Less than a month after the release of frontman Kim Woosung’s solo album, The Rose has returned with their fifth single. Woosung’s song has already grown on me, and that’s largely thanks to its uptempo, summer-friendly energy. Red follows suit, offering a more electronic sound than most of the band’s past work. It’s a welcome evolution, and helps to overcome some of their more indulgent affectations.
With Red, The Rose have dialed things up to “anthem” level, going for that big summer stadium-filler. It’s a surprisingly strong match for Woosung’s wispy vocals, taking advantage of his idiosyncratic timbre. Without his performance, the track could have come across as cripplingly generic. After all, its structure (verse > build > chorus > instrumental drop > climactic chant) is a well-worn formula by now. But, The Rose give it some bite.
With that said, there was an opportunity for Red to go even bigger. The post-chorus drop has a stirring immensity to it, but only appears twice. I would have loved for its first iteration to flip the entire song on its head and permanently enhance its energy. Too often in this EDM-inspired structure, a song’s various elements feel separate from one another, giving a track a blocky, piecemeal quality. Red does a good job stitching its segments together, but doesn’t offer much surprise. Still, it’s hard not to be won over by the song’s rousing energy. It’s nice to hear The Rose having fun, and Red’s breezy sound is perfectly suited for this late-summer season. Pair it with DAY6’s equally galvanizing Time Of Our Life for a back-to-back K-rock road trip.
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