Red Velvet RBB Review

These last few weeks of November have been so packed with new releases that I have no idea what I should binge listen to anymore…. Okay, that’s a fib. I’ll still binge listen to EXO Don’t Mess Up My Tempo. EXO’s sister group, Red Velvet came out with brand new music earlier today in the form of the album Red Velvet RBB. Based off of the fact that RBB is short for “Really Bad Boy”, I am anticipating Lady Killer Red Velvet to make a return in the EP.

I picked up my copy of the album off of EBay from a shop in Florida called K’Poppin USA for $22.99. Their prices are pretty fair, and they have free shipping. Plus, with E-Bates, you can get an extra 2% cash back on your purchase. 

What is E-Bates?

E-Bates is a cashback site that gives you money for purchases you may have already made. They even have an extension for multiple browsers so when you go to a website that uses Ebates, it will automatically pop up the cashback button to make sure you are saving money. I use this all the time, and I got over 80$ back from them for purchases I was going to make anyways. That’s about 3 more albums I can buy!

If you’ve never used EBates before, you can use this link to get $10 when making a qualified purchase of $25 when using EBates. You will also get whatever percent cashback is being offered from the site you are purchasing from.  Sephora, typically has 4% cashback, through here. Sokoglam typically has 3%. These percentages Many other major retailers are on there as well. 

For the purposes of reading the remainder of this post, I recommend that you put the album on in the background, and read through it while listening to the track that I am talking about. This is what I recommend for all of my song reviews

Red Velvet RBB Track by Track:

RBB (Really Bad Boy)

So, yet again, like I have been doing for most of these reviews of late, I did film a reaction to the Music Video. I will point out in advance, I wasn’t 100% over the moon with this track, and you can read more on that below the video:

I love the use of saxophone in this track, and the swing vibe that the track has. The track starts of strong in the first verse, even though I don’t understand why Joy says “1,2,5”. I have no idea where 3 and 4 went. The chords that the ladies sing in the chorus are very tight, although they could have added a sforzando on the background vocals, and clean up their cut offs a wee bit more. (If you want to hear what a consistently clean girl group sounds like, go listen to MAMAMOO.) They also could have added a high harmony to those chords in the hook to add a little bit more interest.

Despite that, as the track moves on and we move into the second verse, the track falls a bit flat in a number of locations. The track doesn’t really use dynamics very well. They are a very powerful tool to help move a song forward. The instrumentation seems to consistently to be mezzo forte (medium forte). In my opinion, it subtracts from the song and prevents the ladies of Red Velvet from really shining. The girls are doing a great job at the harmonies, and the drums and sax are just too loud throughout the track. They also should have made that bass line just a tad louder, as there is too much treble in the track.

These points are where the track was spoiled for me. It just doesn’t feel as clean and polished as I expect from a group from SM, especially right after the EXO and NCT albums that were released and were gorgeously clean. The production on this track definitely feels as though it was rushed. I still do enjoy the song though, as it is definitely a bop. 

Butterflies

Okay, I’m digging the disco, 80’s electronic vibe to this track. I really love the bass that they have going on in the background. It sounds like it popped out of an old Madonna album. The girls’ harmonies on this track, especially in the chorus are on point. They are clean, and they utilize dynamics a bit better in this track. 

Yet again, my complaint is the instrumentation outshining the vocalists. The instrumentation has far too much loud treble in it, especially in the chorus. They should have pulled it back about 15-20 decibels, Even when connected up to a professional level speaker, the instrumentation is far too loud. The ladies have nice voices, and it is over shone by the instrumentation. 

This track feels like the production on it was rushed, like I know that TWICE has done in the past. In my opinion, that isn’t fair to artists. Give them time to perfect the tracks. 

So Good

By the end of the post, you may feel that I am being very repetitive, this track, yet again, I feel as though the track isn’t correctly balanced. The instrumentation, yet again feels a bit too loud, and the vocals should play a more dominant role on the track. It overshadows the girls’ gorgeous vocals on the track. They have some beautiful harmonies and vocal runs that aren’t highlighted enough. 

Despite that, I think this is actually my favorite track on the album thus far. It has a very distinct R&B flare, and it is something that I feel like I haven’t heard from Red Velvet to date. It has a mature, sexy sound to it. To be honest, I would have liked it if this track was the single more than the other one. This track has a lot more ear-worm power than RBB.

멋있게 (Sassy Me)

The instrumentation on this track perfectly matches the title of the track! It has a funky, sassy feel to it! So what do I like about this track? Honestly, I have no complaints about this track. The mixing on this track is bit better than all of the other tracks, as the pulled the instrumentation back a tad on the mixing. The girls’ harmonies are fantastic, and I love the vocal fry in the verses followed by the eerie harmonies. 

On top of all of this, this track feels much more clean than the rest of the tracks on the mini-albums. It uses dynamics, accented notes, and it is well done. Yet again, this is another track that I think would have been more appropriate for the single than RBB. It’s different, outside of their box a little bit (thank you vocal fry!), while still having that signature Red Velvet flair. The instrumentation propels the track forward beautifully and keeps the listener’s interest. 

Good job on this one. 

Taste

Okay, I like how this track starts with that heavy R&B flare. Despite that, I do think this track is a bit too bass heavy on the mixing, and it drowns out the lyrics and the vocalists a bit. This track had a lot of potential if it was mixed properly because the lyrics are interesting. 

A couple of comments on the vocals, even though they are challenging to hear because of the overpowering bass: When they are singing “taste” there are a couple of moments where the consonants don’t sound completely clean. What I would have done when singing that is since they sing the word taste in pairs, drop of the “t” in the first “taste”, and only sing it in the second one. It would sound 500 times cleaner. If they didn’t to that, they would have needed to add a lift or short pause in between the two words to make sure they can enunciate that “T”. 

K-Crack Scale: 400 mg

I originally held off on writing this post for you all.  I filmed the video, and while editing, I realize that I wasn’t happy with it. I’m not going to lie, some fans of Red Velvet make me nervous when writing posts about them,

Their last release I said I wasn’t a huge fan of it. Shortly after, I received comments calling me a “hopeless cow” and a “hoe”. I have really high expectations of groups. I want them to put out their absolute best work every time. 

You may know this, you may not. Every single time one of you posts a comment on my blog, it doesn’t go up immediately. Like other blogger have said, we all have to go in and personally approve all of the comments before they are allowed to show on the page.

When all of those comments were flooding in for me to review, it was the week of my grandmother’s passing while she was in the hospital. Because of that situation, Those comments were a challenge to read and all of them made my heart sink to the floor. To this day, because of that incident, writing critiques of this group gives me a bit of anxiety.

Even if everything isn’t 100% positive, I’m am going to critique the artist. They are professionals. Critiquing and nit-picking is the only way to get better. This is how people perfect their craft. None of it is ever said out of a hateful place.

Back to the album:

That being said, this album was definitely rushed. SM typically allows their boy groups to take at least 6 months between promotions. Look at EXO, they hadn’t released an album as a full group since their Japanese Release, Countdown, in February. In comparison, Red Velvet probably had 3 – 4 months max. Power Up was released in August. After that, they had promotions for at least 3 weeks. This would take them to the beginning of September for album preperations. Then, they are coming back again in November with all new music. The turnaround is too short, and in my opinion, it doesn’t respect these ladies as artists. 

I think the girls have a number of quality tracks on here, even if some of them didn’t have a good instrumentation balance. This group has amazing singers and great dancers. Some of the tracks are just not allowing them to shine as much as they can. (Compare the mixing on this album to that of EXO Don’t Mess Up My Tempo, if you want. You will quickly hear the difference in mixing.) 

Should you get a copy of this mini-album? I was heavily critiquing this album throughout the whole post. Despite that, the ladies of Red Velvet are extremely talented individuals who deserve our support. Can you just stream it? I highly recommend that you do, so that you can hear what I am referring to in regards to the mixing, as well as the girls’ amazing vocals.

What track off of the Red Velvet RBB is your favorite, K-Nuggets? Let me know in the comments below!

사랑합니다!

–Rachel