Rocket Punch’s Chiquita may not have enjoyed the staying power I’d hoped, but its super-powered synth remains an early-2022 highlight. It’s a sound I’d like to see the group pursue further, and new Japanese single Fiore moves them in a similar direction. It’s not as overtly-80’s in execution, but the song is at its best when embracing its overblown electronic elements.
Opening with a flurry of synth, Fiore wastes no time unveiling its bright energy. The verses are largely forgettable, but driven by a punchy instrumental that elevates the generic melody. Thankfully, the chorus offers a much more robust hook, matching the intensity of the synth as the refrain soars. It’s repetitive, but not in a cloying way. Had the entire song harnessed a similar focus, we could be talking about a big standout in Rocket Punch’s burgeoning discography.
While I think Fiore is success, the connective tissue between its choruses is too slapdash to stick. Verse two is a mess, skirting here and there without much purpose. It upends the momentum and goodwill the chorus had built. A climactic dance breakdown enlists some cool synth textures, only to collapse into an aimless bridge that sacrifices the production’s retro aesthetic in favor of trendier percussion. Like so many recent K-pop (or in this case, J-pop) tracks, Fiore is a few small tweaks away from greatness. On the plus side, this is the best Rocket Punch have sounded on a single. Their vocal blend is very satisfying and they bring an understated power to the performance.
Oh Jpop, you naughty naughty genre, I hear what you did here. It sounds like they recorded it an a normal-ish tempo, then the engineers clicked the 1.1x button to crank it up a notch. Because Jpop is always 5 or 10bpm faster than one would expect. There are some parts especially in the rappish part of the verses verses with all the skittering trap going on in the instrumental that where it sounds like the song is skipping beats. Packet loss or something. If you go into youtube under the settings – playback speed – custom, and reduce 0.9x speed, it sounds normal again.
As far as the rest of song, sounds like a solid pop song to me. Not too adventurous, but a solid ground hit double.
LikeLiked by 1 person
i still think chiquita is one of the best songs of the year, but i’ll probably knock it down a 0.25
as for the song, its pretty good. rating seems fitting
LikeLiked by 1 person
Well I think I prefer this to Chiquita! A great surprise.
it’s like a summer version of chiquita, i like it! it seems like rocket punch are finally leaning into a certain sound
I largely agree. Except, I don’t like how understated the performance is. Granted they usually sound strained when they attempt to belt (ring ring) so maybe it’s for the best.
This is what Flip That wants to be
Without those aimless splashes, the song would have continued to build that emotion that it causes from the beginning and this would have been an iconic song. I also agree about the bridge, it seemed to kill that moment, I didn’t like that part at all but as a whole it was a good song.