Red Velvet’s main vocalist Wendy (Wendy Shon) arrived with a sense of calm and serenity on her first solo album Like Water, which was released on Monday (April 5).
According to the 27-year-old pop star, the themes of the five-track album are “consolation” and “empathy”, messages which are relayed through the series of ballads and soft-pop songs. It is fronted by a pair of singles: the whimsy of the sweet, sentimental soft pop Like Water, bolstered by soaring string instrumentals, and the poignant, hopeful ballad When This Rain Stops.
“I focused a lot on making the album one where people could feel comfort and warmth, so there’s a sense of healing as they listen even if it’s just for a brief time,” she revealed during a press event on Monday. “And because a lot of the lyrics contain a warm message, I tried my best to relay that in the most heartfelt way through my vocals, so I hope that many listeners can relate to the messages I was relaying.”
Like Water also marks a period of healing for Wendy, who experienced a serious performance-related accident in December 2019, after which she had to go on hiatus to recover from a pelvic fracture, and a broken wrist and cheekbone.
According to Wendy, When This Rain Stops’ lyrics specifically reflects her personal story and how she found “so much strength through my fans who have sent me so much support,” while Like Water is more romantic. Wendy says she explicitly wrote the lyrics “I just wanted to thank you for believing in me” inspired by her fans.
The album arrived with a music video for the single Like Water.
Wendy is the first of Red Velvet’s five members to release a solo album, though last year saw members Seulgi and Irene team up to release their Monster mini-album in July.
The album features Seulgi teaming up with Wendy on the jazzy Best Friend, inspired by their relationship with one another.
On Tuesday (April 6), Red Velvet’s official Twitter account tweeted that Wendy had set a new record for a Korean female solo singer by topping the iTunes top album charts in 30 regions across the world with the release of Like Water.
This article was first published in South China Morning Post.