The 6th Mini Album from the Queens of Summer is here! I stayed up and started listening to it as soon as it was available here in North America. I then took a nap and replayed everything to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. Before we get into the songs let me just say it was so heartwarming to see the girls back together. Especially after the long hiatus, solo projects, and recovery that Wendy went through. In that time Yeri hosted a web show and took part in dramas while doing some solo work. Joy also did some dramas and released a solo project as well. We were also blessed with one of my favorite sub-units Irene and Seulgi and their mini-album “Monster”. When she was ready to be back in the public eye Wendy the vocal powerhouse member also released a solo album.
While I couldn’t stop smiling when they finally performed as 5 again at the SMtown Live Culture Humanity event It is fun to have new music to dance and sing along to.
In this Queendom mini album the first since the ReVe Festival Finale we get 6 tracks. Queendom which at the time of writing has only one music video and is the title track. There is also Pose, Knock On Wood, Better Be, Pushin’ N Pullin’, and Hello, Sunset. I listened to these on Spotify as I might want to do a reaction to the music video. I’m not 100% sure yet. Now take this “review” as someone who is newish in the k-pop scene, who focuses on girl groups, and is a Red Velvet fan. I may not know all the songs ever released by them but I have listened to a large part of Red Velvet’s discography. Let’s get into Queendom!
The title track Queendom is a light playful pop song that is the perfect summer bop or dance track. Everyone’s vocals are stellar with Wendy once again showing her range but leaving space for all the girls to shine. It has an almost retro feel with the funky beat that takes a while to kick in. When it does it though changes from a light-toned song to a vocally impressive dance beat. It’s a song that no matter your skill level or understanding of the lyrics might have you grooving along.
This is a statement song saying Red Velvet is back baby. The queens are here and they are back to rule. This is also the only one at the time of writing that has a music video. It seems like 2020-2021 has been a time to experiment with tons of retro synth beats and sounds Twice’s “I Can’t Stop Me” springs to mind.
This one hits differently, especially following right after Queendom. It almost reminds me of an updated 2021 version of “Sassy Me” with a beat that also makes me want to vogue. I could imagine a reprisal of the tutting we saw in “Naughty” as a part of the dance here. This time they bring not only punchy vocals and great harmonizes but a beat that seems outside of the usual Red Velvet fare. It seems with the success of Irene and Seulgi “Monster” SM has let them explore a bit more of their sound. The synths really make an appearance in the chorus but they are not overused and don’t drown out the other components of the song. I could see this being a good theme song for a reality show or a character theme in a movie or drama.
I stand by the thought this song is almost the same as Sassy Me. Just updated for 2021 and I’m ok with that I love that song.
3. Knock on Wood
Hello synths and once again amazing vocals from the entire group! This one is a mixed bag while listening to it. The vocals, rapping, and harmonies are on point however the ever-present “one-note strike” ( I wish I knew the proper term) is almost distracting. This is just my personal opinion though. Dropping the bass for the pre-chorus to let Irene and Joy’s vocals breath is a nice touch overall. It’s another quick airy song with great bass perfect for driving with the windows open.
I don’t have a lot to say on this one. It’s a fairly straightforward song from the group. The lyrics are straightforward if not a little shallow but when you have a danceable song the lyrics don’t really matter.
4. Better Be
The backing funk beat blends so well with Joy and Wendy’s opening vocals. The low drone bass mixed with the fast-paced vocals is a delight to listen to. We also once again get to listen to Irene and Yeri’s smooth voice rapping. Seulgi is always solid with beautiful singing and the whole group just harmonizes so well. The vocals are definitely the focus of this song. Even with how funky the beat and the low bass is it never overpowers any of the girls singing or rapping. Definitely a head bopper.
Reading the lyrics reveals that it is an almost love song. There’s a lot of hoping, wishing, or telling you better be ready for my love. Better be ready to love me and accept my love. Love songs are nothing new to the group and even if you don’t go over the top and read lyrics like I do this is still an enjoyable song.
5. Pushin’ N Pullin’
This just gives me LP vibes all over again in fact the openings almost sound identical once Seulgi starts singing. I had to pull out LP at the same time to make sure I wasn’t losing my mind and yes they sound very similar. However, once the chorus comes in they do branch off but it was confusing listening to it the first time. I feel like this would be a great summertime love song just by listening to it and knowing the lyrics.
This is another that would be a great k-drama theme or character theme song. The ad-libs feel more playful here than the other songs as well.
6. Hello, Sunset
Another Retro, RnB, and Funk feeling song. A slower song as well as the slowest on the album if I’m not mistaken. Once again stellar vocals from the entire group they really shine in this song. I found myself nodding along to this song the most. You notice in this song more than the other that the girls trade off singing in legato or staccato. Legato means the notes are sung smoothly and together where one can blend into the other. Staccato Means short notes with pauses in between. Great wake-up song with an easy beat and smooth vocals.
Overall I have to say Queendom is a great album from Red Velvet. It puts a spotlight on the great vocals the group is known for. The harmonizing is off the charts for all the songs as well. This is a great summer album for the queens of summer. My favorite song right now is probably Pose and that’s a hard choice to make. Every song has a different vibe yet sticks to the theme of the album. The overall 20 min album is a great lead into Red Velvet is back and I know I can’t wait to see what the girls come out with next.
Have you listened to Queendom? What is your favorite song on the mini-album? What is your favorite Red Velvet song? Let me know in the comments section below and stay tuned for more from Lv1Gaming!
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