Red Velvet Returns With ‘Birthday,’ Setting New Career High in Ninth Year

Red Velvet Returns With ‘Birthday,’ Nine years into their existence, K-pop act Red Velvet continues to set new records with every song release, this time, with their new album “The ReVe Festival 2022 – Birthday.”

On Monday, the five-piece released their latest EP, entitled “Birthday.” The release is the latest from the act’s musical series “The ReVe Festival 2022,” which kicked off in March with the album “Feel My Rhythm.”

Ahead of dropping “Birthday,” Red Velvet members — Irene, Wendy, Seulgi, Joy and Yeri — did an online media showcase on Monday afternoon. As of Sunday, pre-orders for “Birthday” have reached 712,187, the most for any Red Velvet album in the group’s nine-year history.

Red Velvet Returns With Birthday
Red Velvet Returns With Birthday

“We were so astonished. We appreciate all the support we’ve been getting after each return. During the press conference, Joy said, “We’ll continue to work hard with the love and support from ReVeluv.”

Red Velvet’s fellow SM Entertainment act TVXQ member and emcee Yunho hosted the show on Monday. The latest collection continues Red Velvet’s creative attempt at blending K-pop with classical music, this time, with the album’s lead single “Birthday” sampling the jazz-infused “Rhapsody in Blue” by pianist George Gershwin.

One of the songs of the group, “Feel My Rhythm,” used a section of Bach’s “Air on the G String.” Wendy defined the new title track “Birthday” as “a pop-dance music based on trap beats laced with rhythmical drums and crisp synth sounds,” with the lyrics talking about delivering a wonderful birthday for her partner.

The five-song package also includes four B-side tracks “Bye Bye,” “On A Ride,” Zoom” and “Celebrate.” The concepts of imagination and time travel served as a unifying theme throughout the album. Irene explained that the album’s overarching concept was to “portray a story about time travel” while also sending the message that “all our ambitions and imaginations will come true.”

Feel My Rhythm‘ and ‘Birthday’ had both sampled classic tunes, and Red Velvet’s song connecting the past and present might be considered a channel for the imagination.” While both tracks draw inspiration from classical music, Seulgi claims that their overall moods couldn’t be more different.

“If ‘Feel My Rhythm’ had boasted a more graceful, traditional vibe, we tried to emit a more kitsch and cheery aura with ‘Birthday.’ We worked on such features both verbally and visually as we prepared,” Seulgi added.

Ahead of delivering the new album, the act published the comic “SMCU: Red Velvet – The Story of ReVe,” which takes a closer look into the behind-the-scenes story of the origin and maturation of “ReVe,” a helper in Red Velvet’s fictional universe, based on the group’s many conceptions.

Following a comic that captured such a part of our music was entertaining and also helped to connect the many storylines. “All the concepts she had shown up to now had a fairytalelike side to them.

After watching all of Reve’s albums from the past nine years compiled into one cohesive narrative, I found myself rooting for the group and feeling a sense of pride in our many accomplishments, as Joy put it. On portraying the issue of love through the many concepts and genres, Yeri stated, “There are various shapes of love, and we aim to bring out the weird, and sometimes eerie, emotion to add pleasure.

Red Velvet Returns With Birthday
Red Velvet Returns With Birthday

I think our songs stand out in their sincere and unusual depiction of emotions.” In August 2014, Red Velvet made its SM Entertainment debut with the digital song “Happiness.” After “Psycho,” “Russian Roulette,” “Peek-A-Boo,” and “Queendom,” the band continued to deliver a string of singles.

The group’s unshakeable status in the K-pop scene was demonstrated by the success of their single “Feel My Rhythm,” which peaked at No. 1 on local music charts and at the very top of iTunes’ top albums chart in 41 countries.

The album broke the act’s record for first-day sales with 320,000 and went on to sell 443,900 copies in its first week. A K-pop girl group album’s first-week sales were the second highest ever. In retrospect, Irene reflected, “2022 was a year of many new tries.” This was more like a carnival than anything else.

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