AB6IX – 'B:COMPLETE'
2. SHINING STARS
4. FRIEND ZONE
5. LIGHT ME UP
6. DANCE FOR TWO
AB6IX has just made their debut with the EP 'B:COMPLETE.' They're a quintet signed under Brand New Music, consisting of Lim Youngmin, Jeon Woong, Kim Donghyun, Park Woojin, and Lee Daehwi. These five boys unveil 7 brand new tracks on here, including the title track "BREATHE."
"ABSOLUTE" is the kind of track I'd love to hear on every album. They've got some techno elements, and generous amounts of rap, I really heart how this one is put together. It is an absolute jam. As a direct counterpoint to the first track, "SHINING STARS" is more of a soft pop tune. It has an acoustic guitar and piano driving the song. Not to mention very smooth emotional vocals. It's quite soothing overall, even with the rap parts. "BREATHE" is their title track, and has a lot in common with tropical house. Apparently, that's the style of music that defines third gen K-pop, so I've come to grips with it. I like this song, though. It's got enough hip-hop parts to keep my interest. "FRIEND ZONE" starts out kind of like "BREATHE," but it's a little louder and fiercer. There's also a definite playful mood to this. You can tell they had fun performing this. And it's a lot of fun to listen to.
The club-banger "LIGHT ME UP" is probably the most traditional tune on the EP so far. That doesn't make it bad, just familiar. I like the time changes in this, and it's definitely catchy. If this doesn't make you want to dance, then I can't help you. "DANCE FOR TWO" starts out very ballad-like, but it's more of a power ballad, straddling the line between actual ballad and soft pop. With acoustic guitar and piano, the boys' smooth voices just put the icing on the cake here. I like it, though, it's a nice comedown from "LIGHT ME UP." And on "HOLLYWOOD" we see a return to the club-banger. In some ways, it reminds me of "ABSOLUTE," probably because of how loud and in-your-face these two tracks are. And also like that first track, it is a definite bop.
These guys have an energy that I particularly like. There's a distinct hip-hop-centric sense you get listening to these songs, particularly with the title track and the starting and ending tracks are hip-hop inside and out. And why not? Brand New Music is known for its stable of rappers, and luminaries such as Phantom, San E, and Swings have recorded with them in the past. I think the label managed to give this release an extra helping of awesomesauce.
After the obligatory doe-eyed looks from the boys, that's when the MV starts in earnest.
I have to hand it to them -- they try hard. But ultimately, it re-uses every single trope I've seen from other boy groups and then tries to add a couple more. Maybe if I hadn't seen so many other videos, I might be kinder here, but the simple fact is that I've seen this already. I've seen this in the hundreds of other videos where they do the exact same thing. And I kind of wish I hadn't.
You have the boys leaning on each other rocking back and forth in a room while lights shine down. Walking alone down an alley choked with smog. Sitting alone in an apartment near neon signs. You have dark basements, a generic location in the city (surrounded by buildings), forests, and chairs stacked willy-nilly. It's like they had a list of the most common tropes and then checked them off one by one.
And the sad thing is that I like the song. Hell, I like the band (or at least, what I've heard so far). But this MV was unintentionally hilarious. I like to laugh as much as the next guy, but this was pretty unfortunate. What I'm hoping what they go for next time is more fun, like "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" (San E, Swings, Verbal Jint). That was awesome. This? Not so much.
MV SCORE: 6.3
ALBUM SCORE: 8.6