Red Velvet are back with “Peek-A-Boo“, aiming to provide a ray of light before the misery of winter truly begins in the world of musical releases. Fortunately, they deliver on the promise that their teasers provided hype for, which was no small feat.
My feelings on this release?
— Blackactarus (@blackactarus) November 16, 2017
More than anything “Peek-A-Boo” feels like a breath of fresh air, especially in this year and for a mid-November release. The instrumental foundation utilizes strong synths that carry a familiar tropical influence to them, but they stay away from trend riding by bringing in a thumping bass-line and include an intermittent screeching sound that’s somehow not annoying. Whether being sung or rapped, the verses have this sassy quick-fire delivery to them that helps establish the tone of the track.
The vocals shine during the pre-chorus, which strips the instrumental bare a bit in order to effectively create a sense of build. That’s cashed in by a chorus where the bass drops back in heavy and a prominent flute comes in that has an especially catchy descending section that makes the whole thing impossible to not hum along with. The “peek-a-peek-a-boo” hook (*Whispers* “Pika-pika-chuuuuu!”) is definitely a memorable feature as well, but the first and second chorus are different, with the latter including this rapid-fire chant-esque section towards the end that is a definite standout and a welcome twist to make sure it doesn’t get repetitive.
“Peek-A-Boo” also has a lot of bells and whistles in play, and the instrumental diversity is a risk since tracks like that can get too busy for their own good. However, the song manages to interject these quirks sparingly and in the right spots, which only increases the replayability of it because it never feels tired.
My musical journey with Red Velvet has been one of ups and downs, honestly. They started with concepts that made them all look similar and it was difficult to get into “Happiness“, “Be Natural” (SES, bitch), or “Automatic“. Quite frankly, I wasn’t a fan and sorta wrote them off. However, they started to trend in the right direction for me with “Ice Cream Cake” and everything truly took off with “Dumb Dumb“, which I absolutely loved. Since, they’ve missed with “One Of These Nights” and “Rookie” (I swear I tried to change my mind on it), but both “Russian Roulette” and “Red Flavor” were amazing, and now I can definitely add “Peek-A-Boo” onto the positive side of the ledger. They’ve come into their own in the past couple years and managed to change my view of them from a group that lacked identity to one that consistently stands out from the crowd while proving quality releases, and hopefully that trend only continues going forward.