There are some songs out there that change your entire demeanor. They come blasting through your headphones, and you suddenly begin to walk straighter, strut down the grocery aisles with a look in your eye that says, “Try me.” f(x)‘s “Red Light” is just that type of song.
It’s fitting I’d dedicate my first #TBT of International Women’s Month to a (former) quintet who had the testicular fortitude to ride out long bouts of inactivity (as far as music releases) to come out with some of the more musically creative lead singles SM Entertainment has ever produced. Never mind the ladies had the brass ovaries to make a song and video that referenced not so subtly at the travesty and tragedy that was the MV Sewol sinking. I’ll let you dig into that when you’ve got time. Trust me; it’s definitely something to think about.
What we’re here for in the moment is the absolute ferocity of these females. They take a song that has three different musical signatures — differing compositional elements that create musical shifts in the song. Each switch in style allows the ladies to express their vocals and harmonies in ways that they hadn’t before: harder, stronger, fiercer. And of course there’s that damn beat. It’s the type of song that has the most legendary of all the girls walking their necks off and voguing like their lives depended on it! “Red Light” looks and feels like a battle cry. Like a clarion call for every woman to step into her strong bits and demand respect and attention. Arguably one of f(x)’s most important tracks to date, “Red Light” will forever go down as a piece of musical magic that redefined the group even in the midst of transition, giving them wider range and a maturity that, while never lacking, hadn’t been seen from them for quite some time up to that point.
I tip my hat to the glory that is “Red Light.”