Buried Treasure: Seulgi (Red Velvet) – Los Angeles

Seulgi - Los AngelesA K-pop act’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.

Seulgi’s debut mini album blossoms as it goes on. It’s one of those weird little projects that stuffs its best songs into its second half, slowing pulling you in before delivering the knockout punches. In my mind,  she deserves a Girls On Top style banger to compliment the subdued sounds we get on 28 Reasons. But, nothing performed by a singer as skilled as Seulgi will ever be boring.

A few years ago, it seemed like the sub-genre of psy-trance might become a “thing” in K-pop. Since then, it’s existed just under the surface without ever taking over as a major trend. But, I’m always pleased to hear it. Los Angeles may be a skeleton of a song, devoid of a traditional chorus. However, it makes up for its simple structure with plenty of atmosphere. Seulgi’s performance is at its most reserved, forgoing big power notes for a more evocative delivery. The song has a cinematic appeal that would benefit greatly from a visual presentation.

Like any great “beat drop” song, Los Angeles expertly builds its verse and pre-chorus. There’s a sense of rising tension right from the start, which makes the electronic centerpiece all the more satisfying. Much of 28 Reasons is filled with pathos, and this feels like the most striking example of that.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8

Grade: B


14 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: Seulgi (Red Velvet) – Los Angeles

  1. first time commenting as a long-time lurker but i was SO excited you chose this as a hidden treasure!! the atmosphere is so chilly and silky and i wish it was developed throughout the rest of the album more, too

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this song’s drop reminds me a bit of ateez’s cyberpunk. im just glad seulgi’s willing to experiment for this song. ratings about right

    anyway fuck christopher columbus

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Sigh… I am not sure what SM was thinking about this album.. I think it does a disservice to Seulgi who could have had a really explosive debut (aka Nayeon *Pop* style). Now, its part experiment, part boredom.


  4. This reminds me of Girls by Nature a lot in its seductive horror, and is similar in that I think the drop works so well only because the rise and build prior to it has been so full of tension. Seulgi sounds fantastic here and I would love to see some choreography for this! The chorus or lack thereof is begging for some killer dance moves and to be performed live.


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