GFRIEND had a stellar 2018 by my estimation (and they almost had my best song of the year) and they built on that to begin 2019 with the outstanding “Sunrise”. With “Fever” it seemed like they were attempting to target a different vibe for the summer release, and they definitely did that, though whether it worked is another matter altogether.
As a big fan of GFRIEND’s music, “Fever” was rather shocking. If the title of the music video didn’t tell me so, I would’ve had a hard time telling you it was a GFRIEND and not just one of the other rather generic EDM girl groups tracks. While there have been rare occasions where I haven’t liked a GFRIEND release, they usually at least leave their mark on the comeback one way or another, and it just didn’t happen here.
“Fever” feels behind on the trends by two or three years and is a rather forgettable effort at it to boot. It’s not usually a great sign that the first 10-15 seconds of the song is its most interesting section, but the promise of the start never gives way to much payoff, especially since their usual standout chorus is almost nonexistent. The energy level is kept at a casual level and the whole of “Fever” seems to lack GFRIEND’s signature punch, either through a quirky burst through the instrumental or through a exquisite vocal harmony or something. Nothing this time.
Admittedly my expectations for GFRIEND are higher than for most, so perhaps that plays into my perception of “Fever” on some level. Regardless, while it is a pleasant, summery track that exudes the desired vibe, if this song was released by some nugu group, I wouldn’t bother covering it because it’s also cliche’d and ultimately pedestrian. Not adjectives I’d normally ever associate with GFRIEND.