JYP Entertainment has had a blockbuster year, but its founder hasn’t released new music in quite a while. In fact, the last time he dropped a music video was all the way back in the spring of 2016. New single Fever finds him back to his old ways: uncomfortably lustful in the video and undeniably funky in the song. Whether this appeals to you or not will rest entirely on your opinion of his discography as a whole.
Fever features rapper Superbee and vocalist Bibi, though it doesn’t need either of them. Their verses feel grafted onto the track in an unnatural way, bringing fresh blood for younger listeners (who probably won’t be streaming this anyway). Fever is at its best when it recalls Park Jinyoung’s most enduring hit, 1998’s Honey. Perched over a swing beat, the instrumental bounds with splashes of brass and finger-snapping rhythm. It’s a classic JYP production, and feels refreshingly timeless. I love the hearty backing vocals during the hook, even if the melody itself is pretty one-note.
Elsewhere, Jinyoung employs his trademark talk-singing. It’s not quite rap, but his delivery has the appeal of a dancer-turned-singer, tracing the beat with effortless panache. With that said, Fever is kind of a one trick pony. It’s an enjoyable burst of energy, but once its groove has faded, the song doesn’t really hang around in memory. More than anything, it’s a pastiche of past Park Jinyoung glories, and I certainly don’t begrudge him for going down this route. With all his successes, he’s more than earned a victory lap or two.
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