REVIEW Album Review: Red Velvet - IRENE & SEULGI – “Monster”

Yuki

Ç'est quoi ce merdier?
Social Media
Early Supporters
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Posts
1,336
Reaction score
1,138
Points
10,720
Location
Yurina's protection squad
Plus Coins
⨭1,925,709
ALBUM REVIEW: RED VELVET - IRENE & SEULGI – “MONSTER”
Written by: Yuki



It has been a while since we saw Red Velvet on stage, and we all missed them so much but they have finally returned to the music scene as a subunit in early July. Red Velvet's Irene and Seulgi made their long-awaited debut with a mini-album called "Monster". It contains 6 tracks that are full of velvet colours, and it means to show us a completely different image than what we have seen previously from Red Velvet.



'Monster'

"Monster" is the title track of their first mini-album, a combination of dance-pop, heavy bass, and intense dubstep. It has a gospel sound which is rather disturbing and monstrous, like those soundtracks in demon horror movies. I was doubtful when SM described this as a dubstep song, because that was a 2013 K-pop trend, and SM’s dubstep has never sounded good. The dubstep here was not too bad, and while I would like for it to be removed, I do think it helps to increase the monstrous feeling of "Monster". The structure is a bit formulaic and typical, but the instrumental, and the vocals are amazing. I love Irene’s lower register, the choir background vocals, and both she, and Seulgi do great in this song. The instrumental is also very interesting with all of these sirens, laughing sounds, meows, and many more. It helps me to overlook this song’s boring structure.

"Monster" carries an interesting message which is talking about the struggle of fighting a monster that lives within you. Although the lyrics are acceptable, they could have put more work in so that they can execute the song better. It is similar to these horror movies that are not scary at all and try too hard to be, then end up being ridiculous.

7.6/10



'Naughty'

"Naughty" was described as a future house-style dance-pop song and is a follow-up single from the album. With all the hype they had built, and all the spoilers we got in the past few months, I have to say this song’s performance fell below my expectations. It is not what I thought it would be when I read the word "naughty", and I expected a much different vibe but was left disappointed. The hero of this song is the pre-chorus as it was nicely done, and it is a more general public friendly song than "Monster". However, this song is generic as I have heard something like this a lot before, but it is indeed growing on me. I am glad that they decided to choose "Monster" over this song because "Monster" showcases their different side as a subunit better.

The choreography though is definitely one of the best from Red Velvet, and maybe one of the most interesting I have ever seen in Kpop. They sure put a lot of efforts to practice and master this insane dance, and they execute it so effortlessly and smoothly. This can go viral as a challenge on a platform such as TikTok, that is, if they were going to make one.

7/10





'Diamond'

"Diamond" is an alternative R&B song with chill instrumentals and groovy bass. I feel like this is a mixture of "Automatic" and "Kingdom Come", two very Red Velvet songs. Their harmonies are great, and it has just enough vocal layers to make the song sound richer, and more complex. "Diamond" has a familiar vibe which reminds me of these R&B/indie J-pop artists that I am genuinely into nowadays. The “Diamond in the rough” line is somehow bothering me, even though it is catchy. This is also more memorable than "Monster" but has a much simpler instrumental texture. "Diamond" is soft, groovy, smooth and enjoyable - a suitable song for your "driving alone at night" playlist

I have a feeling that "Diamond" is a song about their pre-debut era when they were all a “diamond in the rough”, and now when they become successful after going through many things and shine like a diamond. But they still offer lots of potential still yet to be discovered, room to improve, and this applies to everyone.

8/10



'Feel Good'

"Feel Good" is a progressive R&B dance track which reminds me of a Mamamoo song, but they mixed it with some Red Velvet’s colours. This is probably one of my least favourite songs from the mini-album. It starts off pretty well with Irene’s husky voice, but I feel that really might ba all this song has going for it. To be honest, this was my actually my favourite song from the album at first listen, but the more I listen to it, the more it sounds disinteresting. It lacks longevity, and the chorus is missing some elements to bring the song to the next level.

At first, I thought the song is about a sadist girl who loves to torture her lover. Well, that is not completely wrong but it actually has more depth to it. As the song progresses, we realise that the girl might have suffered some abuse from the past, and it affected her mental health which explains her actions. She can not stop even though she wants to, so they end up being stuck in a toxic relationship. The lyrics actually makes me like the song more and adds more feeling to it. Overall, the whole song is dragging with nothing to hold onto besides the lyrics, and their vocals.

7/10





'Jelly'

A flirty, cute, refreshing and poppy R&B song. The track’s name can be seen as symbolising the double meaning of the term "jelly" - jealousy and sweetness. This is sort of an upgrade version of "LP", but with more Red side influences and more upbeat. "LP" is nice too but not as good as "Jelly", and it has its moment but it seems almost like it does not have a point to reach. It might just be me because I usually prefer upbeat songs over slow tempo songs, but if it was done right like "Kingdom Come" and "Perfect 10" then there would not be much competition. "Jelly" is very effective when you listen to it while doing some chores because it has high energy, except sometimes you might get too carried away and forget about what you're doing. This is probably the catchiest in the album, and one of the best song.

"Jellys" lyrics are cute and simple, as it speaks about two people who have a crush on each other but only one of them knows about it. This person is having fun and loves to tease the other so much because they are so easy to make jealous, and can not hide their emotions while they hold their feeling for themselves.

8.2/10



'Uncover'

"Uncover" is a pretty Pop/R&B song and is a Seulgi solo that was first performed during the La Rouge concert. First of all, the structure is a bit weird and boring. It feels like they rushed to come up with something for the second half of the song, however, I do like the studio version’s instrumentals better than the La Rouge concert version. The ending is a nice touch, it sounds really beautiful. I don't think I will play this often though. Perhaps, it's one of those to listen to while in the right mood to enjoy it properly. However, I do not think Seulgi’s vocals are good enough to carry this song alone, as it just does not have enough feeling to give the song a boost. If she ever had a solo album, I personally wouldn't want a song like "Uncover" to be the title track or the general theme of the album. The message of the song is simple, raw and clear – do not be afraid to be yourself and seek for things you truly want.
6.3/10





Overall, this debut is a bit underwhelming and not really close to their best's Velvet-y side moments, but this will do for now. I will give this album points for not putting a ballad as a filler. I do not consider "Uncover" as a ballad, but rather a slow tempo song. It is different than most ordinary K-pop ballads that you often see added in almost every other album. Regardless of the concepts of their title track and the follow-up song, this first mini-album still screams Red Velvet to me. I would have wanted them to put more punches, and take more risks to make it a more memorable album, but it is still listenable.

__________________________________________________

Artistic Creativity:
8/10
Vocal Quality: 9/10
Music: 7.3/10

8.1/10
__________________________________________________


PROOFREAD BY: @Dragon of the West
GRAPHICS BY: @jindori
 

BlueNose

Not to say that Im in love with you
Social Media
Sixth Place HoE
VIP+
Early Supporters
Joined
Jun 15, 2019
Posts
17,305
Reaction score
63,468
Points
82,820
Location
summer with techi
Plus Coins
⨭674,850
Thanks for reviewing! The Jelly stanning and the uncover lashings i have to support
 
Top Bottom