I’ve noticed an emerging girl group trend that perches aegyo vocal performances over retro-inspired instrumentals that are much more interesting than the song they support. Just last month, Cignature’s ASSA and GWSN’s Bazooka suffered more from their groups’ delivery than the underlying production. I don’t think this is the fault of the girls themselves, but of an industry that relies on gender roles far more stringently than its androgynous visuals might suggest.
Fanatics’ V.A.V.I Girl is a big improvement on last summer’s dull Sunday, and much of that has to do with the strength and verve of its instrumental. The production thrives on rhythm, offering an addictive playground of disco guitar, splashes of bright synth and an insistent kick. If it wasn’t for the second verse’s ill-advised journey into half-time, dubstep-influenced nonsense, V.A.V.I Girl feels as if it might have been ripped straight from 2011 or 2012.
The song’s melody is also satisfying, if a bit frantic in places. And in the grand scheme of things, I suppose the girls’ performance doesn’t quite rise to the level of “cheerleaders on crack” that often renders tracks of this nature completely infantile. Still, it’s a bit too chirpy and hyper for my taste. I keep imagining a group like Sistar taking the reigns of V.A.V.I Girl, imbuing the song with sass and spirit but adding a more refined touch that keeps it from sounding like the OST to a children’s program. Still, I’ll take this unadulterated blast of giddiness over some dour trap dirge any day.
Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!