22.05.18 / 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 sounds cliché from the get go, but it comes out ahead 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 right from the start the rhythm section is just so glaringly bad. The drums are lazily written and the general groove they’ve gone with is flat out boring.
The vocals are really well sung, which is something I’ve com to expect from the group. They’re also surprisingly emotive considering that one of the singers doesn’t seem to have any idea what he’s saying…more on that in the next section. The FX work is top notch, and it seems like they had fun crafting it. But the programming is very robotic and lacks any kind of dynamic nuance. The guitars here are just too simple to really comment on, not bad but nothing spectacular.
Ok, so the first verse is just unintelligible. And that’s 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, so it’s confusing why they would shake things up on a lead single.
I like the general message of the chorus, but the verses seem all over the place in terms of theme. (When I can understand what they’re saying, I mean.) They really could have used more polish here.
The recording and mixing process seem very rushed. I imagine they were working under pressure to get this single out before the album dropped, but even so I just wish they had spent a bit more time getting everything sounding good. 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 guess the cover is foggy? It’s definitely vague digital water brush layers over looks like a circle. No idea how this connects to the song. For that matter I don’t know why the song is called FOG at all. It also seems to have no connection to the album it’s leading, so just a very muddled message overall.
This is what happens when a group has no time to really work on their track. What could have been a nice driving pop song just comes up short. You end up with vocals that needed more practice time and a mix that’s been hastily finished. Definitely not what I usually expect from this band, and a huge disappointment as a lead single. I’m really hoping for a better track the next time they pop up on my list.
Fog is a disappointing track from what seems like a group with potential. I hope we get something better in the future to review.
Reviewed: 22.05.21 / Reviewer: EB