[Review] Queendom – Red Velvet

After a year and seven months since Psycho, Red Velvet have made their grand and elegant return to the KPOP scene with Queendom. It had definitely been while since a full group’s comeback. Wendy spent most of 2020 recovering from her horrible accident at the end of 2019 and Irene had an unprofessionalism scandal last year. However, it all wasn’t bad news during this hiatus. Irene and Seulgi formed a subunit and promoted both Monster and Naughty last year, while Wendy and Joy made their respective solo debuts with Like Water and Hello earlier this year. Yeri also debuted as an actress. But it is really great that we can finally see the five members regroup and promote together again!

Queendom falls more on their Velvet side/concept of releases. For those who don’t know (do they even still use this method to describe their releases anymore?), Red Velvet’s releases can be either of their ‘Red’ concept (vibrant and bold concepts) or ‘Velvet’ (classy and toned down concepts). If you are a fan of Red Velvet, you can hear the ‘Velvet’ profile from a mile away. The new song is a pop track, but it quite subdued in comparison to their other works. It still has an upbeat instrumental, which I think makes Queendom still relevant for the current Summer season. There is a nice ‘pop’ to the instrumentation. It also features similar melodies in the chorus, which reminds me of some of their earlier works (that are more on the ‘Red’ side, though). However, the major flaw I found with Queendom is that there was a really standard vibe coming from the song. Pleasant at best, if I were to give this observation a tagline. That being said, I am appreciative of the group’s delivery of the song. The vocal work in Queendom felt refined and elegant, like the rest of the song, its concept alignment and the lyrics of the song (which were all about being ‘kings’ and ‘queens’ of our own lives and that we shine brighter when we come together – adapted from SOOMPI). I also found the vocals to be quite vibrant, which I thought was much needed breath of life to the song (i.e. saving it from the standard nature of the instrumental). I particularly love how Wendy pushes herself in the chorus, her high note and her ad-libs at the end of the song. They were definitely well-placed and helped give the song a bit of zing. The rapping from both Irene and Yeri were also really nicely done and in such a cleanly fashion. The rap-speak delivery felt just right for this song. The ‘Ladida-do Ba-badida‘ is also quite catchy. Overall, a pretty decent track from the song. What they lacked in one area, they made up in another area. And it is enough for me to enjoy Queendom.

The music video gives me Harry Potter vibes thanks to all the magic that is going on in the video. But rather than Hogwarts, the music video’s premise is an underground mailing centre, with all the members being a critical member of the postal service. I could feel the elegance from the video and how well it matched the song. But other than that, I feel the ‘pleasant, at best’ tagline would be applicable to this video as well.

Like the song and music video, the choreography (from what I can see in the music video) has that really elegant and flowy nature to it. And because of this, I find it fitting with the song. But it isn’t the most mind-blowing piece from the group. The ‘Ladida-do Ba-badida‘ post-chorus hook looks like it will be the most interesting part of the choreography, since the members each do something different from the looks of it in the first iteration of the hook.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.7/10

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