Song Review: Joy (Red Velvet) – Hello

Joy (Red Velvet) - HelloRather than take an expected route for her solo debut, Red Velvet’s Joy has released an album of covers. She reinvents songs of the past few decades, including title track Hello (안녕). This is a cover of Park Hye-kyung’s 1999 hit Goodbye, and mostly opts for a straightforward interpretation. But, I’m delighted to hear her tackle something more upbeat and summery. Usually, cover albums like this don’t venture too far from coffeehouse fare.

Hello will jolt you awake from its very first moment. The song gallops forward on splashy brass and sprightly percussion. It’s almost comically buoyant and upbeat, but I love songs that open with this much confidence. Of course, that sets a very high bar for the rest of Hello, and its verses feel relatively disappointing and uneventful. They’re much more laidback, harnessing the reggae-like rhythm of the original. But, they come across more “adult contemporary” than groovy.

Thankfully, there’s always another chorus waiting in the wings, and Hello‘s energy is indefatigable. The song plays like a coiled spring, bouncing from one refrain to the next. Joy sounds positively radiant on the track, imbuing it with light and positivity. If a vocal could smile, this one would. Compared to some of the bigger voices in Red Velvet, I’m not sure I’ve given her talent much focus in the past. But, she knows her charms and uses them well. Hello is strongest when it follows suit, doling out its exclamatory brass with generous abandon.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

15 thoughts on “Song Review: Joy (Red Velvet) – Hello

  1. Was super impressed when it started, that burst of energy was a shock but it was honestly an incredible way to start the song.

    Then… the verse came and the energy dropped so fast and I was SO PISSED. The melody is great, but I was so sad it didn’t keep up with the beginning. Even when it returned to the chorus, it felt emptier even though there was virtually no change from the beginning.

    That said, the climax of this song is incredible, The brief changes that built up the energy and kept it going with the drums was fantastic. The brass is great, and the melody still great. This starts well, ends well but the middle part really dropped the ball.

    So really, the verses really killed this song for me. Incredible song without those verses, just a good song with those verses.

    ALSO, LOONA is coming back and that’s distracting me super hard. Crossing my fingers for a great comeback.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting! I did not know this was a cover, but it very much reminded me of late 90s – early 2000s teen movie soundtracks. Maybe that’s less to do with the production and more with the optimistic, upbeat vibe of the song.

    I love optimistic music, so I really enjoy this. Well, the chorus at least, I agree that the verses are not very memorable.

    I thought the MV was really cute – an adorable little story is a welcome change from the usual high-fashion posturing of modern kpop MVs.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It’s been quite a while since I heard something this unabashedly optimistic. The song bounds forward with so much brass that it feels genuinely happy. Other than this, I also liked Day by day and Je T’aime from the album. Joy’s voice is particularly so clear throughout that it makes the vocals so clean and crisp and bright.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I didn’t love the song but the lack of english was pretty refreshing, it’s been a while! Makes sense since it is a cover but overall it was pretty pleasant.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was super surprised when the song started but not only is this song perfect for Joy, the entire album made perfect for Joy. Red Velvet solo debuts have been amazingly tailored to the members’ voices.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s a cute song but not really my thing. It also reminds me of some of those Disney movie songs or from those Barbie movies or even a High School Musical song for some reason.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh my god, I adore this so much. It’s just so upbeat and fun and even when the verses mellow out I still have a smile on my face. Maybe kpop artists need to start doing more covers until they learn how to make fun songs with great choruses again. Ugh the brass in the chorus is really coming for me. It kind of reminds me of YeoJin from Loona’s Kiss Later especially the chorus. Overall just a joy to listen to-I’m curious to see how it compares to the original.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Relentlessly upbeat. Cheesy as all hell, but all good fun.
    The brass kicks.

    Yes, it sounds like a contemporary musical soundtrack to me too. Not necessarily a bad thing, but just saying. Earlier last month, my kids watched the Sound of Music for the first time ever, and me for the umpteenth time. My son asked me to get the soundtrack on the ipod for roundtrips, and I am OK with that.

    Liked by 3 people

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