With over 2,900 songs on my iPhone’s “K-Pop Singles” playlist, I thought it would be fun to add a bit of unpredictability to my song review posts. So as a result, we have the “Random Shuffle Review” feature.
The rules are simple. I fire up my playlist, press “shuffle,” and whatever song plays first gets the full Bias List treatment!
Year Released: 2012
Despite disbanding in 2018, Fiestar have been in the news recently thanks to former member Cheska live-streaming a Q&A in which she talked about the darker side of the K-pop industry. With this in mind, the fact that Vista was the first to come up on my K-pop shuffle almost feels like fate. If you don’t count their 2012 duet with IU, this was Fiestar’s big debut single. It’s also their highest-selling song, with a colorful video that features JYJ’s Junsu in a guest-starring role.
Like many groups of their stature, Fiestar never really settled on an easily identifiable concept. Vista‘s big, brassy pop is miles away from the more seductive sound they’d settle on during their later years. This track is more in the vein of early Secret or up-tempo Ailee, flourishing on big vocals and bombastic production. Its introduction is a stunner, as the girls vamp in a salvo of harmony-rich ad-libs that feel ripped straight from a movie music. The rest of the song can’t quite match up, but Vista retains that “let’s put on a show!” energy across the rest of its running time.
Much of this is thanks to the ebullient production, which favors brass and a live band feel over the processed dance beats more commonly associated with idol music. Amidst all this drama, there’s plenty of room for the girls to show off, from bursts of harmony to a breathless rap verse during the song’s bridge. And though Vista’s melody isn’t quite as strong as the best Fiestar songs, it’s utterly invigorating to hear the group attack the track without the kind of chant-fueled aegyo that affects so many girl group songs today.
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