It’s the year 2022 and Red Velvet’s “ReVe Festival” remains open for business. The group first unveiled the carnivalesque concept in 2019 but took a break for last year’s Queendom. Now, the festival queues are bustling once more as the ladies invite us to feel their rhythm. Given the song title, you might expect an upbeat dance track with emphasis on energetic percussion. You would be mistaken.
Instead, Feel My Rhythm takes us to the ‘Red Velvet Symphony’ (just around the corner from the Zimzalabim roller coaster, I imagine). It’s an interesting move for the group, and one that mostly works. Red Velvet have always been lauded for their vocals, and Feel My Rhythm’s orchestral elements blend especially well with their tones. Their performance is nothing short of gorgeous, dripping with skill and character. The melody is saccharine in the best way – the sort of thing you might hear as part of a big Disney musical. But, the song’s sweeter moments are tempered by a fun rap break in the verse two.
Ironically, my biggest gripe with the track is the percussion itself. Stacked against the warmth of the strings, the beat feels brittle and flat. We need some timpani! In general, I’m not a huge fan of this tempo. It’s a little plodding, dragging the track rather than lifting it up. I had the same thoughts about 2019’s Psycho, a song that many seemed to love. So, this is a personal preference that others may not share. In any case, Red Velvet’s sheer presence wins the day. Feel My Rhythm sidesteps trendy synth-pop in favor of stately symph-pop, once again securing their title as one of K-pop’s most adventurous acts.