After becoming the first K-pop act to play SXSW, Victoria, Luna, Krystal, Sulli and Amber are back with more spunky electro-pop.
The spunky female quintet f(x)—composed of Victoria, Luna, Krystal, Sulli and Amber—rose to higher international fame and made headlines the first half of this year after becoming the first K-pop act to appear at SXSW. They also collaborated with actress/singer Anna Kendrick for a "Funny or Die" skit. With the release of sophomore album “Pink Tape” (under SM Entertainment), their winning streak continues. Released July 29 in South Korea and America, the LP has immediately shot up to No.1 on various K-pop charts. Breaking the group's one-year hiatus, the album is loaded with 12 experimental tracks. It's a testament to their quirky musical direction. The album reflects f(x)'s quest for growth and is based on the concept of a "first love."
f(x) held a showcase event, “f(x) Music Spoiler-Play! Pink Tape,” on July 29 to introduce the album. The event -- hosted by label mates SHINee members Jonghyun and Key -- was live streamed on Naver Music, a Korean website. The show featured behind-the-scenes clips from the video shoot of their new single, “Rum Pum Pum Pum,” along with an interview with the song’s writer, f(x)'s stylist, and an A&R executive who all spoke about the behind-the-scenes work that went into preparing the single.
Victoria, Luna, Krystal, Sulli and Amber talked about their individual activities during their year-long hiatus and shared their personal favorite tracks on the album. They were:
f(x) also performed alternative pop number “Shadow,” which was a soundtrack to their retro-themed "art film" that was released as a teaser prior to the release of the first single. Watch below:
"Pink Tape" lead single “Rum Pum Pum Pum” is a tantalizing summer jam with a refreshing composition of funky guitar riffs, bustling percussion rhythms, marching band drums and the sound of footsteps. The group’s sweetly-crooning vocals are layered over a pulsating electro-pop beat while they equate the feeling of a late-blooming first love to the experience of a wisdom tooth growing in. Notably, Amber’s low register balances out the other members' head voice-driven chorus and bridge.
The choreography for “Rum Pum Pum Pum” was crafted by Jillian Meyers, who’s worked with top stars including Janet Jackson, Kylie Minogue and previously with f(x) on their “Pinocchio” and “Electric Shock” performances. The choreography showcases each member’s distinctive personality, femininity and group’s collective playfulness with handclaps, stepping, butterfly-like hand movements and interlocking wrists.
While the artsy “Shadow” film teaser for the debut was intriguingly eerie and alluring, the actual music video is a typical SM-esque production seeing f(x) once again closeted in brightly lit video sets (just like previous music video "Electric Shock") and are seen stirring viewers in multiple eye-popping ensembles topped off with vibrant hair colors. The video's reception proves fans are excited about their comeback, racking up over 5 million views since its July 24 release.
Aside from "Rum Pum Pum Pum" and "Shadow," other standout tracks on the album include “Goodbye Summer,” “Kick,” “Step,” "Airplane" and “Ending Page” (below).
“Goodbye Summer” is member Amber’s first self-composed track with producer team Noizebank’s Gen Neo. The acoustic piece features members Luna, Krystal, Amber and labelmate D.O., a member of EXO-K. It illustrates two childhood friends that regret not having expressed their love to each other earlier. The song “Kick” is a vintage electronic track with thumping beats, while “Step” is an uptempo track with classic house rhythms and infectious saxophone melodies. "Airplane" is an electronic dance pop song, where the group compares the feeling of falling in and out of love to an airplane ride. “Ending Page” is a groovy R&B track with a combination of powerful rock beats that displays each member’s sophisticated vocal range.
In related news, f(x) will again bring their funky charms to American fans at KCON in Los Angeles on Aug. 24 and 25.