After two and a half years, Fantastics are finally (finally!) set to release their third album. Of course, there have been ample singles during that time, meaning we’ve already heard 95% of their upcoming Fantastic Rocket. Starboys is one of two new songs and introduces the album’s space exploration theme.
Though it doesn’t match their best material, Starboys is another ebullient blast of pop joy from the guys. I’d divide it into two parts — one that I love and one I wish had been modified. Starboys‘ chorus is its winning point, offering a simple (but addictive) melody over propulsive drum-and-bass influenced production. The call-and-response structure works very well and practically begs for audience participation.
I’m less enthused by the slower-paced verses. The opening works well as a set-up, but I’m disappointed how the second verse pulls back for a requisite trap-pop breakdown just when the song should be scaling new heights. Will this specific production trope ever fall out of fashion?? Apart from that, Starboys‘ overall structure is reminiscent of The Rampage’s No Gravity from earlier this year. That song went on to be one of my most-played 2023 singles, and despite my slight quibbles with Starboys‘ production I could see it having a similar trajectory. The music video is a ton of fun, too.