In my head, S.E.S is to H.O.T as BoA is to TVXQ, SNSD is to Super Junior and f(x) to SHINee. A female counterpart after EXO‘s debut was naturally expected. Even though Red Velvet‘s debut felt rushed and I was prepared to be a little mad at how messily SM put an abrupt halt to f(x)’s promotion, blamed it on Sulli and didn’t even bat an eyelash, I was also happy that EXO would have its match. Ah, the lovely sense of order, all is well with the world.
To be perfectly honest, when I saw their song’s title, I thought it would be something more like:
I figured with such a rush debut, it was possible and it wouldn’t be the first time an SM group covered H.O.T’s Happiness. It might actually be pretty fun to see a girl version of it (or could turn out to be a disaster, that’s always ‘fun’ too). I should have watched the teaser instead of waiting after the MV came out (so much for order) which would have saved me a little bit of disappointment from the anticipation.
Actually, I really like Red Velvet’s Happiness, too. As a debut song, it feels so right to me. The chorus with “Lalalalalalalalalala HAPPINESS!” is really catchy and fun. The song’s cheerfulness becomes contagious and who could ever dislike such positive lyrics? I do feel like the song could have easily been an f(x) song, which makes me wonder what kind of plans SM has for this group. As of now, I don’t see a specific musical direction that they will take that would be very distinctive, except for maybe an emphasis on their innocent youthfulness which they could just keep singing about and eventually become and endearing ‘thing’ for them, but isn’t this what all SM baby groups do? So the question still remains. What kind of plans does SM have for this group?
One thing is for sure, SM sure knows how to pick them. All the girls are just gorgeous (though really hard to tell apart) and there’s a smooth gracefulness in this group that is similar to SNSD’s. I even thought I had seen Jessica somewhere in there. They don’t get to show off any serious dancing, but from the little that they displayed, I think there’s some good dancers in this group.
There was some controversy following the release of the MV. Careless graphics of newspaper clippings of the bombing of Hiroshima and the 9/11 incident were added (to an upbeat song singing about happiness, hmmmm…), which forced SM to revision the MV to have it edited out. They claim it was unintentional footage that they didn’t realize the meaning behind, but how can THIS be just an ‘accident’.
Aside from that, the MV was not much. It was simple and I’m sure someone out there will probably try to read into it and find symbolism in every other item in the MV. The only thing I feel like reading into is those outfit colors. Did anyone else get the feeling this could be a quidditch half-time show?
The debut was fine, not too flashy, not too shabby. The song was descent and we didn’t get to see them show off their vocals too much, but it’s pretty easy to recognize the potential this group has. My biggest beef is how humbly this group was debuted. Not that simple is a bad thing, on the contrary. I think simple can do wonders in many cases, but being an SM group and seeing how much SM has pumped up the public in the past, I don’t like how little effort they put into this group’s debut. It’s like: ‘This is what I’m giving you, and you’re going to like it, now love me!’.
There are rumors going around how Red Velvet was debuted earlier due to issues surrounding f(x), and I think this is a big possibility, but if SM was originally going to debut the group in late August, they still had plenty of time throughout the summer to at least give us a heads up. We knew this group was being prepared for some time, but 2 weeks notice is kind of…..
Anyways, I really like this group for more reasons other than their song. I hope they can bring back that old feeling of K-Pop that’s been lost over these past few years. There are a lot of K-Pop groups but I think we needed something fresh and familiar. I just hope in that retrospective design, their concept can be made their own.