When it comes to the EXILE group, I’ve recently realised that they are basically just a bigger, more dramatic version of Korea’s NCT. Both franchises have multiple sub-units each with their unique sound and musical approach but while NCT have kind of dropped the ball in recent years, EXILE have absolutely flourished. The most obvious being sub-unit Fantastics, who have absolutely flourished over the past year after fitting themselves nicely into the retro synth pop category. And with last years incredible High Fever, the boys proved that they could elevate this sound to near flawless levels. And though released back in April, Stop For Nothing continues that trend in style.
Opening with its most commanding and instantly gripping moment, Stop For Nothing introduces itself to the listener at full force with its massive, twisted synth loop. It’s one of the biggest and most affecting instrumental loops of the year though it would have worked fine as just the intro for the track, I adore that it’s used liberally throughout the track. The producers knew the strength of this instrumental and as such, make sure we are exposed to it as much as possible, creating both a sense of continuity and moments of additional adrenaline throughout the track. In fact, the first verse doesn’t even start until almost 30 seconds into the track, giving the listener adequate time to truly bathe in the glory of the instrumental. And though many would prefer to pull back during the first verse, Stop For Nothing pulses forward on a crunchy percussive, guitar laced instrumental that maintains the momentum and helps counter the more laid back melodic delivery.
It twists and turns in incredibly interesting ways, presenting Stop For Nothing with a kind of freewheeling energy that just explodes during the track standout two-part chorus. The first half consists of a gorgeous, honestly quite emotive melody delivered to perfection which leads expertly into that majestic breakdown that opened the track. And just when you think the track has slowed down for its bridge and that Stop For Nothing has run out of tricks, it bounces back and hits you with my absolute favourite kind of breakdown.
A god damn extended shredding guitar solo.
And just like that, I’m sent to pop nirvana. It’s a truly euphoric moment, perfectly leading the listener into the tracks climactic chorus which while pretty much the same as the other two, carries a newfound sense of drive, fully taking the momentum from the soaring bridge into a final, climactic moment. And just like how the song opens, Stop For Nothing concludes with its legendary synth breakdown. A stunning ending to one of the years most stunning tracks and one that acts as the perfect successor to the legendary High Fever.
Final Rating: 9.5/ 10