Released: 22.05.18 / Label: NihyakuWIND
FOG is the lead single for ego apartment‘s newest self-titled album, and I’ve got to be honest here, this sounds super rushed. Coming from a group that has some great songs in their catalog, this one is just disappointing in so many ways.
The track’s opening is cliché, but it redeems itself with a great pop melody in the verse and bridge. I love the use of ambient noise and guitar fiddling to add texture and motion, but the rhythm section is glaringly bad. The drums are lazily written and the general groove they’ve gone with is flat out boring.
The vocals are well-sung and emotive, something I’ve come to expect from the group, despite one singer not having any idea what he’s saying… The first verse is just unintelligible, which is a shame because the second verse sounds great. I don’t know why they had the tenor sing in English here, he clearly needed more practice. He usually just sticks to the Japanese parts and sounds great doing it. It’s confusing why they would shake things up on a lead single. The FX work is top notch, and it seems like they had fun crafting it, but the programming is very robotic and lacks dynamic nuance.
The recording and mixing process seem rushed. It sounds like they were working under pressure to get this single out before the album dropped, but I wish they had spent a bit more time improving everything. The drums sound like they’re in a gigantic room while the guitar sounds muffled, at the same time the vocals need to be re-recorded and tweaked in post. Whoever mixed this really did an already shaky track a disservice, the balance is all over the place and nothing pops. I don’t know why the song is called FOG, but they’ve certainly achieved that sound.
This is what happens when a group has no time to polish a track. What could have been a powerful driving pop song comes up short.
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