It has been almost a year since f(x)’s second full length album, “Pink Tape”. Now, they’re back with RED LIGHT and ready to blow your minds once again. Even Billboard named them as a group who “solidifies brand of quirky…” and “hipster pop…” and I couldn’t agree more.
To be honest, I was expecting a whole lot from this album since PINK TAPE really blew my mind with its splendid colors! And after a number of plays, here’s what I have to say:
1. Red Light
(Lyrics by Kenzie; Music by Maegan Cottone, Allison Kaplan, Sherry St. Germain, Daniel Ullmann and Bryan Jarett. Produced by Casper & B.)
At first, I was really questioning if this track really deserves to be the title/single of the whole album. After playing the whole album, I thought that this is THE title track. It’s the first of more experimental tunes that you would hear from f(x). It’s very haunting in a good way. You just can’t help but sing some of the parts of the song. The bass line and syths were are bit 90s/post-modern inspired and it also added that hip-hop experimental vibe that f(x) executed well. I also thought that the chorus was a bit out of place, but it works well with the song. Yes, it kinda felt like two songs were mashed together, but it unusually worked out well. (If you would listen to the original English Demo of this song, you’ll notice that the song is a bit repetitive which works because it is meant to be a club song. I think…lol). I also think that the chorus was for the choreography’s sake.
Another reason why I think that it’s a great title song was the meaning of it. The song sounded, to me, like it signifies the stronger version of f(x). It showcased the aggressiveness caused by the eager wanting to be seen differently.
This isn’t war
Open your eyes wide
Stop the collision from happening
2. MILK (Lyrics by Kenzie; Music by Kenzie, Teddy Riley, DOM, Engelina Larsen)
The lingering feeling of ending a relationship without any closure – that’s the story of this song. How painful it might be to wake up each day with this question that boggles your mind; wondering if you were the one who made a mistake. The desire to know what ended the relationship burns and it hurts so much. I was so curious why they chose MILK as the title of the song or what is the significance of milk in this. I was having lots of guesses and my best one could be this: Milk/Dairy drinks is often drank when you have eaten something really spicy and that you wanted the stinging pain to subside quickly. The stinging pain was the heartbreak and milk here was kind of like the representation of how she really wanted the pain to subside really quick. Ta-da! hehe
MILK is a song with painful lyrics that is wrapped in colorful, bubbly, upbeat melody. The harmonies here were really good and the chorus is very catchy. I also heard a bit of some Arabian elements with its background instrumentals and the vocals gave emphasis on that. This is a powerful track in the sense of appeal and its experimental vibe.
The world gets languid but my heart boils, who will know about this?
(Lyrics by 신진혜 (Jam Factory); Music by Thomas Troelsen, Engelina Larsen, Shin Eun Seung(Hitchhiker) )
The intro reminded me a bit of the early 2000s alternative pop rock songs (Like Avril Lavigne’s Loosing Grip). It’s psychedelic but the colors were not as vibrant as the title might imply. It contained (it sounded to me like) a very dark bass and beat but the chorus gave it a subtle punch that balanced the darkness with a speck of light. (I don’t know if that made sense, but yeah… xD)
Butterfly is about figuring out a mysterious relationship with a mysterious guy.
I’ll spread my wings and fly around your embrace
4, Rainbow (Lyrics by Will Simms; Music by Will Simms / Ylva Dimberg)
Let me just say that this is my second favorite track. Why? Because it’s hella awesome! I know that this track is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the hip-hop, club-like and EDM feel of it would make you bop to the beat. It’s a very good summer party song whether you are having a PARTY or a day out at the beach. This track is very unusual and very inviting.
It’s a song about being so drunk and high in love that everything in life seems to be as colorful and magical as a rainbow. (hippie vibe alert!)
This is weird, is it usually like this? This miracle drug that is love
5. All Night
(Lyrics by Jinbo, 김미영 (Jam Factory), 이은진; Music by Teddy Riley, DOM, Jinbo, Ylva Dimberg)
This song is one of my favorite songs from f(x). It sounded very classy and timeless! There are 80s elements like, disco and funk that would please everyone who loves music. I love how it feels a bit like something they have collaborated with Daft Punk (Well, Teddy Riley wrote the music so, it’s very self explanatory). I really love tunes like this. Words can never explain how much I love this song. I listen to it every time!
The lyrics are quite… interesting. It may seem to contain mature POV depending on how you perceive it. 😉
I feel so high when our eyes meet
I feel so hot when our hands are tightly held
6. Vacance (Lyrics by Kenzie; Music by Kenzie)
If you are in need a song for Summer, well this is it. The dream of having your dream vacation away from the stress of work and heat of the city, this song elaborates it all. The track contains retro guitar riffs that sounded really well with the vocals and the beat. It kinda gave me an impression that it is a bit indie-like since it’s very chill and it is very pleasing to the ears.
…we’re free and I like it
7. Spit It Out (Lyrics by Misfit; Music by Caesar & Loui, Olof Lindskog, Jasmine Anderson)
This is the song in particular that reminded me of Electric Shock. Dance and Trance were very imminent in this track. The lyrics is about someone who took her for granted because no matter what, this guy does, he won’t be left by his partner since his partner loves him dearly. Well, that’s not the case anymore. Clearly, the girl is sick and tired of the game her man is playing and that she wants her heart back. Despite the fiery lyrics, the melody was a bit chill. If you woudn’t research the English Translation of the song, you won’t really understand the feeling of it.
Don’t just blink and pretend you don’t know
You’re making my insides boil more and more
8. Boom Bang Boom
(Lyrics by 서지음 (Jam Factory); Music by Eirik Johansen, Jan Hallvard Larsen, Carl Johan Isac Gustafsson, Fredrik Haggstam, Sebastian Per Emil Lundberg, Melanie Fontana)
Boom Bang Boom can either be a song about a woman who is about to take charge of the relationship, or a song about SELF-CONFIDENCE. That’s it’s time to be stronger and just banish all those negative expectations about you.
I love how it sounded like a cheer on the chorus part of the song. Also the song is very motivational, especially with the “RAH!” part. Like it’s time to take charge! It’s a good song but it’s my least favorite from the album although the chorus was very catchy.
If I make up my mind to go against you, you won’t be able to recover, you’ll get hurt
I didn’t learn it from anywhere, there are stars in my eyes
(Lyrics by 조윤경 (Jo Yung Yeong); Music by Joachim Vermeulen Windsant, Willem Laseroms, Maarten ten Hove)
What comes to your mind when you hear the name, Dracula? When you listen to this song, this just gives you a summary on what most people think when they hear his name. I believe that the song is like having two point of views; DRACULA himself, and his victim. (But, this can also mean a real life thing. Like a man who is so vicious and inviting but in the end, when he catches you, he drains you until you are left with nothing but a heartache)
This song is the theatrical one in Red Light. It had elements that would instantly make you visualize that you are watching a play or a movie unfold right in front your eyes. The screaming sound before every verse and chorus added a good touch of fear that is needed in the track. Although, it was not as powerful like the other tracks, it was still very interesting. The rapping in this improved a whole lot. And the chorus and refrain (hook) are indeed catchy and easy to remember.
Hold me, trust me, hold my hand
Look at me, love me, I’ll protect you
10. Summer Lover
(Lyrics by Young-hu Kim; Music by Amber J. Liu, Shin Eun Seung, Sean Alexander)
Summer Lover is a good pop song. The guitar riffs suit the feel of the song; it added the color of the song. Vocals in this track were arranged really well. A chill summer song that will make you want to fall in love during the summer and just run away with him, wherever your hearts take you. It’s very warm and cozy which is a plus since it’s the second to the last track of the album and it just prepares you for the ending of Red Light.
You and I are dazzling as we laugh, wanna run far away?
11. Paper Heart
(Lyrics by 서지음 (Jam Factory); Music by Chris Wahle, Didrik Thott, Dianna Corcoran)
The title gives you an overview on what the song is about. The vulnerability of the song was given emphasis by its lyrics which is about begging someone to take good care of your heart because it’s very fragile; falling in love is very fragile. The vocals and harmonies in this track are a treat to the ears. I like how it sounded like it was a sweet blend of western indie and eastern elements that screams for English Lyrics (Of course, it should be sang by f(x) ) . It’s a good track to end the album. It doesn’t leave you hanging, but it gives you sweet satisfaction from what you have witnessed all throughout the album.
I try to act strong on the outside but my heart is like paper
♥ Whenever f(x) gets to comeback, I get so excited because they are an exceptional group. Unique and very experimental. That’s what I admire about Krystal, Luna, Victoria, Amber and Sulli. I love how can they can be all artsy and powerful all at the same time. They just make a statement every time they release their new material. What I particularly love about Red Light was the fact that it did not make you expect something SPECIFIC. Each track was different that it became a very interesting output. It showcased how they have grown and how they have gotten more artistically experimental with every song in this album. The teaser photos alone would get you all excited, their concepts are always so interesting. This album had a more mature and dark sound than Pink Tape and I have no regrets listening to the each song over and over again.
(I just hope that this time around, these five cats will get the credit that they truly deserve)
Make sure to purchase the album here and tell us what you like or did not like about the album.
Also, check out our review on the MV for Red Light here.
Till next time bbs! Sorry for the delay of any album reviews. It’s just, life happens guys. hahaha
Have a great day y’all and enjoy some hard ear candy with RED LIGHT!
Thanks for reading! 🙂
f(x) FB page for the photos