Perfect Velvet

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Perfect Velvet
Perfect Velvet-cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 17, 2017
Recorded2016-2018
Genre
Length30:56
41:37 (repackaged edition)
LanguageKorean
Label
ProducerLee Soo-man (exec.)
Red Velvet chronology
The Red Summer
(2017)
Perfect Velvet
(2017)
#Cookie Jar
(2018)
Singles from Perfect Velvet
  1. "Peek-a-Boo"
    Released: November 17, 2017
  2. "I Just"
    Released: February 28, 2018
Repackaged edition cover
Singles from The Perfect Red Velvet
  1. "Bad Boy"
    Released: January 29, 2018
Music video
"Peek-a-Boo" on YouTube
"Bad Boy" on YouTube
"I Just" on YouTube

Perfect Velvet is the second studio album by South Korean girl group Red Velvet. It was released on November 17, 2017 by SM Entertainment with the lead single (called "title track" in Korea) "Peek-a-Boo". Perfect Velvet is the group's first full album release in two years and three months since The Red and the group's second major release to focus on their "Velvet" concept, following their second extended play The Velvet, which was released in March 2016.

The album received generally positive reviews internationally and their native country South Korea, giving emphasis to the group's musical experimentation and future-oriented sound. The group was also praised for showcasing their growth as artists by changing their identity and color from their previous release The Red Summer, their versatility, diverse music and styling, and for breaking stereotypes among popular girl groups in South Korea and South Korean idols in general.

Perfect Velvet was a commercial success, debuting at number two on the Gaon Album Chart and peaking atop the Billboard World Album Chart, which gave them their third number-one album in the chart in the same year after Rookie and The Red Summer. It is also their fourth in total, making them the K-pop girl group with the most number-one albums on the chart and ties them for most number ones on the chart among all K-pop acts. The album also reached number three on the Top Heatseekers chart, which is their highest to date and their first album to enter the Top 5.

On January 29, 2018, a repackage of the album titled The Perfect Red Velvet was released along with the music video of "Bad Boy".[1]

Background[edit]

Perfect Velvet[edit]

The concepts we've had before were necessary to release a song like "Peek-a-Boo". We wanted to show we are capable of variety in our vocal skills. I don't want to choose just one genre. I want to say that Red Velvet is a group that is capable of doing diverse concepts.

Joy, talking about the song at their comeback showcase.[2]

On October 30, 2017, news about the group's upcoming comeback appeared on various South Korean news sites, which was then confirmed later that day by their company, S.M. Entertainment.[3]

At midnight on November 8, 2017, S.M. Entertainment revealed the title of the group's new single, "Peek-a-Boo", through a teaser along with the title of their second full album which will contain nine tracks and its release date.[4]

The title references the "velvet" half of the group's concept which stems from the meaning behind their name, where "red" is their vivid and bold image while "velvet" stands for their softer and more mature side. These two sides reflect the songs they release.[5] In an interview with X Sports News on November 8, S.M. Entertainment stated that they intend to show "an upgraded version" of the group's "velvet" concept.[6]

The group admitted to being unnerved by the success of their last single, "Red Flavor" as they were preparing for the album which the members participated in making through song selection. Similar to their company's statement, their leader Irene told Billboard that unlike their past two releases earlier in the same year which had been bright, falling under their "red" concept, they wanted to show an upgraded version of what they can show of their "velvet" image. Despite their concerns about the drastic change from their previous comeback, member Wendy stated that she thought it was "good timing" for the album to be released before the year ended as it "can show the perfect Red Velvet performances and songs".[7]

The Perfect Red Velvet[edit]

In an interview with Idolator on January 16, 2018 about being nominated at the Grammy awards and working with K-pop artists, American production team The Stereotypes revealed they had "a new one coming that's gonna be really cool" when asked about working with Red Velvet. Previously, they also produced two tracks from Perfect Velvet ("Kingdom Come" and "Attaboy"). It was eventually reported that the new song will be the album's lead single "Bad Boy".[8]

Only two months after the release of Perfect Velvet, S.M. Entertainment announced through an image teaser posted on their official Twitter and Instagram accounts on January 23, 2018 that Red Velvet will be releasing a repackage of the album titled The Perfect Red Velvet with "Bad Boy" as its lead single.[9][10]

"Bad Boy" was described as a song with a "sexy" or "girl crush" concept by South Korean news sites, which has never been done before by the group. On January 24, 2018, it was reported that the repackage of Perfect Velvet will be released on January 29 with three new songs, including "Bad Boy".[11][12]

On January 26, individual teasers of members Wendy and Joy were released through the group's official SNS accounts which were noted by Kang Seo-jung of Osen as having the vibe of a powerful "eonni". In the same article, Kang also spoke of how their latest concept differs from the group's past releases. These teasers were followed by clips of Irene and Yeri on the following day, with Seulgi's being released on January 28.[13]

The reissue was ultimately released on January 29, 2018, at 6PM KST both digitally and physically. The physical album was released in two formats-CD and Kihno kit.

Composition[edit]

Perfect Velvet[edit]

Perfect Velvet has nine songs which features mostly pop, hip hop, soul and R&B genres. The album's first track "Peek-a-Boo" was described as an up-tempo pop song with addictive hooks.[14] Tamar Herman of Billboard stated that it is "laden with trop house elements underneath the overarching quirky pop vibe, and is driven by a deep bass drumline, scratchy synths, and metallic beats" which also features "a variety of diverse, playful instrumental elements nestled beneath the main melody". Lyrically, it compares a new romantic relationship to a game that children play.[15]

"Look" (Korean) is a disco-styled dance song written by Jinbo and Sumin who also composed the song along with Charli Taft and Daniel "Obi" Klein who have written several songs for the group since their first extended play Ice Cream Cake including the single "Automatic".[16] "I Just" is a pop song with a futuristic bass and distinctive synth sound composed by Aventurina King, Kim Boo-min, John Fulford with arrangement by South Korean EDM artist and DJ, Hitchhiker and its Korean lyrics written by Kim Boo-min.[17] The fourth track "Kingdom Come" has been noted as an R&B song with a gentle beat and a soft melody. It was written by Lee Seu-ran of Jam Factory with music by Deez, Ylva Dimberg and was produced by The Stereotypes.[18][19] "My Second Date" (Korean: 두 번째 데이트) was characterized as a mid-tempo pop track, composed by James Wong, Sidnie Tipton and Sophie Stern with lyrics by Jeon Gan-di.[20] "Attaboy" is a hip hop song with a hook melody. It was penned by S.M. Entertainment lyricist Kenzie who also composed the song with Ylva Dimberg and The Stereotypes.[21] "Perfect 10" is an R&B song composed by Charli Taft, Daniel "Obi" Klein and Deez with lyrics by Cho Yoon-kyung.[22] "About Love" is a mid-tempo pop song produced by re:one who also composed the song with Davey Nate. Its lyrics were written by January 8 of Jam Factory.[23] The final track "Moonlight Melody" is a low-key ballad with a delicate piano melody, written and composed by Lee Joo-hyung of Monotree and Kwon Deok-geun.[24]

The Perfect Red Velvet[edit]

"Bad Boy" is characterized as an R&B song with elements of hip hop and a synth melody along with a heavy bass sound. The song was composed by The Stereotypes, Maxx Song and Whitney Philips with Korean lyrics by Yoo Young-jin, and the lyrics describe the attraction between bad men and arrogant women.[25] Mexican news site Milenio called the song's melody a mix of R&B and hip hop, and described its lyrics as the story of the beginning of a couple's relationship.[26]

"All Right" is an up-tempo dance-pop song that lyrically encourages a person to look forward to the future with the people around them. Composed by Kevin Charge, Phoebus Tassopoulus and Jessica Jean Pfeiffer, its lyrics were written by Lee Seu-ran of Jam Factory. "Time to Love" is a mid-tempo R&B ballad composed by Ellen Berg Tollbom, Ming Ji-syeon and Lee Dong-hoon with lyrics written by Kim Eun-jung detailing excitement over a new relationship.[27]

Promotions[edit]

Perfect Velvet[edit]

The group began releasing teasers for their upcoming comeback on November 8 through their official social media accounts, which was followed by individual photo teasers of the members and a preview of a track from the album on each day until November 16. To further promote their comeback, the group held a showcase on November 16 which was hosted by label mate Taeyeon, where they discussed their album and performed the lead song "Peek-a-Boo" live for the first time.[28][29] On the same day, they appeared on a live broadcast through the Naver app, V Live.[30]

The group had their first music show appearance on November 17, 2017 on Music Bank, where they performed "Peek-a-Boo" and "Look".[31] As part of their promotions, Red Velvet appeared on the variety show Weekly Idol and were guests on several radio shows, where they performed "Peek-a-Boo" along with "Look" and "Kingdom Come".[32][33][34][35] A remixed instrumental version of "I Just" was performed by the musician Hitchhiker, member Seulgi, and NCT 127's Taeyong at the 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards, where the group also performed "Peek-a-Boo".[36]

A vertical music video for the song "I Just" was released on February 28, 2018.

In 2018, Red Velvet embarked on their Redmare world tour to promote this album and its reissue alongside their #Cookie Jar mini album and their Summer Magic mini album.

The Perfect Red Velvet[edit]

The album's title track "Bad Boy" had what Annie Martin of UPI called a "sultry" music video that featured the members in various coordinating outfits, which include all-black ensembles and pink pajamas, while performing against a snowy backdrop.[37] The song was choreographed by Japanese hip hop dancer and choreographer Rie Hata, who had previously worked with CL for the choreography of "The Baddest Female" and with the group's label mate BoA for her single "Nega Dola".[38]

Red Velvet held a comeback showcase on January 29, 2018, the same day as the album's release, and was hosted by label mate Girls' Generation member Hyoyeon. It was broadcast live through the Naver app V-Live. During the show, the members discussed their new songs, including "Bad Boy" which they performed live for the first time.[39] The group started their music show promotions through M! Countdown on February 1.[13] The group also performed the song on Music Bank, Show! Music Core, Inkigayo and Show Champion where they won their first trophy for "Bad Boy" on February 7.[40] To further promote the album and single, the members also appeared on several radio shows in South Korea such as SBS FM's Choi Hwa Jung Power Time, SBS' NCT's Night Night and SBS FM's Kim Chang Ryul's Old School Radio.[41][42][43]

On the same year as the reissue's release, Red Velvet embarked on their Redmare world tour in order to promote both the original album and the reissue, alongside their #Cookie Jar mini album and their Summer Magic mini album.

Reception[edit]

Perfect Velvet[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
IZM[44]3.5/5 stars
The Star[45]7.5/10
The 4058/10

Perfect Velvet received positive reviews from South Korea and overseas. The release of the album was also seen as the group's softer, more mature and sophisticated "velvet" side finally being accepted by the public.[46] Seon Mi-kyung of Osen considered the transition from their last song, "Red Flavor" to their "velvet" concept a bold move, especially when they had just gained notable success and recognition for it, but commented that it is noteworthy the group chose to change their identity and color to showcase their growth as artists.[47] In their review of the album, KookMin Ilbo complimented the songs on the album as "colorful and solid". After shedding light on how the distinction between the group's "red" and "velvet" tracks are not as simple as being "dance" vs. "ballad", they claimed that Red Velvet's music is like a signal that people can now "do this kind of music". They also noted that visually, it references mysterious images of classic b-grade movies reminiscent of retro music in the UK.[48] Kim Sang-hwa of Oh My Star on the other hand, called Red Velvet "a force other groups could not begin to imagine" particularly because of how all five members of the group reached new peaks vocal-wise. He also spoke of their musical experimentation and "future-oriented sound", asserting that it is their strongest ever. He then concluded that the album is one of the most outstanding domestic music records released in the year.[49] Writing for OhmyNews, Oh Joon-young discussed the prejudice that idols are not considered artists and how Red Velvet pushed the boundaries of what idol music should be with their diverse musical inspirations and styles, thus gaining the public's respect.[50] South Korean online magazine weiv also chose Perfect Velvet as their pick for the best domestic album of the year and was the only album by an idol group to be included on the list.[51] In January 2018, Perfect Velvet was chosen by Idology out of 729 Korean albums as the best album of 2017, where 11 of their writers voted.[52]

Tamar Herman of Billboard labelled the lead single as a "stylistic follow-up" to their 2015 song "Ice Cream Cake" which according to her had the same "haunting, chromatic melody and taunting choral hook". She then described the album as "a lush retro-pop soundscape that offers up a complete turnabout from the vibrant sound and styling of their summer hit "Red Flavor" and The Red Summer".[15] In December, Herman chose it as one of Billboard's 20 Best K-pop Albums of 2017: Critics' Picks.[53] Aubree Stamper of The Michigan Journal stated that "all nine tracks on the album fit well together" and showed a new side of the group.[54] Chase McMullen of The 405 believed that too often than not, most of South Korea's popular girl groups were limited to two concepts, which are "cute" and "sexy" but "Red Velvet's only true interest appears to be dodging what's expected" and is a group who valued their versatility. He also stated that "The album plays like something of a challenge, constantly seeking to top itself". Lastly, he maintained that the members continue to challenge themselves, all the while crafting "irresistible pop that doesn't lose an ounce of sheen once the buzz wears off".[55]

The Perfect Red Velvet[edit]

Tamar Herman of Billboard called the title track "Bad Boy" their "darkest yet", comparing them to the rainbow hues of their last single "Peek-a-Boo" and stated the members "played up their smoother retro leanings" with the addition of the new songs. Herman also commented on the members' styling, noting the "sexy uniforms and athleisure fishnet-and-leather outfits" which depicted the group as "femme fatales". The song's choreography was also seen as the sexiest the group has ever done. Lastly, she called the song and the album "overall representatives" of the group's "velvet" side (a reference to the group's dual concept), contrasting the quirkier "red" songs the group has released in the previous year.[56] Similarly, Ela Teodosio of Christian Today believed that the single was their "most fiery track yet" and stated that the two other tracks that were added to the album "follow the group's theme of retro disco".[57] Avery Thompson of Hollywood Life called the members "the epitome of girl power" as she praised the music video of the lead single.[58] Fuse's Jeff Benjamin opined that the group put their own spin on modern R&B and hip hop, comparing it to the likes of Rihanna, Tinashe, and Cardi B where they incorporate "sassy, catch phrases into their verses and choruses". He then described the other track "All Right" as a "synth-pop cut" and "Time to Love" a "snappy ballad".[59] Forbes stated that The Stereotypes' work on the album "have helped hone the girl group's lush contemporary R&B-meets-pop sound".[60] In December 2018, Billboard included the title track "Bad Boy" in their '100 Best Songs of 2018: Critics' Picks' list while MTV picked "All Right" as one of the 'Best K-Pop B-Sides of 2018'.[61][62] The Perfect Red Velvet was also included in Refinery29's '12 Best K-Pop Albums of 2018'.[63]

In South Korea, X Sports News called "Bad Boy" the perfect blend of the group's intense "red" side and soft "velvet" in their review of Red Velvet's dual concept "red" and velvet" since their debut with "Happiness" and "Be Natural".[64]

Commercial performance[edit]

Perfect Velvet[edit]

Domestically, Perfect Velvet was a commercial success, peaking at number two on the Gaon Album Chart. The lead single "Peek-a-Boo" debuted at number 12 on the Gaon Digital Chart but rose to number two a week later. The song also topped the Gaon Download Chart in its second week. All the other tracks in the album charted on the Gaon Download Chart. The album sold a total of 90,456 copies by the end of the year.[65] As of April 2018, Perfect Velvet has sold a total of 101,032 copies, making it Red Velvet's first album to surpass 100,000 copies sold in South Korea.[66]

Elsewhere, Perfect Velvet topped the Billboard World Albums Chart, marking the third time Red Velvet topped the chart in the same year, following Rookie and The Red Summer. It is also their fourth release to top the chart, making them the K-pop girl group with the most number ones on the chart and ties them with boy groups B.A.P, Got7 and BTS for most number one albums on the chart among all K-pop acts. They also entered Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart at number three, which is their highest to date and first album to enter the top 5. They sold over 2,000 copies in the week, which is their best US sales week to date.[67] Following the release of the album, Red Velvet appeared on the Billboard Social 50 chart at number thirty-three, a new peak for the group.[68] In Japan, the album debuted on Oricon Weekly Albums chart at number 20 with 2,867 copies, the group's first release to enter the top 20. The album also debuted at number 95 on the French Download Albums Chart, making it their first release to chart in the country.[69]

The Perfect Red Velvet[edit]

The Perfect Red Velvet debuted atop the Gaon Album Chart and also topped Hanteo's Weekly Album Chart upon its release. The single "Bad Boy" also charted at number one on Gaon's Weekly Download Chart and at number two on the Gaon Digital Chart.[70]

The album charted at number three on Billboard's World Albums chart, while "Bad Boy" peaked at number two on their World Digital Songs chart and earned them their best US sales to date, selling 4,000 downloads from January 26 to February 1.[71] The album became their second release to chart on the French Download Albums Chart and their highest, charting at number 87.[72] "Bad Boy" also marks the group's debut on the Canadian Hot 100 at number 87, becoming only the seventh K-pop artist and the third female act to appear on the chart.[73] In Japan, The Perfect Red Velvet peaked at number 29 on the Oricon Albums Chart.[74]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLyricsMusicLength
1."Peek-a-Boo" (피카부; Pikabu)KenzieMoonshine, Cazzi Opeia, Ellen Berg Tollbom3:09
2."Look" (봐; Bwa)Jinbo, SuminCharli Taft, Daniel "Obi" Klein, Jinbo, Sumin4:05
3."I Just"Kim Boo MinAventurina King, Hitchhiker, Kim Boo-min, John Fulford3:08
4."Kingdom Come"Lee Seu-ran (Jam Factory)The Stereotypes, Deez, Ylva Dimberg3:30
5."My Second Date" (두 번째 데이트; Du Beonjjae Deiteu)Jeon Gan-diJames Wong, Sidnie Tipton, Sophie Stern3:14
6."Attaboy"KenzieKenzie, The Stereotypes, Ylva Dimberg3:16
7."Perfect 10"Cho Yoon KyungCharli Taft, Daniel "Obi" Klein, Deez3:29
8."About Love"1월 8일 (Jam Factory)RE:ONE, Davey Nate3:25
9."Moonlight Melody" (달빛 소리; Dalbit Sori)Lee Joo-hyung (Monotree)Lee Joo-hyung (Monotree), Kwon Deok-geun3:40
Total length:31:03

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Perfect Velvet.[76]

  • S.M. Entertainment Co., Ltd. – executive producer
  • Lee Soo-man – producer
  • Yoo Young-jin – music and sound supervisor
  • Lee Seong-soo – producing director
  • Jeong Eui-seok (S.M. Blue Cup Studio) – recording engineer
  • Lee Min-gyu (S.M. Big Shot Studio) – recording engineer
  • Lee Ji-hong (S.M. LYVIN Studio) – recording engineer
  • Park Eun-kyeong (Lead Sound) – recording engineer
  • Oh Seong-geun (T Studio) – recording engineer
  • Baek Kyeong-hoon (T Studio) – recording engineer
  • Lee Joo-young (MonoTree Studio) – recording engineer assistant
  • Nam Koong-jin (S.M. Concert Hall Studio) – mixing engineer
  • Koo Jong-pil (Beat Burger) (S.M. Yellow Tail Studio) – mixing engineer
  • Kim Cheol-soon (S.M. Blue Ocean Studio) – mixing engineer
  • Jeong Ui-seok (S.M. Blue Cup Studio) – mixing engineer
  • Chris Gehringer (Sterling Sound) – master engineer
  • Min Hee-jin – creative director
  • Min Hee-jin – music video direction and arrangement
  • Kim Hye-min – music video direction and arrangement
  • Kim Ju-young – music video direction and arrangement
  • Kim Ji-yong – music video director
  • Min Hee-jin – art direction and design
  • Jo Woo-cheol – art direction and design
  • Kim Ye-min – art direction and design
  • Cho Woo-shik – art direction and design
  • Son Sae-rom – art direction and design
  • Kim In-woo – art direction and design
  • Kim Ye-jin – stylist
  • Soon-ee – hair stylist
  • Seo-ha – hair stylist
  • Shin Kyung-mi – make-up artist
  • Sung Si-young – photography
  • Han Jong-cheol – photography
  • Kim Hye-soo – music video sketch photography
  • Teaser promotions
    • Min Hee-jin – planning and directing
    • Kim Ye-min – planning and directing
    • Kim Ju-young – video clip
    • Park Yoon-seok – video clip
    • Kim Na-yeon – video clip
  • Nam So-young – management and marketing executive
  • Han Se-min – management and marketing executive
  • Kim Young-min – executive supervisor
  • Red Velvet – vocals

Charts[edit]

Perfect Velvet[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
French Download Albums (SNEP)[69] 95
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[77] 20
South Korean Albums (Gaon)[78] 2
US World Albums (Billboard) 1
US Top Heatseekers Albums (Billboard) 3
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[79] 39

The Perfect Red Velvet[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
French Download Albums (SNEP)[72] 87
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[74] 29
South Korean Albums (Gaon)[80] 1
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[81] 7
US World Albums (Billboard)[82] 3

Release history[edit]

Perfect Velvet[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Various[83] November 17, 2017 Digital download, streaming SM Entertainment
South Korea CD, digital download, streaming audio SM Entertainment, Genie Music

The Perfect Red Velvet[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Various January 29, 2018 Digital download, streaming SM Entertainment
South Korea CD, digital download, streaming, SMC SM Entertainment, Genie Music

Accolades[edit]

Music program awards[edit]

Song Program Date
"Peek-A-Boo" Inkigayo (SBS) December 10, 2017
January 14, 2018
"Bad Boy" Show Champion (MBC Music) February 7, 2018
M Countdown (Mnet) February 8, 2018
Music Bank (KBS) February 9, 2018
Inkigayo (SBS) February 11, 2018
M Countdown (Mnet) February 15, 2018

References[edit]

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