[This review reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of allkpop.]
6. BEHIND YOU
AB6IX is back as their four-piece lineup of Woong, Donghyun, Woojin, and Daehwi with the group's third EP, SALUTE. I was intrigued by the contrast in their concept photos and wondered if their album would reflect that contrast. However, I find SALUTE to be more of a mixed bag of hits and misses than anything. The album begins with "MIRROR," an abrasive EDM and super trap heavy instrumental that feels a bit more like sensory overload than anything. The sound is a bit generic and doesn't leave a great impression.
"SALUTE" is the AB6IX's chosen title track and it offers a marching band introduction that feels a bit like something you'd hear from a drum line at a football game (in a good way). Suddenly, the song goes into a deep club beat that's brash and impulsive. The chorus was a little aggressive for my taste, but I do see the appeal in this particular song. It seems like my assumption about the contrast of this album was true because sugary track 3, "HEAVEN," follows "SALUTE" immediately. The song is soft and simple in delivery and production but has a fantastic chorus and progression.
"MAYBE" is delicate and melodic, with great vocal harmonies and performance. I'd say this and "HEAVEN" are the best songs of this release. Suddenly, the group returns to an alluring concept with "BLOOM" by switching into a more mysterious vibe. In the beginning, the song is sultry, falsely luring you in and then switching into an ultra bouncy house beat. The song toes the line between music festival house song and department store music but fairs more positive than negative. "BEHIND YOU" completes the album with a piano instrumental that is a bit jarring on this chaotic tracklist, but the song itself is pleasant and gentle. Soft and articulate, this dramatic track was a nice ending to their third album.
Right off the bat, the major difference between listening to AB6IX's "SALUTE" and watching the MV is the extended drumline in the beginning! This marching band intro is so iconic and a wonderful addition to the song visually and auditorily. Their outfits seemed so delicately made and I enjoyed the fact that their styling concept was somewhere in the grey area between prince and soldier.
"SALUTE" MV has a futuristic feel, but that doesn't necessarily make the video feel well-connected. Some scenes feel a bit disjointed, but others, like the fencing and robot arm, ended up being visually-stimulating and intriguing. The choreography is classic AB6IX and is impressive and powerful in execution.
MV Score: 7
Album Score: 6