Making their comeback on Monday was FANATICS. The group started out as a trio, FANATICS-FLAVOR, back in 2018 with the single Milkshake. The subunit was reformed with new members and the FLAVOR part was dropped from their name. The full group, FANATICS, was expanded to be 6 members in 2019 through the release of Sunday. The group then expanded to a 8-member lineup this year through V.A.V.I Girl (this review) and currently the group’s lineup is Sika, Doi, Chaelin (hiatus), Chiayi, Yoonhye (hiatus), Doah, Rayeon and Via. This is the group’s second official comeback, which features on their second mini-album which is titled (appropriately) as Plus Two.
Right off the bat, I want to say that I don’t mind V.A.V.I Girl as a song. There are a number of elements in the song that I quite enjoy and there are a number of elements that I am not digging. As always, let’s start off with the negative aspects that is dragging the song down. I personally don’t like how they pushed the cutesy style vocals onto this group. I understand that was the more fitting sound given the song’s energetic and lively nature. But I felt it was still quite unnecessary push that ended with the song developing a really typical profile. I think they could have adopted a mature vocal style (allowing for the use of their raspy and husky vocals that I can hear) and this song still would have had the same impact. The instrumental was also quite loud, so they had to push their voices extra hard to be heard over it. This was also an unnecessary step that the producers could have prevented. I usually don’t mind the dubstep breakdown that cuts through songs, but this was pretty ill-fitting. They had to a take what felt like an extra long pause to return the song its original instrumental, a sign of something that just doesn’t go with the majority. But as I said, it isn’t all bad. I thought the instrumental (aside from that dubstep breakdown) was awesome. There was an explosive and punchy nature to the retro instrumental, which was quite addictive. This also made the song very colorful and fun. Adding to the addictiveness of the song was the hook. I thought the ‘V.A.V.I Girl‘ was actually quite smart as it pronounced similarly to Barbie Girl. The main reason why they did this was to avoid being banned from promoting it (as songs with actual brand names have been banned from music shows in the past), as that won’t help to get their name out there.
If you had been reading this blog for a while now, you might have noticed that I prefer videos with a story line or some sort of . It doesn’t have to be a spectacular movie blockbuster style. It just has been something that they can weave into the video so it doesn’t become a typical closeup and choreography style music video, which I find boring. This music video had it, but it was missing a key detail. The members are dolls that have become alive and they go into a toy shop after realizing that the product they used to be part of were not doing well in sales. It seems like they go in play around with some of the toys and go looking for themselves to put in the middle display. We just don’t get to see the part where they find their product, which I think was the whole point of the video. I don’t think they grabbed the ones from the front as they have ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ stickers on the front that you can’t remove without leaving some of the sticker behind. In regards to the rest of the video, it was very colourful and had a fun vibe, matching the tone of the song.
The choreography was good. It didn’t look that impressive at first. But after multiple replays of the choreography on stage, I thought that circle formation they move in for the second half of the chorus was very cool. The music video showed a few black flips (don’t know if they are the actual name of that move) at the end of the video. It was probably for the best given their outfits, but I would have liked to see that on stage as it would added a little wow factor in my opinion.
Song – 6.5/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 7/10
Overall Rating – 6.5/10