This year’s retro synth revival continues to spread around the globe, and that includes Japan. Exile Tribe has always had a retro flair, rooted most deeply in the early-90’s, so it’s no surprise that one or more of their groups would pick up this baton and run with it. However, Fantastics have never attempted a track like High Fever before. Its synth-fueled nature proves to be a great fit, though its straightforward structure may feel a little surprising to some.
You’d never hear a title track like this from a K-pop group. High Fever doesn’t offer the structural variety that idol acts require. There is no verse for the rapper, or breakdown for the dancers. As such, Fever might initially feel a little flat. But, its consistency is its strength. The song never twists in unneeded directions. It knows exactly what it wants to be, and fully commits to that sound.
In this case, High Fever pulls off its retro synth-pop sound quite well. It may be a song on cruise control, but right from the start its evocative synth textures cast a spell. Its slow-broiling instrumental clearly takes influence from The Weeknd’s mega-hit Blinding Lights (as so many recent songs have), but this synth-wave style remains highly effective when it comes to crafting mood and drive. Even so, High Fever’s trump card is its chorus, which will get stuck in your head from the very first listen. It’s a simple refrain, but its swirling melody perfectly matches the production.