Album Review: Red Velvet – Rookie

Release Date: February 1, 2017


1. Rookie
2. Little Little
3. Happily Ever After
4. Talk To Me
5. Body Talk
6. 마지막 사랑 (Last Love)

Total Runtime: 00:22:05

Recommended for: K-Pop fans in general or casual listeners of R&B/Pop tracks of many mixtures (eg: funk, electro, contemporary, synth, mid tempo, etc)

NOT recommended for: those who don’t listen to b-sides!

One of SM most musically prolific group Red Velvet is back with their 4th extended play “Rookie”. Rookie is a combination between “Red” and “Velvet” concept much like its predecessor Russian Roulette.

Track Review:

Track 1 – Rookie

Rookie is a perfect mix of “Red” and “Velvet”, Funk slash Pop that meddle well with whisper-like singing voices, accompanied with synthesized beats and highlighted with a blast of fast and upbeat saccharine chorus hook. Most of Rookie’s melody is of loud brass horns and tingling synths with soft clapping beats and a mix of guitar and bass riffs. The song build up is arranged accordingly to Red Velvet’s trademark and distinct sound. Rookie is by far Red Velvet’s fastest title track. Though it can be a hit or miss to some but after a few listen, you’ll find yourself bopping to it.


Track 2 – Little Little

Little Little is a mix between R&B and Pop with a delicate but intuitive feminine touch. It starts with dreamy tune from harp strings, a mellow build up to a rather sweet and lovely track. A nice change of mood after listening to Rookie. The chorus is quite catchy but not enough to make forget the hook that is Rookie Rookie anytime soon. LOOKie LOOKie!


Track 3 – Happily Ever After

My first impression for Happily Ever After is that once the intro starts this will be an overproduced playful track (which I am not fond of) but it turned out to be just another cute electronic dance pop song. Don’t let the aforementioned “just” turn you off as Happily Ever After is still an enjoyable song to listen to but won’t make it into my playlist.


Track 4 – Talk to Me

Talk to Me sounds like a proper American Pop from early 2000s throwback pop, but with milder tone and less powerful vocal. It doesn’t need to be as their voices fit perfectly with the song as if you know their intention of them wanting us to talk to them is of pure honesty. Enjoyable but nothing spectacular.


Track 5 – Body Talk

Best track in this album by far, and most probably going to be everyone’s favorite b-side track from Red Velvet. Body Talk implemented synthesized slow burn melody (almost like those epic music soundtracks masterminded by Hans Zimmer.. okay maybe that’s a stretch but yeah). It makes you anticipate incoming vocals and (again) the perfect mix between Pop and R&B always work wonder for Red Velvet. Tiffany of SNSD and Luna of f(x) used the same lush sound for their previous solo release.


Track 6 – 마지막 사랑 (Last Love)

A Wendy solo. Yes you heard that right, the main vocalist has her own solo in this album. Last Love is not a new song as it is remake of the same song by Eco released in 1999. Judging from that year you can tell the song could either be a tacky and flashy dance song or a simple ballad. The former would be awesome but obviously it is the latter. A love song, a ballad, made in South Korea. You get the picture.


Review overview
Summary "ROOKIE" is a solid EP with many to offer. Despite the title track is somewhat lacking from their previous releases, Rookie is a grower and you'll come to like it as I did. The EP's true strength lies in its b-sides and the tracks arrangement is somewhat neat and intricate and will make us hit the repeat button for seamless and enjoyable listening experience.

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