Boasting five tracks on its tracklist, ‘Like Water’ is the solo debut of Red Velvet member, Wendy. As the first of the five-member group to release a solo project, Wendy sheds the groups image – a bold, typically pop-heavy, occasionally R&B/hip-hop rhythm – to create her own “colour”.
“As a member of Red Velvet I tried to express the group’s colour. Now, I’m starting off as a soloist and felt that I should show my own colour. I tried to put that into the album,”
Dedicating the title track to her fans, the 27-year-old shared:
“To all of my fans who know me and think of me more than anybody, even myself, you are the most precious and most indispensable to me on earth just like water. I will always stand by your side no matter what. I wish I could also be the reason for your life like you are for me,”
The lyrics of the song reflect the sentiment, with Wendy singing…
“Lean on my shoulder / You can close your eyes / You keep me alive, yeah / What you mean to me, I know / And I just wanna thank you for believing in me,”
The albums five tracks explore a more emotional side to the artist, with double title songs ‘Like Water’ and ‘When This Rain Stops’ showcasing Wendy’s charming vocals. On why there are two title tracks, Wendy explained during a live stream press conference:
“‘When This Rain Stops’ is a song for people who are going through a tough time, while ‘Like Water’ is about hope and gratitude. They are both warm songs, but the temperature of those warmths are somehow different,”
Making a special appearance on the album is fellow Red Velvet member Seulgi, on the pairs heartfelt duet titled ‘Best Friend’. Also on the album is the track, ‘Why Can’t You Love Me?’, a romantic venture into R&B that highlights her romantic interests in, what seems to be, unrequited love. On the flip side, ‘The Road’ leans towards the marriage between a rock ballad and a blues rhythm, as she reminisces roads once travelled with someone that is no longer there.
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Wendy made her official return to the stage earlier this year at the ‘SMTOWN Live Culture Humanity’ online concert, where she performed alongside groupmates Irene, Seulgi, Joy and Yeri. This marked the first time the group performed their 2019 track ‘Psycho’ as a full group, as Wendy had to take a year-long hiatus following an unfortunate accident. At the 2019 SBS Gayo Daejeon music festival, Wendy fell from a platform during the groups’ rehearsal. As a result, the singer suffered fractures on her pelvis and wrist as well as injuries to her face. In order to focus on her recovery, Wendy took a break from Red Velvet’s promotions. During her hiatus, Wendy didn’t stay completely off the grid, having participated in the soundtracks for popular K-dramas ‘The King: Eternal Monarch’ and ‘Start-Up’. And when the group did a remake of BoA’s 2003 hit, ‘Milky Way’, Wendy’s vocals were thankfully present on the track.
Taking a step away from the group to develop as “a vocalist who sings genuine messages”, Wendy shared her hopes for the album…
“I don’t have huge ambitions for the solo release. I just want to be an artist who can touch people’s hearts. I know a lot of people have waited so I hope they enjoy listening to me, singing happily on stage.”
Listen to the gorgeous album in its entirety and let us know what you think!
*Cover image credits: @todayis_wendy