Red Velvet have been on a meandering path to a single form. In the past the group took to splitting their image between bright and vibrant pop and more demure mid tempo R&B retreads. This has since stop for their last three projects, where they have come back more affirmatively on the bright pop side. Russian Roulette was a standard attempt at the typical cute group look. Rookie was a fun track that was betrayed by SM’s attempts to maintain a weird idea of Red Velvet. With Red Flavor, we see the group return to a modified version of 2014
As a comeback Red Flavor is eventful. While the group have left their dual concept in the past, they seem to be directing themselves to a cohesive set. Red Flavor harks back to the their debut with Happiness. Like Happiness the song is unapologetic. It’s bright and dynamic and poppish with weird undertones of what I assume to be tropical/Caribbean inserts. They scream summer time. Both songs even have a part where Wendy gets to show off as the main vocalist (Something most of their songs tend to avoid). Red Flavor plays like the more melodic sister track to Happiness, just with different content.
Red Velvet handles the song with ease. They are years into their career, which means they know how to move on a song. The only one that seems a little lost is Irene and that is mostly because they regulate her to the back half of the song. They navigate the song with a more forward attitude than what I am admittedly used to from them.
As cliché as it sounds, Red Flavor (which is almost an annoying title for this very reason) relies heavily on the idea of what the group once was. Bright pop that made you think of the color red. The groups ability to play up this idea has managed to give them different songs with that same feeling, but Red Flavor truly does the best job at capturing that. Right now their red is optimistic and cheerful. In future comebacks it may become aggressive and mournful. Whatever it may be, it has put them on the right track once again.