6 years since the debut of one of KPOPs most exciting groups Red Velvet, the quintet have unveiled their first subunit; Irene x Seulgi. Making their debut, their first mini album ‘MONSTER’ consists of 5 tracks: four from the duo and one solo from Seulgi.
Lead by the title track ‘Monster’, the single carves out the direction of the EP. Powerful vocals effortlessly bounce off this trap and EDM instrumental and set up the perfect welcoming to the world of Irene and Seulgi. Embodying their womanhood, the duo bodied the confident and sensual concept, never shying away from their power. Lyrics such as “I’m small but dangerous” and “I don’t hate this madness, I’m having fun” tease the power these two hold. The acknowledgement of themselves as powerful women only continues to unfold in the remaining tracks.
The RnB jam ‘Diamonds’ celebrates self-discovery of a woman’s worth. The pair touch on their flaws but reinforce that they do not equate a person’s worth. Realising they are ‘diamonds in the rough’, Irene and Seulgi make sure you realise they are irreplaceable, and you will never find another like them.
However, the powerful front fades to show the hidden side of the girls. ‘Feel Good’ is a juxtaposition if you ever did hear one. The mid-tempo funk track paired with the title is a complete 180 from the lyrical content. The girls sing of the feeling of losing yourself and causing yourself pain in the process. The preppy pop ‘Jelly’, just as the title states, shows the insecurities of the girls and how jealous they can get from time to time.
Seulgi’s ethereal slow jam ‘Uncover’ ties both the good and the bad together to create the perfect ending for this subunit’s debut. The dreamy yet sensual track asks the listener to uncover themselves and listen to what their heart is telling them it wants, ultimately taking ownership of yourself.
The strong debut of two of Korea’s finest female artists once again showcased the dynamic nature of Irene x Seulgi, allowing both of them to showcase their talents to an even higher level, especially Irene who at times during full group lead singles has not been pushed to the forefront. This subunit is definitely a force to be reckoned with and destined for greatness.
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Monster EP: 9/10