There's a sweet surprise for Red Velvet on the Billboard charts this week.
The new girl group sent their debut EP to both Billboard's World Albums and Heatseekers Albums. Ice Cream: The 1st Mini Album debuts at No. 2 on World Albums and No. 24 on Heatseekers Albums less than eight months after the outfit dropped their first single "Happiness" in August.
The chart performance is remarkable for a debut album from a rookie K-pop act, who kick off their Billboard chart run earlier than their girl group labelmates Girls' Generation and f(x), who didn't chart albums in America until four and two years into their respective careers. (Granted it was a very different time for Korean acts, who rarely appeared on any charts.)
Ice Cream is an impressive effort for such a young group and does a good job of establishing the two sides of their musical identity with the record's two lead singles "Ice Cream Cake" and "Automatic." The former track is a punchy, sugary pop confection that (along with album cuts "Stupid Cupid" and "Take It Slow") seems to represent the outfit's sweet bubblegum side; their "Red" side if you will. While the latter is a slow-burning, Janet Jackson-esque R&B jam that, (along with "Something Kinda Crazy" and "Candy") positions them as sultry sirens; their "Velvet" side.
The differences are also seen in the "Ice Cream Cake" and "Automatic" music videos with "Cake" showing the girls eating ice cream and coffee drinks in colorful outfits in the dessert while "Automatic" sees the girls showcasing sensual choreography at a dimly lit dinner table.
The singles also bow on World Digital Songs, with "Cake" at No. 3 this week while "Automatic" bows at No. 9.
Red Velvet's Ice Cream is another win for their label SM Entertainment that notches its fourth Top 5 album on World Albums this year. In addition to Red Velvet, they landed Super Junior-D&E's The Beat Goes On EP (No. 4 on March 21), Amber's Beautiful: The 1st Mini Album EP (No. 2 on February 28), and Jonghyun's Base: The First Mini Album' EP (which rose to No. 1 on January 31).
Next week should also be a big one for SM Entertainment as well when its boy band EXO drops their long-awaited Exodus album on Monday, March 30. Currently EXO-K, a splinter group of EXO, holds the record for highest-charting K-pop album for boy bands after their Overdose EP hit No. 129 on the Billboard 200 last year and should make an impressive showing on World Albums and very possibly beyond.