Sweetune addicts, we have something to look forward to! In about two weeks time, new boy group Target will be debuting with a mini album produced entirely by the legendary team. And if the undiluted, this-is-what-makes-Sweetune-great pop assault of Tempest is only a b-side, I’m hoping the actual title track will be amazing. But prior to their Korean activities, the group released another Sweetune-produced single in Japan — showing off a light, catchy charm.
Hot Feeling (熱い思い) is not a particularly stunning or notable effort from the producers, but it carries enough of their upbeat, retro sound to lay the groundwork for more exciting things to come. Opening with a highly synthesized beat, the song immediately launches into its bright chorus. The belt-it-out hook has a youthful appeal, even if the “oh my little girl” refrain seems a bit out of place at first. Though the genre is completely different, for some reason it gives me a classic Motown vibe in its melody. There’s an incessant sunniness to the arrangement that may feel overly sugary to some, but it gives the track a stronger injection of individual personality than Sweetune is known for.
Speaking of personality, Hot Feeling succeeds partly on the exuberance of Target’s rappers. It’s refreshing to hear hip-hop that doesn’t feel doom-and-gloom or overly angsty. There’s a playfulness to the rap verses here, made even more so by the guys’ relatively high tones. And of course, Sweetune wraps the performances in layers of addictive electronics, giving the instrumental the bouncy sheen we’ve come to expect from their productions.