Red Velvet Says Goodbye To The Summer With “The ReVe Festival: Day 2” – Album Review

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 23: (L-R) Wendy, Seulgi, Irene, Yeri and Joy of girl band Red Velvet attend the red carpet at KCON Day 1 2018 NY presented by Toyota at Prudential Center on June 23, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)

In K-pop, the summer, and the concept of the summer is something that the industry capitalizes on. The videos at the beach, the parties, the picturesque fireworks and more are things that the industry likes to play up. With the look of summer also comes the sound, with every group chomping at the bit to produce an EDM or tropical house. While embracing the visual aspect, Red Velvet hasn’t necessarily brought those sounds with their summer releases. 

For the second year in a row, SM Entertainment girl group Red Velvet attempted to land a buzzer-beater in the summer, releasing an album in mid-August. The EP was the sequel, or as they put it, the second day to The ReVe Festival: Day 1, which was released in June. The quick turnaround from the group worked in favor of establishing the “Festival” collection as a series instead of one-off projects.

A Review of The ReVe Festival: Day 2

The “Day 1” project was an interesting one. While it has the usual b-sides that you’d expect from Red Velvet, the title track “Zimzalabim” was nothing short of polarizing. While some fans liked the song, many didn’t know how to react to the out-of-the-box and frankly weird sound that the group produced. The song showed that while being different makes you stand out, it doesn’t make yourself the most likable. Sometimes, it’s easier to go for a safer sound that everyone will like. With the title track “Umpah Umpah,” this release felt like it did exactly that.

“Day 2” of this album had the aforementioned title track along with five other b-side songs. While Red Velvet didn’t do anything groundbreaking with this release, they found themselves with a generally solid album which felt like it delivered. 

Tracklist:

  1. Umpah Umpah (Title Track)
  2. Carpool
  3. Love Is The Way
  4. Jumpin’
  5. Ladies Night
  6. Eyes Locked, Hands Locked

Track 1: Umpah Umpah

The opening track for the mini-album is “Umpah Umpah,” which has come with a music video. The song breaks the current K-pop trend of having nearly lyric-less choruses. The song has synth frequently in the background and the repeated background vocals of “Umpah pah umpah pah.” While the song is catchy, it’s nothing outside of the playbook of Red Velvet. But maybe that’s bad criteria to have. For a group that seemingly reinvents itself with every comeback, is going back to the basics for once being too greedy? It totally could be. Upon first listen, the bridge was something you could basically imagine in your head before hearing it. With that being said, during the final chorus, there is a very surprising change in the tempo of their vocals, speeding up for a few moments. That was a cool change as the song was on its way out. Also, during another part of the song, the artists referenced past title tracks like “Dumb Dumb,” “Red Flavor” and “Ice Cream Cake,” which felt like a clever nod to their past pop songs.

Music Video and Styling

The video has two main settings, the group dancing on the beach, and the group frustratingly staying inside during a horrible storm. In a silent skit, the group’s TV went out, to which they did a rock paper scissors to see who would go out and fix the signal. It was decided that Seulgi would go on the roof with an umbrella, poncho, and boots to deliver what maybe some of the most adorable Red Velvet content ever. And by the way, if your TV goes out during a thunderstorm, just break out a card game or something instead of risking getting electrocuted. Or do that, but don’t credit Red Velvet, SM Entertainment or lwos.life for it.

The video all together was fun to watch. It was a little less weird than “Power Up” or “Red Flavour,” but it held the same pure concept. The styling in the video was great as well. Wendy’s short hair in some scenes stuck out as a good look. Their outfits were all cool too, which is a bounce back from “Zimzalabim” which had some questionable ones like Wendy’s top that made her look like Sesame Street’s Grover.

Track 2: Carpool

The second track on the EP, “Carpool,” was a lackluster track to me. While not being a bad song by any stretch, it just doesn’t really stick out. It feels like the backup goalie to “Umpah Umpah,” and honestly the placement of it as the second track made it feel like the same song played yet again. Again, it’s worth emphasizing, this song isn’t bad. It just felt pretty uninspired right after a similar sounding title track. My favorite part of the song had to be the rap part that came in the verse after the first chorus.

Track 3: Love Is The Way

In the third track on the album, we had a fun treat from Red Velvet. In a song which emulated the mid-1900s style of Doo-wop, the group talked indecisiveness in love, noting “my heart says yes but my lips say no.” This was honestly one of the least predictable songs that came from the album, but the group certainly pulled it off. 

Track 4: Jumpin’

The second half of the album included some amazing tracks. Song number four, “Jumpin” was a song that really showed off the voices in Red Velvet. The pre-chorus very much reminded me of the early title track “Rookie,” though once it goes into the chorus it goes into a much different direction.

Track 5: Ladies Night

For the rest of the album, the “Red” part of the group takes a backseat, with the R&B infused “Velvet” side of the group taking full control. The song “Ladies Night” is a pleasant chill song with the pure concept of what the title implies: “a ladies night.” The background beat is very good, feeling very fitting for a song talking about an evening. The brass, which sounded very “Broadway,” and the other instruments like guitar and flute made it very fitting for what they were going for.

Track 6: Eyes Locked, Hands Locked

While the previous song was an R&B song, this one was even more mellow. The project wraps up with “Eyes Locked, Hands Locked,” a relaxed and romantic song. What was easily the best part about the song was the bridge. When you thought the song was really winding down, the group came back with a powerful final chorus which includes a high note from one member (but who specifically isn’t noted in the lyrics). It’s great that Red Velvet constantly highlights their R&B talent on their album b-sides. It makes sense that the pop songs will be the title track most times. In those cases, however, it’s always nice that the group doesn’t forget their secondary style.

Conclusion

This mini-album, while being less of a risk-taker than the previous one, was one that delivered consistent hits. While at this point nobody was denying it, it was further proven in this album that Red Velvet has the best b-side songs in the industry. Capitalizing on the summer concept in the 11th hour, SM’s lead girl group put together a solid collection of songs as the seasonal trend is soon to fade away. 

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