How one feels about Fei’s solo debut, “Fantasy,” will largely depend on what one expects out of a Fei solo release. Over the course of her entertainment career, Fei has shown a well-roundedness that has served her well in miss A and various variety shows. A Fei solo could, theoretically, be any number of things and she would have probably knocked it out of the park. And if there’s one thing that’s surprising about “Fantasy,” it’s how single-minded it is in its approach. On the one hand, Fei’s “Fantasy” is the hottest thing since the very invention of heat. Its ruthless sledgehammer approach to ‘The Sensuality Of Wang Fei Fei’ is powerful, constant, and damn near overwhelming. On the other hand … “Fantasy” is nothing but a sledgehammer of sex appeal to which the addition of ‘music’ sounds incidental or begrudgingly mandatory depending on the scene.
My diary of running thoughts while watching “Fantasy” shows … a struggle.
Attempt 1: “Ok, so we have a VR lab thing. Alright, we’re in teaser territory. Ok, the beat is ———- Wait, it’s over?”
Attempt 2: “Ok, now to pay attention to the bea ———- WAIT, IT’S OVER?! AGAIN?!”
Attempt 3: “Alright, for real this time. I think the bass line is ———- FUCK!”
And so on and so forth.
*A Sexy GIF Would Usually Be Here But The Whole Thing Is Basically One Long Sexy GIF*
I’m not going to lie. The whole ‘reviewing the music’ part of this post took a lot longer to write than it should have. Part of that is obviously due to the video, but part of the difficulty of reviewing “Fantasy” from an aural perspective is that it’s simply … there. The beat is the sort of slow low-key sexy dance track that SISTAR could probably make into a #1 hit five times over, but the difference between SISTAR and Fei is that Fei isn’t Hyorin. So, while Fei is able to convey a sexiness in “Fantasy” through her airy and soft delivery, she isn’t given an opportunity to overtake and dominate “Fantasy” in the way that a more forceful singer would have surely taken the opportunity to do. This is most problematic at the climax (stop it) of the song, as the careful build up that Fei does a great job of constructing only pays off with a long held note that barely registers above the standard chorus volume. “Fantasy” is a slow burn that never becomes a blaze of passion. Instead, it’s a pile of embers.
Now, the video. THE VIDEO. It’s not a fire. It’s not a blaze. It’s not all the fire in the pits of hell. It’s every single heat source in the universe.
Is it (Baby’s First Green Screen Set Piece) a bit monotonous? Yeah, and if it wasn’t for Fei, then the flat direction, lame effects, and lack of complicated choreography would be a deal breaker. Fortunately, Fei was included in this. “Fantasy” goes all-in on Fei being a compelling screen presence, and that ends up being a hugely successful bet that also happens to be a wager so safe that no sane casino would ever accept it.
To put it simply, Fei’s “Fantasy” is a singular fantasy of a very, very focused mind. It hits every sexual-filled note that it aims for with a ruthlessness that is stupidly lethal (I may be writing this from my own heart attack induced grave), but that focus also gives the video Fei-sized tunnel vision that leaves little room for surprise or appreciation of any non-Fei elements. “Fantasy” may not showcase all of Fei’s talents, but what it does choose to do, it does very, very well.