Yes I know there are many K-pop songs I have overhanging, but there’s just no ignoring the recent influx of fantastic jpop singles. In my previous post, I mentioned how M!LK are quickly rising the ranks to becoming one of my favourite Japanese groups. Well, Da-iCE, along with AAA just happen to be my favourite J-pop groups working right now. And while it doesn’t seem as though AAA are going to be releasing new material anytime soon, Da-iCE returned earlier this year with the incredibly funky Pheonix.
While I loved last years Fake Fake Me Out, I didn’t really vibe with the followup Back To Back. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a cracker of a song, just one that didn’t think was as strong as the groups older material. Thankfully, Pheonix is a brilliant return to form, taking the smooth funk of Fake Fake Me Out, and taking it to more dynamic and propulsive levels. While I think the group will always be at their strongest when tackling more anthemic mid-tempo material (such as もう一度だけ and 恋ごころ), they have proven their prowess in this area with the brilliant Fakeshow and Watch Out. But while Pheonix doesn’t come close to reaching those heights, it’s still another strong single from the group.
In fact, the entirety of Pheonix plays out like a more propulsive version of their previous single, Damn it! This kind of dynamic funk fuelled pop is something that has kind of fallen out of fashion lately, but it’s something that I adore. And other than the momentum killing post chorus breakdown, Pheonix plays out exactly like most of the genres best moments. It’s a reliable jolt of energy when needed, and it’s dynamic chorus is one of the groups most propulsive moments. This also leads to an exhilarating build towards the climactic refrain, which sends this track off on a high. And while I expect that the groups latest album will have much more daring material, Pheonix acts as a great pre-release single to raise the hype.
Final Rating: 8.75 / 10