Prior to their full group debut today, Fanatics’ sub-unit Flavor delivered a quirky little synthpop song last November that hinted at interesting things to come. But as is the case so often with K-pop, the group has opted for a safer sound when it comes to their debut title track. Sunday is upbeat, bubblegum fare the likes of which we’ve heard countless times before.
This approach can work well if a song is driven by an addictive melody, but Sunday proves to be too repetitive to warrant repeat listens. Its chirpy, tropical-adjacent production will be instantly familiar, exciting in fits and starts but mostly generic to its core. I appreciate the surging energy of the pre-chorus, but any goodwill the song might be building is undone by a cloying instrumental drop that follows each chorus. “Kiss me like a Sunday” is an awkward English-language hook, but it’s better than the constant, mind-numbing repetition of “일요일” (Sunday) that follows. K-pop can often be inane in its own charming way. This, however, is just lazy songwriting.
On the plus side, Fanatics’ performance is refreshingly straightforward. Sunday eventually succumbs to K-pop’s ubiquitously over-caffeinated girl group chants during its bridge, but up until that point we get a sweet — not saccharine — delivery that compliments the song’s synth-fueled sound. I just wish the girls were given better material to work with. Sunday plays almost like a nursery rhyme, too reductive to compete with 2019’s more thrilling debuts.
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