Friday, August 9th, 2019

GFriend – Fever

We’ll get to BFriend in a minute…


Joshua Minsoo Kim: I feel like a tropical house beat shouldn’t ruin everything good a song has going for it, but “Fever” confirms that it can. Remember when K-pop songs from earlier in the decade would be ruined by a contrived dubstep breakdown? Oh how times have changed.

Michael Hong: It’s the soaring pre-chorus that’s the most enjoyable part of the song and in an ideal world, that pre-chorus would have led to an even brighter chorus. Instead, GFriend curb to generic trop-pop trends. The drop is slightly elevated by its fluidity and the track still shimmers in spite, or maybe even because of it, but while the whole thing goes down smooth, I think we’ve reached the point where we just don’t need generic trop-pop from anyone.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: Tropical, synth-laden, summer-ready K-pop is starting to feel dated, and “Fever” does not help at all. They have done this kind of song before, but at least kept the lush strings and atmospheric touches we know and love. It’s a pity, ’cause the vocal performance is really, really good. 

Alfred Soto: It doesn’t sound fevered, but it does sound as if they’ve taken a cue from early ’00s Kylie: reacting to love at first sight with the abandon of high schoolers.

Iain Mew: There are a couple of gorgeous, delicate touches around the tropical mush, especially in the transitions out of the drop. They sparkle all the more because for the most part the song just treads familiar ground with more enthusiasm than care. 

Kylo Nocom: The artificial summer vibes surely have an appeal to somebody, but every bit of this is awfully by-the-numbers and boring, save some LOONA 1/3-esque synth melodies prior to the bridge. I feel like GFriend functioned better when they were busy throwing random-ass cloying guitar solos into their tunes. The sugary maximalist modus operandi suits them; this stiff structure does nothing to complement their euphoria. I’m a positive-thinking guy, though, and I enjoyed “Fever” a lot more imagining it was the soundtrack to a new Wii Sports Resort game.

Joshua Lu: I understand what “Fever” is trying to get at: the verses tangibly build in intensity, and although the pre-chorus saps that energy, it keeps galloping forward nicely enough. But where there should be a climax, there’s instead a plateau, constituted by an underwhelming trop-house drop and scattered, complacent vocals. It’s doubly disappointing because GFriend have some truly incredible climaxes — just think of that final chorus of “Rough,” where an electric guitar, strings, ticking clocks, and desperate cries all smash together beautifully — yet none of that magic is present here.

Reader average: [6.33] (3 votes)

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