Red Velvet’s Red Flavor affirms a good year

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

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EXID’s Night Rather Than Day is a soft but dynamic return

EXID are the group that have a tenuous but positive relationship with. While I have liked a majority of their releases, I have never truly committed myself to the group as a fan would. Instead I eagerly await for their return with hopes that this would be the one. Their last song LIE, left me befuddled and not amused, and only at the last minute did I find the song anywhere near charming. For 2017 they come back with a switch once again.

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NiNaNo is a mild intro for Minzy the soloist

Minzy has finally debuted as a soloist with her debut track NiNaNo, which serves as the lead single of her EP Minzy Work 01 Uno. As a relatively high profile act coming from one of the biggest K pop acts, and having started opening herself up to the masses proper, there was a bit of excitement for Minzy’s debut. In the last…three or four months, her company has managed to create an image for an idol that spent a majority of her career strategically out of arms reach (for better and worse). With most of the work settled in, all that was needed was for the actual debut…and here it is.

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Pristin’s Wee Woo is mix bag of a debut

Pristin are the latest girl group to debut. Teasing of the group came last year, in the midst of two of their members succeeding in finding fame in K Pop with the MNET super group IOI. Making sure to multi task the efforts, Pledis put in work to get the group ready for debut doing concerts, fan releases, and a pre release to get the group ready. Finally in March, Pristin debuted with Wee Woo.

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GFriend’s Fingertips explores the group’s dynamic concept

Gfriend have made it two years into the industry, and have become one of the more popular idol groups of their generation. Known for their exciting dance, acceptably cute imagery, and rather big songs. Still as time ticks forward, the fans of k pop seem to get impatient with concepts. Gfriend as a group have made a killing with the theory “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. While some groups have the ability to hop around from concept to concept, there are others who pride themselves on consistency in sound, image, and brand. Gfriend is one of those groups. They have made their coin by pushing this above average, high energy girl group that rock the pastel lcolored imagery on top of heavy guitar riffs that feel almost epic.

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Red Velvet’s Rookie is a nice addition to their predictable nature

2017-2014=3 years. Well for Red Velvet its been 2 years and some change, but right now I am just gonna go with three years. Anyway, Red Velvet has been around since 2014, almost three years, which for some doesn’t seem like a long time. Still we have moved through several albums now, which means several comebacks…and…a lot of them feel the same.

This isn’t going to be a long or thorough review.

Rookie sounds like Red Velvet. That’s about as much as I can say really.

(Of Course there is more)

 

The song fits Red Velvet’s brand of cute offbeat pop while not coming off weird or strange. It’s a very average K pop song, and the group handles it well. I do like the beat and it swings hard. It’s funky and fun. It’s on par with what the group has released,lining up with Dumb Dumb in several ways.

Overall I can’t think of a reason to not like this song, after so long. The video is strange, but to be honest fits the group in their strange ways. The video reminds me of Happiness with the random and very noticable sets. However here the group leans heavily on the fourth wall with the opening and ending scenes indicating that is not their reality. Once again…something the group has done before.

Rookie is Red Velvet in the most comfortable, and frankly too familiar setting. While it doesn’t excel like Dumb Dumb or is as catchy as Russian Roulette, it is a passable track.

2ne1 say Goodbye one last time

Last year saw the death of quite a few groups, and this is likely not going to end anytime soon. One group to come to an end was the heavy weight 2ne1. With a long standing hiatus after the unfortunate Bom scandal, and the departure of Minzy in May of last year, it felt like the end of the group. Still YG insisted that was not the case, and they would continue as three. Turns out that was a lie (a lie that I am sad to hear many believed).

The group was disbanded in December with the news that Bom had not signed back in May as we were led to believe (although some are saying this is false?).

So here we are…Late January of 2017, almost three years since the group’s last release…with Goodbye.

I’ve always believed that 2ne1’s best efforts have been their ballads. The lack of pretense and allowing  the group to just move with the music has been their best part. Goodbye is a throwaway from CL’s US work, and here it comes off as such. CL feels very prominent in the song, with Dara and Bom feeling inserted. Of course CL sounds at her best here, her voice having always been one of my favorites. She also has a way of playing up sadness that isn’t the typical drab way most Korean idols tend to sing. Dara doesn’t feel so necessary songwise, but it is nice to hear her. The real part of anticipation was Bom, who had been on hiatus since 2014. I was worried that she would just be a voice, but we get to see her in the video. I’ve always liked Bom.

Overall I can’t say much against the song. It is a nice track, and was well done. Simple, and feels like the end to a chapter. Hopefully the careers of the members (including Minzy) take off and success comes their ways.