This week’s featured review is of the new K-Pop album from girl group f(x), Red Light.
The group f(x) is a peppy blend of hip-hop, synth pop and hipster fashion. Hip-popsters, if you will. They released a hit single “Rum Pum Pum Pum” last summer, topping the charts in Korea. Now, their full album has been released, and I gotta say I’m a big fan.
Now, since I don’t speak Korean (sadly.) I am limited in my analysis on the lyrical quality of the group as a whole. Still, as an avid K-Pop listener, I can sense the refinement and quality in the overall listening experience.
The namesake track, “Red Light” has a smooth and catchy melody, extremely hum-able without monotonous repetition. The group’s resident rapper, Amber, is solid – my personal favorite in the group. The rest of the album has a number of well-made tracks, spanning a variety of sounds. This is mainstream pop for sure, but there’s enough of a original spin on the delivery that f(x) establishes themselves as a hip “alternative” mainstream band. Think along the lines of a more quirky Girls Generation if you’re looking for a more direct comparison.
As far as what’s the best single to pull from the album if you aren’t ready to commit to a full album purchase… it’s actually a tough call. Obviously, “Red Light” is the record-slaying summer hit. It’s catchy and rhythmic, and if you are particularly new to K-Pop, it’s a very accessible song. My personal favorite is perhaps the most thematically quirky song, “Dracula” (yes, like the vampire.) It might be more suited for a Halloween party than casual listening, but this thing is one part quirky charm, one part mega catchy. It’s sharp sound, filled with a blend of staccato lyrics and smooth harmony is borderline addictive. Amber delivers a noteworthy performance with her verses between the major chorus. It also fits the slightly darker image that f(x) is trying to establish for themselves in the sticky-sweet world of K-Pop.
I highly recommend you give the album a listen on Spotify if you’re on the fence about buying any of f(x)’s music – I promise you’ll be downloading the full album off of iTunes soon enough. That’s what happened to me anyways!