VOTE FOR F(x): VOTE Click!
It is f(x) summer on my blog in honor of f(x)’s latest comeback, Red Light! WOO HOO! So y’all know I had to buy this album, and y’all know I had to do my review!
Back in March, I did a review for Pink Tape. You can check that out, too, if you want to.
f(x) has been my K-pop obsession lately. There’s just something about them that strikes me as original among all the other artists.
This is all really exciting for me because this is my first comeback where I witness the whole f(x) “comeback scene”. After all, I’ve only been a fan of f(x) since February, so I was really excited to hear what f(x) had to offer next. I missed out on experiencing the excitement and anticipation that most f(x) fans have been experiencing for years.
During the last four (or has it been five?) months I’ve been an f(x) fan, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected from f(x).
If you want to hear other f(x) albums, you can listen below:
But this comeback has left me completely SHOCKED. I feel stunned. I can say that I’m happy to be coming in the fandom at a time where f(x) is taking a huge turn in their career.
Out of all of the many different comebacks in K-pop this year, any year, really, and out of all of f(x)’s comebacks, this one stands out the most. But before I get into that, I’d like to share what first ROCKED the K-pop world: The Red Light teaser images.
When I first saw the teaser images for this comeback, I absolutely couldn’t believe it. f(x) was rocking such a dark, edgy concept. I wasn’t shocked about them taking a darker turn, because I knew f(x) would try something completely different, like they do every year. They aren’t the types to follow the mainstream or to stay in their comfort zones. Even though they are usually quite colorful, their debut images for Lachata weren’t extremely colorful, so this kind of felt like a “return” to a darker fashion.
But the difference is they were so…creepy…eerie…dangerous…and SEXY! As prepared as I thought I was for the unexpected, it still rattled my cage. f(x) has this thing about them, this charisma, where they don’t have to show a lot of skin to be sexy. They also have this thing where they can turn both guys and girls on. These photos conveyed a bit of a scary, ghostly feeling at times, a Wild Wild West feeling, a gangsta feeling, a secret agent feeling, and even a Tomb Raider feeling. Just something about these photos seemed so intense, so different from the friendly f(x) we’re all used to seeing. Many of them brought out their sass and what really makes each of them uniquely charismatic and attractive…in a “bad-ass” sort of way.
f(x) has REALLY matured as a group. These images have been, by far, the most amazing photos I’ve seen of them. It showed such a huge transformation, that it left an impact on all those who witnessed it. It was definitely a cool way to turn up the heat.
What I like about Krystal’s photos is that she changed her “cute” image for something a little scary. I feel Krystal gets objectified often, more often than the others. Krystal herself said she likes this concept “because a lot of times she’s given roles that make her look pretty, but just this once she wanted something that would make her look darker and different”. This concept gave Krystal the opportunity to step outside of the box and be a little “creepy” and “scary”. The blonde suits her SO well. She’s one of the very few artists that can step in a new hair color comfortably.
Luna just slayed! She completely stepped out of her “girl-next-door” image, and provided the “sass” true Luna fans knew was hiding in her. She worked a blue bob, something I’ve seen very few artists achieve!
Victoria took such elegant photos! She never seems to get old! Her beauty shined in these photos. I love her eye-patch the most. It’s so stylish, it makes me want one.
Sulli looks like a Gothic doll! So beautiful, and yet so edgy! I love her casual photos, and I especially love her in suit and tie!
Amber conveys her personality the most. It’s almost hard to disguise Llama! 😛 But wow, Amber, did you have to come so sexy, though? Amber rocks red hair like it’s nobody’s business!
The thing that really sparks a trend is how they have eye-liner on one eye instead of two. That’s just f(x) being the trend-setters in the K-pop industry. The bowler hats, the suit jackets and ties, the eye-patches…girls y’all are smokin’!
They just remind me so much of a certain boy group…SHINEE! 😛
The music video’s visuals also left a powerful impression on people this time around! Everyone looked so good, the visuals were so unique from anything done by SM or f(x), and the editing was perfection. It definitely leaves quite an impression. It is unforgettable. I literally left out of that music video much the same way I left the movie theater after seeing Hunger Games…stunned-speechless-out-of-my-mind. If you’re a fan of f(x), you know why. Even if you’re not, you will understand what I’m saying after watching the video.
So, overall the concept is impressive, and really draws me in. I seriously want to blow these pictures up and put them in frames! In lovely, beautiful frames!
The cover of this album isn’t in a specially designed package, unfortunately. Darn. I don’t think this tops Pink Tape‘s covering. But the cover seems “hot to the touch”. I love the look and feel of it. This concept is just so challenging and dangerous! Also, it’s still more interesting than most CD covers out. It’s more like a boxed booklet. The booklet is attached to the box… The booklet part inside shows even more amazing photos of the girls. I just can’t get enough.
There are two versions: The Wild Cats and the Sleeping Cats. I got the Sleeping Cats. The very difference between the versions are the pictures in the booklet. I really want the Wild Cats Version, too. From what I’ve seen of the Wild Cats booklet, the pictures are so edgy! But Sleeping Cats is cool, too. I don’t know why the Wild Cats version reminds me of High School Musical right now…
NOW. Down to the music.
I’ve told you all before that f(x) is my favorite group in K-pop because they always explore unique and quirky sounds. f(x)’s music is very distinct. They have this overall sound that can’t be defined or categorized. They are usually barely mainstream. They hang on by a thread. I think it’s because most of them aren’t Korean. They just don’t fit in. They do their “own thing”. I ❤ this aspect. They never cease to bring a versatility and variety of different songs to the table, and yes, this album was no different in it’s delivery, if not more so than usual. There is just so much potential in this group. There are things f(x) can try that most groups can’t.
Well, this album doesn’t fit the mainstream AT ALL. In fact, it’s very Americanized…
f(x) slays me once again!
WARNING: RED LIGHT, RED LIGHT: The Following material is experimental, outrageous, a little revolutionary, and quite insane. This album is artistic to the core, and thus, may take you off-guard. I’m not sure y’all are ready for this. Some of the lyrics carry interesting messages.
f(x)’s Amber said in an interview with After School Club that a very “real” sound is coming back in trend. After hearing this album, I understand what direction f(x) is trying to take…The songs each bring an interesting message and sound to the fore. This album is expressive. Amber herself had a hand in two of the songs on the album, from what I hear.
f(x) really tried something new. Again, just like with Pink Tape, there is something for everybody on this album. Many songs have a “disarranged” sort of feeling, much like Trap or House music. This album is best summed up with one word: Avant-Garde. There are a lot of songs that could fit in the Trap and House music genre. It’s so innovative, f(x) can’t be confused by anyone in K-pop this year!
With this album, every song sounds better with speakers or headphones, so I advise you get them out!
The best part about this comeback is the fact that they blessed us with another full album, much to my surprise! I really expected an EP. Usually, they have a pattern: EP, full album, EP, full album. This time they released another full album right after their last one.
1) Red Light
This song carries so many controversies. After the music video was released, many were left wondering about the message of this song, as it seemed like it was some sort of conspiracy, like something strange was happening, and it made people a little uncomfortable. It’s just that most people aren’t used to thinking deeply in the K-pop universe…So, most were not clear about this message. This music video is a little chilling, and definitely not like f(x)’s usual friendly music.
To add, KBS gave f(x) all kinds of issues for this song, not allowing f(x) to perform it on their music show because of a portion in their lyrics that makes reference to an American company. f(x) had to alter it to perform! It definitely highlighted the differences between Korean and Western standards for “freedom of speech”…Though once upon a time, Western countries would censor things, too. The word that caused so much controversy was “Caterpillar”. I know what you’re thinking? What? Over a bug? Well, let me explain…
The song’s lyrics are focusing on the growing ecological issue that’s spreading slowly across the globe. “Caterpillar”, also known for the “CAT” symbol, is a company that manufactures diesel-fueled engines. This is the reason there is a cat in the video. This company is known for spreading a revolutionary, albeit controversial, plan to bring diesel fuel around the world. Diesel fuel is believed to be better for the environment. It emits lower amounts of carbon monoxide, monoxide, and hydrocarbons. I’m not sure if f(x) is for it, against it, or if this is all symbolic of something else. The “Red Light” emphasis is to tell us pollution and our poor natural environment are at a risk, and the song emphasizes that it’s a major issue that should be addressed. Basically, they are telling us to appreciate what we have, and don’t take it for granted.
What’s irritating to me is that when a song gets one ounce of meaning in it, people want to question it or place it on the “I” word. It’s like people would rather listen to shallow entertainment, rather than meaningful, contemplative entertainment…
This song is also getting a lot of “raised eyebrows” for the strange way it transitions throughout the song. The verses are low in tone with a sick, military-like beat to represent an urgent message that they want the listener to take seriously. The bridge then smooths out the military-like, hip-hop sound into a segment meant for vocalists, representing a “still moment” before the “big bang”. In translation, this moment seems to be reminding us to take a breath, and realize how we can “breathe”, which is also to remind us of what we take for granted. Then suddenly, the chorus awkwardly disrupts into an upbeat pop number, meant to represent the sudden revolution that is taking place to fight this issue. This song is really telling us, through all of this symbolism, to appreciate the things we have and not take anything for granted. Everything is precious.
It’s an Electronic-House song. Transitions, like in this song, are common in the House music genre, but most people who listen to mainstream pop music don’t listen much to House music. So, obviously, it takes people off-guard.
The vocals on this track showed glorious beauty, even within an electronic background. Amber, Krystal, and Luna showed phenomenal vocal range. Thank you for letting Amber sing! Sulli and Victoria did amazing rapping sessions.
This is actually my favorite track because of the controversy, the risks taken, the artistry, and the fierce message! This isn’t some mainstream crap, this is in-your-face. It does something different. It makes pop music look “cool” to fans of underground music. In fact, it really caught on to me from the first listen. But I know this song isn’t usual. It is f(x)’s most experimental sound…possibly similar to the music you might hear from YG productions. When I first heard 2ne1’s “I Am the Best” and “Come Back Home”, they transitioned awkwardly much the same way…Though, I’m not sure if YG has ever done House music before…
I was just a tad bit afraid f(x) would just follow all the other female K-pop groups by going for an overly-sexual concept. I’m so glad they didn’t. They pulled off sexy without looking desperate.
This song slays! “Love [it] or hate [it], it’s still an obsession”-Lady Sovereign
An American channel, Fuse TV, applauds f(x) for this track. Click Me to find out why. Ya’ll should already know. This track is contemporary, and it is something that has NEVER been done in K-pop. It may not be everyone’s taste, but as I say about f(x), you can’t deny their artistry, ability to “shake up a nation” of pop, their bold approach, and their ability to make an impact.
This song is by far f(x)’s, and SM’s, deepest song. It screams depth and substance.
This song is better appreciated with some speakers or headphones. It also needs to be listened to more than once to be appreciated. Since it’s not mainstream, it takes a while to catch on, much like carefully disarranged music from Fantasia or the inconsistent “What’s Around the Riverbend” from the movie Pocahontas. But once you listen to this about three times, you’ll be able to find the rhythm, and then it will get stuck in your head. It also helps to understand the lyrics.
It’s a powerful title song. 1) Because it’s not usual for a title song. Most lead songs are very mainstream and catchy. 2) It has a powerful message. Possibly it’s a message that needs to be said.
I love this better than “Rum Pum Pum Pum”. It’s so fascinating. And a lot to take in.
JMMPP said this on youtube,
Simply put, the whole song is about activists and the way we get brainwashed by corporations to close our eyes in regards to daily ecologic crisis.
Red light AKA red signal as in it’s an emergency. They are seen running at some point and are dressed in a rather bad arse way to precisely portray the activists they incarnate At some poitn in the verse you can hear they sing Caterpillar. Caterpillar is worldwide known industrial group that has taken part in the destruction of many forests and whatnot which explain why SM had to change the lyrics and erase their name from the verse for their very first live performance of the song in McCountdown or else they wouldn’t have been able to actually showcase their song. The phone pretyy much symbolyzes the “Red LIght”. Much like an ambulance ligths if you will. The burning book symbolyzes the ecological crisis in question, the eyepatch as well as their make up – which by the way reminds me very much of Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrick – symbolyzes duality. The fact of being fully aware of the crisis yet not quite do anything about it.
You can clearly see in the scene that showcases mannequins in front of a screen that they basically talk about propaganda and being brainwashed. The flower that as well as the house that pretty much blows up both in black and white symbolyzes the eminence and gravity of the current situation. And finally; the fact that Krystal closes the book although it is still bruning and the fact that no ones answers the phone shows that really, like I said, no one actually cares but this crisis in. The whole concept is quite brilliant and makes perfect sense once you take the time to read the lyrics translation.
Cats and Dogs in the beginning…Cats seem to be a strong part of this album…
This song is much catchier and smoother than the first track. This is one of Teddy Riley’s creations. The song carries an “Egyptian-desert” sound or perhaps it’s “Bollywood” style much like “Rum Pum Pum Pum”. Maybe this is just how it sounds to me…
The chorus is quite “milky”, like smooth, cold milk moving down the throat, and very catchy. The style is good. I think this is a solid track. It’s mellow and carries a hint of maturity.
I can’t help but want to drink milk after listening to this…Oh, Milk, what would I do without you? xD
The song seems to be about a girl who is hot from the summer heat, suffering from a break-up, and then all of a sudden she sees milk in the “kitchen”…and decides to drink her problems away. Ha ha! Comical. Priceless. Unique. And we’re getting drunk off the milk! This is a nice summer cut.
Once again, f(x) charms us with their quirky lyrics, strange references, and/or unconventional metaphors, which really keeps the listener entertained. I love the feeling of this song.
This song is just amazing! It feels like a 1980’s/1990’s synth-pop number. This is actually a song that, at first, sounded like a Britney Spears song from a long time ago on one of her albums, but the chorus makes it more melodic. It’s amazing in the verses, but the vocals in the chorus leave me breathless! Amber sings SO, SO, SO well with this kind of song. Sulli! I’m glad her voice shined! I love this song so much. The chorus really reminds me of Origa’s music…It’s a bit like folk-pop music.
This song is perfection. It’s so different from any I’ve heard from a K-pop artist. It’s so expressive. I feel this song. Deeply.
The lyrics seem to describe themselves as butterflies. Even the chorus drifts “lightly” like a butterfly. A white butterfly comes into view as the “image” of this story. A butterfly can be interesting if you take the time to look at the smaller things in life. This could have a deeper symbolic meaning…It could describe the love of someone else…Someone special. I think it’s comparing their actions to a butterfly when they’re in love.
This is that Trap number! It has the “switcheru” feeling to it, just like “Red Light”. It’s a bit disarranged. But this song is likable and catchy. It’s a club banger. This song is DJ-styled. This song is SHANK and SLAYS on all levels. It’s definitely experimental, quirky, and takes a chance. The pop-trap hybrid has been described perfectly by a fan: “A dirty drop, pretty verses, a break, a smooth chorus, a dirty drop” -Quote Roy Lowery on Youtube.
I love it! I love Amber’s introduction, translated as “Bounce, Bounce, Bounce…” and the chorus makes me sold.
Amber and Krystal’s English additions add charm to the song.
The song is about being so drunk in love, you see rainbows. It makes the person feel a little crazy and a little high (lol f(x)? High? 😛 ). Probably the reason the song is so disarranged. Again, another artistic piece. It could have a deeper meaning…
It could encourage loving all people, appreciating that the world is colorful like a “rainbow”. The LGBT community might use this as a theme…Well, if they like it. I do.
This also reminds me of a YG song, but then again, not really…WOW. f(x) adds their own quirky flavor and interesting metaphors once again.
5) All Night
This sounds more like a K-pop song. BoA, Girls’ Generation…yes, it’s peppered with SM. This is also Teddy Riley’s contribution. He did a bang-up job with the songs he gave f(x). They didn’t disappoint.
This really sounds like a Michael Jackson song from Off the Wall, too, or from the album, Thriller. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about. It also reminds me of some songs off of one of the Bratz albums…
This song is a slow, funky jam. It has that “’80’s school dance feeling”. I like the rhythm, the vocals, the beat, and the bass. This is a love song. A very normal one, surprisingly. A girl is dancing, sees someone attractive, wants to be alone with this person all night. I guess this is for the more “casual” listeners, ya know, the people who like consistent melodies.
This is that disco melody. I’ve been jamming all night!
This song also has a ’70s/’80s feeling. It has that funky, disco, feeling. It’s a great vacation song! I like this song! I’m listening to this on a road trip. It suits that kind of occassion.
By the way, Vacance means ‘vacation’ in French. This song is lively, funky, and fun! I just love this!
Luna’s vocals in this song! This also reminds me of a Bratz song! xD
f(x) must’ve really been hot this summer. This is the second song that mentions the heat! There’s nothing like summer vacation and feeling free!
7) Spit It Out
Put your headphones on or your speakers!
This is one quirky break-up song! It is feisty, powerful, and very edgy! This song is fierce. This song kind of reminds me of the music Missy Elliot might have made back in the past.
It also reminds me of Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been?” in the dance break…
I like the “drum beat” bridge. It sort of sounds like a “marching band”. Great.
This song actually sounds like an arcade video game song, suited for games like Sonic, Crash Bandicoot, or Mario…
This song has some interesting transitions, just like “Red Light”. This song has an ’80’s House music sound.. f(x) came strong with the Trap and House music. House music originated in Chicago in the ’80’s. Trap is popular in the clubs. f(x) is bringing it! Wow. This is a club banger.
This song is quirkier than “Red Light”, though.
I think the lyrics are talking about a girl who has finally confessed her heart to the guy she loves, and he turns her down, breaking her heart. Basically, she’s saying he ate up her heart, and she wants it back. The girl believes the guy does have feelings for her, and is lying, or maybe it’s in their own imagination (?). But it makes them angry that he’s playing it so “distant”. So, “Spit it Out”! I love this. The next guy that does something like this to me, I’m going to tell him to “Spit it Out”! So clever, cool, and again, it’s f(x)’s entertaining lyrics. “Spit it Out” is my favorite part of the song.
Some people says it reminds them of Shinee’s “Lucifer” at times…I think the very beginning of “Lucifer”.
8) Boom Bang Boom
Strong hip-hop drop in the verses! This song really reminds me of Missy Elliot at times…
The chorus is fun, lively, and loud! It is super catchy! This song is really bold and fierce.
I love the transitions. This song does it much smoother than the other songs that tried the Trap music style. It has that cool beat, that bass, and I can’t get enough of it! Then the feisty f(x) goes, “Are You Ready for It? RAWR!” And after that, I was sold.
This song is to some phony people out here. It’s to those people who judge others. It’s to those people who pretend like you’re hardly there when you speak. This can also be to a lover who acts distant. The song is set up in a boxing-ring-like atmosphere…It’s so funny. I think I will play this for the next phony person that walks by. This shows a new side to f(x)! f(x) is saying that when they come, they hit hard, like “Boom Bang Boom”. So you better watch your back, because these girls fight hard! If you even think about playing f(x), if you even think about being a hater, they will hit you until your heart says “Boom Bang Boom!” Some people may think the f(x) girls are weak. Then, once f(x) fights back in the lyrics, proving how strong they are, the phony person seems to change their tune in the song. I think they scared the crap out of that phony person! LOL
Krystal likes this song…You can tell. 😛
This song is easily one of f(x)’s best songs! WOW. So eerie, so scary, so edgy, almost like a rock song. This song fits the teaser images above well.
This song kind of reminds me of Evanescence, Within Temptation, Delain, Nightwish, Indica, and After Forever in many ways. Especially Nightwish. It’s like Gothic pop, Gothic symphonic…Luna and Krystal’s vocals!
A lot of rock fans like it.
In any case, it’s impressive. This song is well-arranged. It reminds me of a horror film. This song is catchy, too. It is more consistent than most of the other songs on the album.
The lyrics focus on Dracula, a man who preys upon beautiful, lonely women with his magnetism and charisma…but of course, eventually, he will suck your blood! This song is on replay.
I don’t know why it reminds me of Monster High’s Draculaura…I can’t help but say her name every time!
10) Summer Lover
This is one of the songs Amber had a hand in. Oooo, Amber, who you in love with? I think she’s credited for the music. Possibly the composition or production? And yes, the lyrics.
Anywho, f(x) is famous for their “Summer” titles: “Hot Summer”, “Good-bye Summer”, and now, “Summer Lover”. I think Amber is a “Summertime Girl”, don’t you? She grew up in California, where the weather is always warm, where it feels like summer all-year round, and where she can be outside all day.
I don’t think I will be able to get all of these summer titles together. LOL I keep mixing them up.
This song reminds me of late ’90s bubblegum pop. In fact, it reminds me of the Spice Girls (and you know how much I ❤ the Spice Girls). This is a great, fun song for the summer!
It’s a romantic song, of course. And no, there are no quirky references or metaphors. It is a simple, innocent love song for the summer. It’s a lot like the goal of Pink Tape in the fact that it focuses on innocent feelings of love.
11) Paper Heart
This seems to be a favorite among people, and seems to be drawing new fans. I know why.
Amber has a hand in this song as well, from what I hear. It’s not surprising. This is like a song we’d normally hear in Western countries.
This is probably the first Country-folk pop song to ever scrape the K-pop world.
This song is catchy in a soft way. Just like in Pink Tape, f(x) ends with their most meaningful, well-composed song. After this song, I can’t help feeling like I want more…
This song is sweet, soothing, and reminds me of life on a farm. It makes me want to run across a meadow, smell the flowers, and splash in a waterfall. It’s very poetic. It’s so expressive! WOW. It definitely sounds like a Taylor Swift song…back when Taylor Swift would sing songs like “Love Story”. It even reminds me of Shakira’s “Gypsy”.
I was happy to hear Sulli start the song instead of Krystal. It was a refreshing change.
Beautiful vocals, lovely lyrics, and that “real” sound Amber must’ve been talking about. It does remind me of Busker Busker…
The lyrics focus on a girl who has never been serious about someone, has never been in a serious relationship, and never had her heart broken. On the outside, she seems tough, but on the inside her heart is like “paper”: It can be torn easily. I LOVE THIS SONG. Amber can seriously make some GOOD songs.
So, you want my rating? Overall, I think this album is something different for the K-pop world, something that has never been done, even by f(x). Talk about f(x) being quirky, experimental, and unconventional! The awkward transitions on the album express the emotions of the lyrics well. The album is truly innovative, creative, expressive, and hard-work was put behind it. There is something for everyone, as always. The versatility and variety is what I’ve always liked about this group. I hope to hear more from Victoria in the future. She shined in “Butterfly”. The lyrics are interesting, as always. There are more “twerk” numbers and Trap music than there ever have been on an f(x) album, but it’s also refreshing to hear Gothic and Country pop. I have to say, I’m impressed. This album is one of the “realest” albums to ever hit K-pop stores. As I always say about f(x), their music isn’t always everyone’s taste, but most can’t deny their artistry, their bold, contemporary sounds, their ability to take a risk and work with it, their unusual lyrics which make them stand out, or their woozy harmonies. I feel like f(x) has matured in a way that hasn’t necessarily made them lose their lively, youthful spirit, but has made them better artists. They never cease to amaze me, and they are never what I expect them to be. This is why they always keep their fans excited.
My only disappointment was the packaging, as it didn’t top last year’s. I give this comeback a 9/10.
F(x)’s album has slayed all 9 of Korea’s music charts, both with the title song and others from the album, and is about to enter U.S.’s Billboard 200 chart!
They entered #2 on Billboard’s World Charts:
IT HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED at a recent fansigning that a REPACKAGED ALBUM is coming soon, and that means, a new MUSIC VIDEO! So, if you weren’t all over “Red Light” MV, you have the chance to like the new MV! Amber also mentioned that she requested a live concert with SM! We’ll see! This seems to be f(x)’s year!
However, there are rumors that f(x) has to achieve 15 million views in a month for their MV in order for them to release the re-packaged album. I hope not…
Have a listen to the album and tell me what you think!
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To Read More About f(x):
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