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Rant and Rave: Taking a unique trip to ‘The ReVe Festival 2022-Feel my Rhythm’

It’s that time again where ReVeluvs celebrate the return of SM Entertainment’s Red Velvet. 

Ever since their debut, the group has been popularly known for their “Red” and “Velvet” concepts which highlight their peppy yet sophisticated image. But feel the flavors a little more; having a slice of their sweet music unveils the groups’ dynamic layers, reflecting the versatility each member possesses. Their expert application of varying genres to their music and their sugar-sweet dance moves give the group a unique edge compared to other third generation K-pop girl groups—leaving an unforgettable flavor in everyone’s taste buds.  

In their eighth year as a group, they welcome 2022 with their latest addition to The ReVe Festival series, The ReVe Festival 2022 – Feel My Rhythm (TRVF 2022-FMR). In this new mini-album, the group promises to bring the spring season straight to the gardens of listeners. Serving quintessential Red Velvet and a trip to an ethereal wonderland—far from Kwangya—the group’s latest release gives us a taste of an experience that feeds fans with spoonfuls of joy. 

Once upon a time

Owning up to their “Queens of All Seasons” title, Red Velvet continues to entice their listeners with six lyrical masterpieces. Interpolating the charms of classical and pop music, the mini-album portrays a full-blown fairytale set in spring.

In contrast to Red Velvet’s summer classic, The Red Summer, and their winter hit, The ReVe Festival: Finale (TRVF-F), TRVF 2022-FMR is a refreshing take on their fairytale concept. It takes ReVeluvs on the highs, mids, and lows of an imaginary trip, fulfilling every fan’s Alice in Wonderland fantasy by depicting the transformations caused by “Drink Me” bottles, “Eat Me” cakes, and the White Rabbit’s fan.

Red Velvet’s integration of classical music is most evident in Feel My Rhythm. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Air on the G String melody is briefly present in the first few seconds of the song, giving listeners a peek into the typically cruel introduction to a fairytale. As their silky vocals come in, the song progresses toward sounds that marry the pop and the mystical—a sweet surprise for ReVeluvs who were expecting a “velvety” track. This loud, vibrant mix of genres—which may be overwhelming for new listeners—undoubtedly makes for the best possible opening to the mini-album. 

With Feel My Rhythm, the fairytale begins to unfold; the “Drink Me” bottles are finally opened.

Tower of treats

As listeners move on to other tracks in the mini-album, Rainbow Halo introduces a new type of concept. Incorporated with R&B beats, the song tucks ReVeluvs in for a sweet treat. With a groovy bass, timely clinking of bells, and fun vocals, Rainbow Halo evokes a toothy smile from its listeners. Though the song’s dazzling character may be off-putting at first, the succeeding ones are enough to make this an earworm. 

While most songs in the mini-album have a soft approach in their instrumentals, Beg For Me begs otherwise. Opening up with deep snarls and the catchy lyrics “Dance for me, work for me, beg for me,” the arrangement of the introduction effectively induces a  commanding tone like their previous song, Really Bad Boy. Even the group’s main vocalist, Wendy, surprisingly brushes her swag with her verse during the song’s bridge, symphonically addicting enough to make listeners beg for more.  In contrast, Bamboleo elicits a different groove with its retro flair. With intermediate beats and soft harmonies pumping throughout the song, it unwaveringly delivers an unclouded vibe. 

The mini-album’s vivid mood resurfaces with Good, Bad, Ugly. The song portrays messages of self-appreciation, reminding listeners to love themselves even during bad and ugly days. However, the song’s overall message would’ve felt more meaningful and invigorating to international fans if the English lyrics, “Every day I just love me,” were also apparent in the chorus. 

Finally, In My Dreams’s ode to musical boxes starts off with soft vocals that progressively power through as the key lyrics, “In my dreams, you love me back,” repeat. Toward the last seconds of this enchanting trip, voices of Red Velvet wind down into hauntingly wistful echoes; it sends goosebumps down the spine with a sophisticated flair. As the music box motif fades away, In My Dreams excellently concludes the mini-album.

Cravings satisfied

Red Velvet continues to prove that the devil is indeed in the details. The music video Feel My Rhythm references several classic paintings; among these include the incandescent similarity of Joy’s scene to John Everett Millais’ Ophelia and Seulgi and Irene’s frame to Claude Monet’s Woman with a Parasol. Furthermore, the release date of the mini-album—March 21—also happens to be the birthday of Bach. These colorful details play chase with the minds of observant ReVeluvs; stacking up the layers, it must not be forgotten that these art pieces also have stories of their own.

Although the group ventures out to different concepts aside from the usual “Red” and “Velvet”, their songs invoke the same unparalleled joy. In what can only be described as a bedazzling feeling when entering Wonderland, the mini-album brings back all the reasons why Red Velvet is such a captivating group. From their quirky performances marked by animated facial expressions to their consistently soft melodies that whisper in their songs, the group does not venture too far to appear off-brand. 

Considering that this is their first time exploring the fairytale concept, the group’s execution is understandably quite superfluous. The unfamiliar blend of musical elements overpower their vocals and overall style, so it might be overwhelming for first-time tasters. With the next installments of TRVF 2022 series just around the corner, listeners can expect that the quintet will offer much more. 

In time, everyone’s cravings will soon be satisfied and Red Velvet will find their sweet spot in the classical pop mania. Peering into the looking glass, a new chapter begins; perfectly transitioning from the melodies of In My Dreams, Red Velvet invites its listeners to Feel My Rhythm once more.

Rating: 3.0/4.0

By Addie Holgado

By Arianne Joy Melendres

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