What delights me with the recent Red Velvet comeback is the fact that they are still hitting new peaks. Commercially, this is probably their best-selling album. It is also charting really well…and consistently at that. This era has probably some of the best promotion cycles for the group too (the girls are looking better than ever and have you seen the performance video?). The YouTube views however are incredibly sus but that’s a different discussion.
Track records like these are quite important to discuss at this point because they are in an awkward position in their careers. They’re a year past the classic “seven-year curse” but that’s only because they were on a hiatus of some sorts that led to some plans being pushed back – presumably. With Wendy’s accident plus Irene’s being outed as a diva bitch, it almost felt like curtains were about to be called. Joy has mentioned that they’re gunning for multiple comebacks this year but as much as that sounds incredibly reassuring, we really can’t tell what’s in store for them unless SM confirms stuff.
But with a track as amazing as like ‘Feel My Rhythm’, it kinda eclipses the reality of a vague future that the group is currently in (at least for me). This return to form is so incredible that if for some reason, it is time to wrap up, at least they did it on a high note. Of course, we don’t want that to happen because they’re probably one of the few groups in the current scene with a really strong and diverse discography. A great loss would be such an understatement. There’s a reason why they are called the “best idol group alive”.
Anyway, back to FMR. This song is like a reminder of why I enjoy K-Pop: anything can happen here. I can’t cite the exact interview, but a certain publication spoke to some Western producers and they said the reason why they enjoy producing for K-Pop groups is that they can basically stretch their imagination as to what they can do with a track. You wanna put cowbells, pots and pans, or any random sounds? Go ahead. You want to blend five genres in a three-minute song? By all means. Feel like sampling Bach or Mozart over trap, EDM beats? No one’s stopping y’all.
And that’s beautiful for me.
What makes FMR more exciting is how the sounds and visuals mesh together. Sonically, it is a wonderfully executed organized chaos. Sampling classical music has been a thing in K-Pop but it’s one that hasn’t been tapped in a long time (especially for a title track). With this, Red Velvet once again displayed how they are capable of carving and thriving in their own path – especially in this generation of K-Pop performances.
The way they worked on the Bach sample is astounding. Usually, sampled songs only take a specific part and runs away with it but with FMR, Bach’s Air in G-String was chopped and diced in so many ways while still being seamlessly integrated to the rest of the song. You can hear bits of pieces of the whole Air in G-String movement distributed throughout the song. As a result, the sampling does not feel repetitive at all.
On top of that, the MV is a cornucopia of various classic art pieces – all intricately done and wonderfully referenced. It’s crazy and even bold, but Red Velvet really served art meets pop in this comeback and I can’t get enough of it!
The title track is so up my alley that I deliberately ignored the rest of The ReVe Festival 2022 – to be honest. To think they’re a group known for their b-sides but as far as I am concerned, FMR really eclipsed the rest of the material. I know that they are really strong tracks – Bamboleo is fantastic, In My Dreams is wonderfully bittersweet, and Rainbow Halo is like a Red Velvet meets Brave Brothers track but sorry, FMR hard carried this one.
If it’s not obvious yet, Feel My Rhythm snags a really high spot in my personal hierarchy of Red Velvet title tracks. All of their previous releases are amazing in their own way but as far as RV TTs go, my favorites are the ones that go where the others won’t. Hence, I formally induct Feel My Rhythm in the ranks of my all-time favorites – joining Automatic and Rookie.
All in all, a great, great, great comeback for the cake girls! Like what the icon of hardwork Kim Kardashian once said: