Review

Buried Treasure: Red Velvet – Pose

Red Velvet - PoseA K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.


I hate to admit it, but I don’t particularly care for Red Velvet’s latest mini. I mean, it’s fine. It delivers a lot of the sounds we’ve come to expect from the group. And, the ladies elevate anything they touch. But song for song, it’s lacking the kind of standouts that would have me rushing back for more. When stacked against total triumphs like The Red or The Red Summer, it feels oddly muted. And even compared with previous summer efforts (Summer Magic, The ReVe Festival), it just doesn’t overflow with the adventurous spirit I’ve come to expect.

Of course, this could be the curse of a long hiatus. More time away allows expectations to bloom impossibly high. SM Entertainment has chosen to play it safe with Red Velvet’s return, and I suppose that’s their right given the group’s stature. They’ve already paid their dues.

Luckily, Pose offers a glimpse of that old off-kilter sound I love. It comes across as a long-lost track from the f(x) archives, though I’m sure that’s not actually the case. But, it carries the same quirky-cool energy. The verses unfold over a drumline beat, delivered in a sing-talk style that works well with the instrumental. The pre-chorus injects more melody, preparing us for a bizarre little drop before the brunt of the chorus kicks in. As expected, the ladies sound absolutely commanding here, their voices layered in gorgeous harmony. The chorus isn’t quite long enough for my taste, but it’s hard not to get swept up in its robust texture.

The performance brings warmth to a track that might otherwise come across as too aloof and cold. And for those seeking more experimentation, Pose’s tense, ascending bridge brings the madness. It’s not quite peak Red Velvet, but it’s the most interesting blast of energy that Queendom offers.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.5


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15 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Red Velvet – Pose

  1. Hey Nick,
    I’m new to this blog and am glad to see Pose here!

    Although disappointing upon first listen, I’ve grown to appreciate the title track, as well as most of the mini album (notably Pushin’ N Pullin’).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t sat down with this album yet (I’m a little worried that you and other commenters here think it’s weak, because normally I enjoy RV albums a lot), but I agree that this would’ve made a superior title. It actually feels a lot more fun. And I think this is the kind of track that benefits from Red Velvet’s powerhouse vocal line. Those mammoth harmonies!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I totally agree, I love Red Velvet’s discography minus a few random albums, but this was just kinda boring imo. The songs minus Pose all kinda blended together and didn’t give me anything fresh or new. You don’t have to rewrite the history books or anything, but nothing really kept my attention or drew me to add them to my playlist. We’ll see if any grow on me, but for now I’ll just be listening to Queendom & Pose.

    Like

  4. While I do like Pose and the experimentation this brings, I feel (and I might be alone in this opinion) like this is also one of the very, very, very, VERY few RV songs where the bulk is carried by the instrumental rather than the girls’ vocal line. Don’t get me wrong, their harmonies sound fantastic, but it’s also one of those rare times where it seems like another group could have pulled it off. RV’s vocal textures and ad libs make it identifiably theirs, but I don’t think the song would suffer if it was done by another group. Overall, it’s like a sneak peek of a concept and sound I’d love for them to really sink their teeth into in the future. But as far as Pose goes, some of the sing talk/rap sections lack the grit and to really carry the attitude of the song and even venture into the slightly cutesy realm for a few times and the instrumental, even with its solid bass line, just doesn’t quite commit enough in other areas to feel anything but safe. Given a few tweaks, this could be great and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the potential here fully materializes in a future RV song.

    Overall, I feel so thrown off by this comeback. Nothing is wrong with it and for plenty of other groups, it might even be a strong one. But RV not having a standout title track, B-side, or even just an overall strong EP all at once? I’m not even sure this has ever happened before in their entire discography.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s interesting for sure. But even with a lot of interesting going on, it wears itself out by about 2:15-2:30ish even before the last chorus.

    Its very SM, very f(x), but the chorus I can hear several other groups pulling off – the Oh My Girl types.

    Liked by 1 person

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