Rocket Punch’s Chiquita may not have enjoyed the staying power I’d hoped, but its super-powered synth remains an early-2022 highlight. It’s a sound I’d like to see the group pursue further, and new Japanese single Fiore moves them in a similar direction. It’s not as overtly-80’s in execution, but the song is at its best when embracing its overblown electronic elements.

Opening with a flurry of synth, Fiore wastes no time unveiling its bright energy. The verses are largely forgettable, but driven by a punchy instrumental that elevates the generic melody. Thankfully, the chorus offers a much more robust hook, matching the intensity of the synth as the refrain soars. It’s repetitive, but not in a cloying way. Had the entire song harnessed a similar focus, we could be talking about a big standout in Rocket Punch’s burgeoning discography.

While I think Fiore is success, the connective tissue between its choruses is too slapdash to stick. Verse two is a mess, skirting here and there without much purpose. It upends the momentum and goodwill the chorus had built. A climactic dance breakdown enlists some cool synth textures, only to collapse into an aimless bridge that sacrifices the production’s retro aesthetic in favor of trendier percussion. Like so many recent K-pop (or in this case, J-pop) tracks, Fiore is a few small tweaks away from greatness. On the plus side, this is the best Rocket Punch have sounded on a single. Their vocal blend is very satisfying and they bring an understated power to the performance.

Hooks 9
Production 8
Longevity 9
Bias 8
RATING 8.5

Beatsway

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Publisher: Nick