Review: Rookie by Red Velvet

Rookie by Red VelvetIt wasn’t a glitch like I feared the last time. Red Velvet is in a rut. My unofficial second favorite K-pop group is in a rut. Rookie is their third mini-album in eleven months, and knowing that, I couldn’t help but wonder: “do we really need this?” The girls are becoming as overworked as Oh My Girl, who pulled off the same feat last year, and the strain is showing. The title track forces the group back to the quirky hole (after Russian Roulette seemingly forced them towards a more generic sound) but it’s a mediocre, unmemorable song, if not terrible, even. You’d expect the group behind “Dumb Dumb” to do better. The other tracks seem to be afterthoughts of weird decisions: “Body Talk” meandered to no resolution, while “Little Little” and “Last Love” attempted to showcase their vocals again, but, again, nothing memorable. Could it be that the songs are terrible, or that the girls have stretched themselves too thin? Well, if Rookie was released a year from now I would still think it’s a passionless mini. But the timing of this release, so soon after Russian Roulette attempted to regain lost ground, just highlights where things are going very wrong. [NB]2/5

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