ATEEZ have been very intentional when it comes to their album series. Treasure had a beginning, middle and end, and Fever has followed the same approach. Kicking off in mid-2020, this project has sprawled across seventeen months. Now, we’ve reached its “epilogue” – an odds-and-ends release that wraps up the era. We heard pre-release title track Turbulence last week, and now we have an updated version of the group’s Kingdom track The Real.
I shared my thoughts about this song back in a Kingdom recap, and nothing has changed since then. This new version extends the original with more traditional instrumentation and adds a cool music video. But, there’s not much that can be done about that central drop. You’re either going to love it or hate it or simply find it monotonous. My opinion falls closer to the latter. The drop isn’t needlessly obnoxious, but it’s not all that catchy either. This new Heung Version beefs up the production here and there. I would have rather heard a complete reinvention.
ATEEZ’s music often thrives on its anthemic pre-choruses. True to form, The Real’s strongest asset is the melody that pops up during this segment. There’s some nice turns that build energy without succumbing to formless shouting. The Real could have done with another climactic shot of this melody, bringing the track to a rousing finale. Instead, we rely on more instrumental bombast. It’s fun, but pales in comparison to the group’s best work. Sadly, I could say the same about most of their Fever material. I hope their next musical era is as daring and fresh as Treasure felt.