In the lead up to the release of Chill Kill, it has become evident that Red Velvet has a clear vision for their third full-length album—one that is as ambitious as it is original. The first set of album teaser images, lensed by prolific Korean photographer Cho Gi-seok, boldly draws from traditional Korean culture and aesthetics, while an ominous music video trailer delivers some genuinely chilling moments, teasing a lean into the quintet’s darker side.
It’s been six years since Red Velvet last released a full-length album, so it’s easy to understand why Chill Kill was met with such high anticipation. With the teasers clearly building up to something big, expectations only continued to soar—and Red Velvet has certainly delivered accordingly.
Nearly a decade into their career, Chill Kill feels like a culmination of the quintet’s growth. Anchored by outstanding vocals, the 10-track album is a demonstration of the group’s versatility and a showcase of all that makes up the quintessential Red Velvet sound. All that’s left to do, then, is sit back and take in the music. Below, the 13 thoughts I had while listening to Red Velvet’s Chill Kill.
- ‘Chill Kill’ perfectly encapsulates the duality of Red Velvet. The way the song switches from dark and mystical in the verses to bright and uplifting in the chorus feels very on-brand.
- Red Velvet has never liked playing it safe, but they’ve also mastered the delicate balance between experimentation and musicality. ‘Chill Kill’ offers something unexpected at every turn, but the song comes together seamlessly as a whole.
- The ‘Chill Kill’ music video cutting from the girls’ infectious dance to them cleaning blood off the floor and burning the house down. Classic Red Velvet moment.
- The traditional Korean concept for the album teasers and visuals is one of the most unique ones in K-pop today, and I do wish we got to see more of it, whether that was in the music video, through a pre-release single or in some other form.
- ‘Knock Knock’ sounds like a creepy music box, and is one more example why Red Velvet and horror are the perfect match.
- It’s really unique how the melody, production and vocal performance for ‘Underwater’ come together to make the song sound like it’s actually underwater. It’s such a subtle but creative way to elevate the track.
- ‘Will I Ever See You Again?’ feels like the perfect road trip track. I love how the song builds, and the almost entirely instrumental chorus gives it a very distinct feel.
- Absolutely obsessed with how the chorus for a song titled ‘Nightmare’ sounds so cheerful—but when put in contrast with the darker vibes of the rest of the song, feels even more disconcerting.
- Going from the dreamy ‘Iced Coffee’ to the intense ‘One Kiss’ is like going straight from a nice weekend brunch at a cafe to a wild night out with the girls. Whiplash in the best way.
- With so many sound effects, ‘Bulldozer’ might just be the most fun track on this album. In all seriousness though, this might also be the most rap we’ve heard in a Red Velvet song, and I would definitely love to hear more.
- Closing the album with two of the more understated tracks is a great choice, and lets you slow down and focus entirely on their vocals. If ‘Wings’ highlights how they sound in harmony with each other, ‘Scenery’ allows for each of their individual voices to shine.
- Now that we’ve arrived at the end of the tracklist, it’s safe to say, this is an album with no skips.
- Chill Kill is well worth the six-year wait—but here’s to hoping Red Velvet’s next full-length album will come a lot sooner than that.
Listen to Chill Kill here.