Review

Song Review: GFriend – Fever

Over the past few years, GFriend have started to branch out when it comes to their sound. Gone are the days of Iggy/Youngbae-produced title tracks, replaced with a rotating list of composers intent on pulling new elements into the core GFriend style. This mix-and-match strategy has largely been successful, though it threatens to steer the girls toward more generic territory. They risk sounding like everyone else, and new single Fever (열대야) skirts dangerously close to that line.

I did not need tropical pop from GFriend. In fact, I don’t need tropical pop from anyone anymore (unless it’s really, really good). As Fever kicked off, its brisk tempo gave me hope. I’ve been itching for another Navillera-style GFriend track for years, and the instant build here seems to echo that energy. Unfortunately, this brief segment is immediately followed by an overly familiar tropical drop. It’s not a bad example of the genre, but its sound-alike nature is definitely disappointing.

The rest of Fever follows an oddly fluid structure, circling back to the same refrain without ever building to much of a peak. This causes the song to feel overlong and a little unsatisfying. The groove is nice, and definitely suited to a stereotypical summer, but Fever lacks the punch of GFriend’s best title tracks, despite being composed by one half of the Iggy/Youngbae dream team. There are moments when the song wants to take off (especially the breathless, synth-dripped pre-chorus), but like so many tracks of this style, Fever constantly has to work its way back to its non-starter hook/drop combo. This approach still seems to click with the Korean public, but it‘s long since worn out its welcome with me.

 Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

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12 thoughts on “Song Review: GFriend – Fever

  1. Eh, at least it’s a solid drop. I don’t think I’ve really been hooked on a GFriend song since Time for the Moon Night, and even that was mostly the chorus. This will still probably end up on one of my playlists or another, even if it’ll mostly serve as background music.

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  2. Fever is not their best but I rather enjoy it. At least it preserves the characteristic Gfriend sound.

    I guess the members are at that stage of their career where they want to try more mature concepts, although I fear it will come to the cost of losing their signature style, given that this comeback’s choreograph seemed more hip-hop oriented than their previous ones. It’s a move that I don’t completely agree with, for it distances them from what made the group unique; their sharp and ballet-inspired choreos, and their melodic songs.

    What did you think of the album? I thought it was very strong, diving deeper into that “summer” vibe with the type of style I prefer in Gfriend’s songs. Out of all the b-sides, Mr. Blue and Smile stood the most out to me. The former, in my opinion, could’ve been a better title track than Fever.

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    • I second this about the album, it has some great tracks. Smile is also produced by the same guys who did TFTMN and Sunrise, so I have to wonder if they planned on making that the title track at some point.

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  3. To be honest I was expecting worse. When I heard the drop in the teaser I was already disappointed but the song surprised me in a good way. I was ready to hate it, I’m already tired of this summer trend but there are few surprises in the composition. The mix, though, that’s another thing, not my favorite one from Gfriend. I’ll give it an 8.

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  4. Pingback: GFRIEND (여자친구) – Fever (열대야): MV Review – TweetNewscaster

  5. Song: all right; sync: all right; hip hop moves: sure, they can pull it off; vacant staring into the camera during the video: I guess the director made them do it;
    just… kpop, please stop trying for dancehall or latino vibes at summer time. They’re good dancers but the posture looks all wrong for some of the moves. :’D

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  6. Pingback: Top Three K-Pop Songs of July 2019 | The Bias List // K-Pop Reviews & Discussion

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