Red Velvet: Queendom - The 6th Mini Album
I'll admit to not expecting much more than what I've heard from every idol group thus far this year. I'll even admit to listening to Red Velvet as a matter of course rather than a genuine interest in what the album had to offer. To say I was surprised would be a mild understatement.
After lead single and title track "Queendom," the EP opens up to be some truly mature pop with genuinely good vocals. (Did they blow me out of the water? No. But I never really expect post-second generation groups to do so anyway.) Queendom is a bold title for an album that's really just on-trend to everything else in the market. No it doesn't solidify Red Velvet as more queenly than any other girl group whose fans claim the title for their biases. But it does establish that Red Velvet, as with some of SM's most celebrated groups, does have the chops to be something more than a two-dimensional pop group that takes what's already here and does nothing with it.
From what I can tell about them, they at the very least continue to evolve musically (or are given music that molds a musical evolution). I can respect that SM is capable of respecting their biggest selling groups enough to give them the tools necessary to grow in an industry that never sleeps. I will say this, though. If Red Velvet didn't have the vocal chops to pull it off, no amount of fabricated maturity would've made Queendom stick the way it did.