unforgettable” in a compelling saga that showcases their ability to pull off the quirky and unconventional.
The girl group has always been known for its versatility with songs like “Rookie” (2017) and “Peek-a-Boo” (2017). The “Red” side is known for bright and catchy concepts, while the “Velvet” side promises lush instrumentation and sultry storylines.
“The ReVe Festival” takes on a different approach, combining the best of both worlds. In their two EPs released last June and August, the girls continue to make a mark with their powerhouse vocals, riveting choreography and signature genre mixing.
“The ReVe Festival Day 1” is fronted by the hypnotic title “Zimzalabim” which turned heads when it first dropped. The experimental EDM bop whiplashes from genre to genre, banking on a noisy, carnivalesque hook to keep you on your toes.
The album is centered on magic, from reaching your dreams to moon-eyed love affairs. The EP’s B-sides, however, spice up the ride. The surreal reggae wonder that is “Sunny Side Up!” is a definite standout in the album, with a slow and sensuous build that puts you under Red Velvet’s spell.
Groovy “Milkshake” satisfies with saccharine vocals and whimsical harmonies, fueling your cravings for more food-inspired RV songs.
Taking a turn back to the initial energetic vibe of the record are tracks “Bing Bing” and “Parade.” The last track off “Day 1” is “LP,” which slows it back down with old-school jazzy beats and a relaxed melody.
In “The ReVe Festival Day 2,” the girls continue their foray into the deep end of love with their August hit, “Umpah Umpah,” a seemingly nonsensical phrase that quickly engraves itself on your memory. It’s hard not to hum the first bars of the catchy title. Littered with Wendy’s high notes, the fun summer ode is definitely perfect for times when you just want to “feel the rhythm.”
“Carpool” takes you along the feel-good ride, where the girls promise “to go anywhere together.”
“Love is the Way” is the retro ode you never knew you needed—the group channeling the 1960s in a doo-wop spell that takes you back in time.
What follows this honest take on love is the flirtatious “Jumpin,” “Ladies Night” and “Eyes Locked, Hands Locked.”
Both mini-albums topped the charts in over 37 countries, putting Red Velvet among the ranks of Destiny’s Child and the Pussycat Dolls, as one of the only three girl groups to get two no. 1 albums in a year.
It’s no wonder Red Velvet has cemented its place as one of the top K-pop groups around. The girls’ ability to take any genre and put their own spin on it is unmatched—and while others think their lack of a consistent signature style is a weakness, the girls continue to prove that they’ll always be the exception to that rule.