A little bit sweet and a little bit trippy, Red Velvet released their fourth EP Rookie on Tuesday, Jan. 31 (Feb. 1 in Korea). The album was released alongside a colorful music video for the title track, their follow up to their 2016 single “Russian Roulette.”
“Rookie” is a pop-funk single that draws on Red Velvet’s unconventional musicality to combine low-key sing-speaking and synth beats before blasting into the saccharine hook of a chorus. The melody is dominated by brassy horns and plinking synths, while clapping beats and a few guitar riffs make the song that much more compositionally intriguing.
The music video for “Rookie” features the quirky band at their most humorous yet, acting as Alice In Wonderland-style travelers as they stroll and fly around a world that’s part Candyland and part Yellow Submarine.
Beginning and ending as a play put on by “Rookie” performers, the video shows Red Velvet in a variety of entertaining situations after Joy offers some mysterious pink smoke to the rest of the girl group. The members chase a mysterious, floral-clad character as they wear blue and white Alice-like dresses through a colorful wonderland and fly through the sky in spaceships. The clip recalls some of Red Velvet’s other videos, like 2015’s “Dumb Dumb” with its slo-mo dance moves and the explorative nature of last year’s “One of these Nights,” but the imaginative music video and the acting of the five women make it clear that Red Velvet is no longer a “Rookie” K-pop group.
Aside from “Rookie,” the EP contains five other songs. “Little Little” offers a sweet R&B midtempo tune to contrast nicely with the hyperactive “Happily Ever After,” which could easily be a sequel to “Dumb Dumb.” “Talk To Me” is an early ‘00s throwback and “Last Love” is a romantic solo ballad from main vocalist Wendy, but synth slowburn “Body Talk” recalls the lush sound labelmates Tiffany and Luna showcased in their 2016 solo releases.
Check out Red Velvet’s fantastical music video for “Rookie”: