It’s been fun watching Exile Tribe’s various groups find their niche. The artist collective is really diversifying its roster, tailoring different sounds to different strengths. Unsurprisingly, I’ve been enamored by Fantastics’ recent embrace of retro synth pop. They’ve been on an incredible roll of late, from High Fever to Play Back to Stop For Nothing. The funky new single Drive Me Crazy continues this momentum, bringing us closer to the release of their second full album.
Drive Me Crazy is a burst of upbeat energy — the kind Fantastics do so well. After an atmospheric opener, the song’s rhythm guitar attacks full force. Hazy synths join the fray, accentuating a bounding dance beat that keeps momentum high. The melody takes advantage of this arrangement, opting for a groovy structure emphasizing quick blasts of hooky refrains and a nimble performance. The song could benefit from a stronger melodic anchor, but I can’t argue with its overall effect. The chorus does a nice job balancing its percussive nature with several shots of layered vocals.
More importantly, Drive Me Crazy is a playground of instrumental goodies. From sweeping strings to filtered guitar to flourishes of exuberant electronics, the track overdelivers in sheer density. And just when you think you’ve heard all its tricks, Crazy transforms into an ultra-funky throwdown of breakbeats and brass for its compelling finale. I wish the track took more time to luxuriate in this switch-up, but the whole thing is too brisk and breathless for that. To reference another Fantastics single, it truly “stops for nothing.”
Thank u for mentioning Fantastic’s new song, I love the chorus and the funk atmosphere. They deserve more recognition because so far all of their songs are great and the choreographies are on another level.
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This is so late but knowing you mentioning EXILE TRIBE in the past, I knew I had to come on here.
So my good friends and I do this activity where we rank each other’s songs we selected ourselves. One of them has been really into J-pop lately, so naturally I’ve been exposed a bit more to her current music taste: J-pop.
And I can say with confidence why said friend who has been into J-pop enjoys it!
It’s kind of funny ’cause we both have really different tastes when it comes to K-pop (especially in the newer songs) haha.
Not that I ever doubted about J-pop of course! I grew up listening to anime openings and endings (which is primarily rock and funk) when anime was my previous fixation, but now I really understand why you like it so much Nick.
Anyways, ‘Drive Me Crazy’ is so fun! Can’t believe I’m missing so much from the J-pop world… I do hope more readers of your site also come around to the world of J-pop through your reviews, Nick! 😀