It is time for another album review. Today’s album in focus belongs to Red Velvet’s first unit, Irene & Seulgi. This duo debuted on earlier this month with Monster as the main promotional track. Two weeks later, the duo followed up with Naughty, which wowed fans (including myself) with its awesome sound and jaw-dropping dance. Both Irene and Seulgi also had solo videos, with Seulgi’s solo video also doubling up as a music video for her Uncover solo that is also on this mini-album. All the links to the songs I mentioned are below. And while listening to each song, why not read my deep dive into the album and the side-tracks.
1. Monster (Title Track) – Click here to read the full review for Monster. (7/10)
2. Naughty (놀이) (Follow Up Track) – Click here to read the full review for Naughty. (9/10)
3. Diamond – I really like the sensual vibes that we get from Diamond. It is that sleek style of R&B that reminds me of their rendition of Be Natural (previously released back in in 2014). In comparison to that song, Diamond has a bit of more energy to it, thanks to the beat in Diamond’s instrumental. While the instrumental is already quite weak, the song gets stripped at the bridge. Its placement really helped prevent the song from being too consistent, which is a common occurrence with R&B songs like this. The vocals from both members were quite nice throughout this song. They really do suit the R&B style as proven by this track. I also like the diva-vibes that come off the ‘Diamond in the rough’ repetition that opens and closes the song. (8/10)
4. Feel Good – Feel Good continues the R&B sound from the preceding track. This one has more of a kick to it when it comes to the chorus. While there is a consistent backbone that runs throughout most of the song, the chorus features a suitable but typical selection of synths. While the choice of style made sense and felt natural, it lacked uniqueness and memorability. And hence, it did come off as a bore to me. This is quite a pity, because I liked the direction in which the verses and pre-chorus was taking, especially the ramp up to the chorus. I just wanted a little more to the chorus. Not too much to throw the song off balance, however. The vocals were good. They sounded emotionless at times, but I felt that was appropriate when I went through the lyrics about feeling indifferent to their ex-lover and ruining their ex-lover’s life. (7/10)
5. Jelly – I expected Jelly to be a lot more upbeat regardless of their choice of genre. And that was delivered. In fact, I find the instrumental to be teasing us with its playful nature. It is subtle, but likeable. Once again, the vocals are quite good. I liked how they bolstered themselves up by singing together. It added a bit more energy to the song. I also enjoyed the use of brass in the song. It adds to that subtle playful nature that I mentioned. But it does so in a refined way that fits the R&B sound we get on this album. I would have enjoyed the song more if had stronger hooks and melodies. I felt the song lacked memorability due to the two lacking components. I did find the high pitched ‘What’ just before the chorus to have a bit of that memorable factor. But it wasn’t enough. (8/10)
6. Uncover (Seulgi Solo) – Uncover was the special track on the album and performed only by Seulgi. A music video was released for Uncover during the same week when we got the Naughty music video (I think was last week). As expected, Uncover takes on R&B. It is an aesthetic song, based on its abstract and choppy instrumental. I really like the small details in the instrumental, which adds to that aesthetic appeal and some textural components to the song. Her vocals are really nice in this song and adds a smooth flair to the song that the instrumental lacked due to those small details I just mentioned. It isn’t the most memorable song the album, but it definitely is a strong one nonetheless based on music and vocals alone. (8.5/10)
Overall Album Rating – 7.9/10