Ever since their debut with the explosive Treasure and experimental Pirate King, ATEEZ have had an incredible, no filler all killer singles run. The triple punch of Wave, Wonderland and Answer remains one of K-pop’s all time best and the groups adherance to a bombastic yet heavily melodic sound was one that clicked with me almost instantly. So it honestly comes as a surprise that their newest album series, ‘Fever’ just doesn’t hit the same. And while their sound reamins as potent as ever, it’s honestly starting to get a little stale. And that is especially evident with their latest and most underwhelming single, Fireworks (I’m The One).
When I think of an ATEEZ song, my mind immediatly goes to soaring melodies, adventerous arrangements and the art of the performance. And maybe that’s why I just can’t seem to wrap my head around why they chose to promote a song as fractured and ugly as this. Sure it heavily favours the performance but it carries some of my least favourite aspects of the groups discography and amplifies them to levels that just instantly grate. The vocal processing especially is somthing that just prevents any sense of immersion and enjoyment that could have come from this track and it’s especially potent during I’m The One’s almost non-existent verses. The tempo here just screeches to halt, favouring a minimalistic delivery and proudction that forgoes any real sense of melody or momentum. Somthing that could have been a bonus for many but one that I absolutely hate.
And so when the tempo truley picks up for the ascending pre-chorus and rambunctious chorus, it just doesn’t have the same impact as their other work. Sure it’s a pretty strong chorus and I really enjoy the more festive sounding second half but when taken as a whole, It honestly comes across as incredibly underwhelming. When you have verses that downbeat, the pay off really needs to be worth it and unfortunatly, I”m The One’s chorus just falls short. This all culminates in a track would be considered “basic boy group K-pop” under most metrics but ends up feeling like a complete dissapointment when considering who released it. Especially when they had the stunning Take Me Home waiting right there, perfect for promotion.
Final Rating: 6.75 / 10