K-Pop Pick of the Day: “About Love”/”Taste”

A semi-weekly or biannual reco, straight from the playlists of yours truly…

The linkage between these two songs is immediately felt: they bounce. Wikipedia might classify “Taste” as pop/dance, and I can abide that, though it’s generic enough to be applied to all of the Red variety songs. It may be afield to say, but I’d almost hazard the application of “R&B” here. Both songs flow through with again, a bouncing rhythm, but are also laidback enough to eschew the frenzied energy or melancholic touch of other tracks. This is a specific zone.

I stumbled on both of these songs from YouTube videos where they’re used as incidental score. “Taste” pops up in a Seulgi Eye Contact video (one I’ve seen many times because it’s adorable, and Yeri eating Seulgi’s soup at the end is hilarious — “It’s me!”), and also makes an appearance in a Joy Eye Contact video, the one where she takes Haetnim to the vet and serenades her sister, aggressively, with Queen.

What’s interesting with “About Love” especially is how the energy level never rises or falls too dramatically. The chorus sparkles, not pops, giving the song a singularity, like a single mood. And that mood is something like, I don’t know, Constance Wu with a pink boa on her shoulders rounding a corner and walking down a city street.

“Taste” is from the eclectic RBB extended play, which is a bizarre album even by their standards. The headlining “Really Bad Boy” is a strange beast, thrumming with the concussive power of songs like “I Just” and “Red Flavor,” and what I really like about it is the “OH, MY GOD,” which is great. The other English lyrics, though, specifically, “He’s a really, really bad boy” exist to me mostly as a curio. It doesn’t help me, imagining any member of Red Velvet — barring Yeri — so consumed, so regarding the character of a guy. Come on. Men are not interesting. Between the natural fandom inclination to ship members (Irene/Seulgi, Joy/Wendy) and that Red Velvet makes the fangirls scream like the boy bands do, where are guys supposed to factor in other than as code?

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