Due to the sound of “Power Up”, I’m automatically assuming this album is going to be based on their more pop-based sound. I don’t really have a problem with it considering the bonus track is “Bad Boy – english ver” which must be a gift sent from my own personal Jesus – this song is my jam! I’m interested to see what their songs will be like as a collective as well with the seemingly totally different vibes of “Power Up” to “Bad Boy”, I’m interested in how they’re going to make them relate.
ARTIST: RED VELVET
ALBUM: Summer Magic
RED VELVETs sixth EP Summer Magic was released 6th August 2018 with title track “Power Up”. I’ve mentioned it before but summer K-Pop albums always upset me – I have the opposite weather to Korea so while they’re all soaking in the sun I’m wrapped up in five blankets with a scarf, two pairs of socks and an electric blanket on. Call me bitter, because I am, but I’ve always felt kind of ‘meh’ about these seasonal albums.
As I mentioned in my “Power Up” MV first look, I’ve always been on the fence with RED VELVETs more pop-sounding songs at first listen but I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. Maybe I’m growing as a K-Pop listener or maybe I’ve fallen into the trap of loving these girls and the music they put out. I won’t be writing any of my thoughts on the title song here but you can read about my first impression (here) if you’re interested.
Second track “With You” sounds like a sweeter version of The Little Mermaids ‘Under the Sea’ – which I love! The lightness of the verses is nice but the introduction of more instruments in the chorus and the catchy melody is my favourite part. I do wish this song had more of a break down as I tend to like RV songs more when they do so. But other than that, this song was nice, relaxed and super sweet.
“Mr. E” gave me goosebumps within the first 10 seconds. The use of the percussive bongo drums and the prechorus breakdown made me enjoy the song a lot more but good lord that chorus! There are moments when the ad libs and doubling remind me of “Happiness” which was refreshing – it’s been a minute since I last heard that song so it was an unexpected treat to almost reference where they’d started. I also really like the bridge of this song as well. It’s definitely my favourite song so far.
“Mosquito” gives a more funk/hip hop fusion sound than what I was expecting. The sound of this song is my preferred for RED VELVET so I’m absolutely living for this song. I am a little surprised the beat doesn’t drop just a little bit harder in the chorus but that’s just me nitpicking – this song is great. It’s also another great example of how great their bridges are, something I’m beginning to notice is becoming my favourite parts of a RV song. It does slightly annoy me the song is called mosquito but mostly out of absolute hatred of the pests but other than that, this song now becomes the favourite.
“Hit That Drum” immediately became an iffy song. From the first couple seconds and the overly repetitive yet never changing strong beat in the background. I’m thrown into more confusion when random electronic sirens start sound in the chorus. I think I’m going out on a limb to say that I don’t like this song from first listen. I did mention in my “Power Up” reaction the songs I don’t like at first listen tend grow on me so I’m assuming this song will be similar. This song fits into the rest of the album for sure, I just don’t enjoy it that much. But once again, the bridge is my favourite part of this song.
Sixth track “Blue Lemonade” was a pleasant surprise for me. After coming straight out of such a hectic song like “Hit That Drum” I’m surprised at it’s mellow sounding musicality – maybe that’s why I appreciate it a lot more because of the stark difference in genre between the two. I do enjoy the songs progression in the chorus and the break down after the chorus’. I’m an easy girl to please – I just need a beat change, crazy rap line, nice vocals and a catchy chorus – so this song does a good job in ticking my personal checklist.
Last track is the english version of “Bad Boy”. For those who don’t know, “Bad Boy” is one of my favourite songs from 2018 so when their english version was performed at KCon… you better believe I was hype. Honestly, this song is so good. It’s so up my street and so BAD ASS. I enjoy the sassiness of the lyrics and is one of the best Boss Lady anthems I’ve heard for a long time. What I am scratching my head at is how it fits on the album. In saying that, it’s presence is not a negative at all.
This is the first ever RED VELVET album since The Red that I enjoyed start to finish – with the exception of “Hit That Drum”. I enjoyed how they fused both their concepts (pop and R&B), gift-wrapped it in some summering wrapping paper, tied a pretty lil bow on it and handed it over. I really enjoyed this album – it was fun with some really nice catchy songs but wasn’t too over-the-top. Excluding “Bad Boy”, my favourite tracks are “Mr. E” and “Mosquito”.
My rating: 8.5/10
How did you all enjoy Summer Magic? Did you have any standout tracks or songs you didn’t like too much? Let me know you thoughts on the album down below!