Maybe it’s just me, but the prevalence of electronic beats and the lack of explosiveness in recent songs, particularly amongst fourth-generation groups, are incredibly underwhelming. AB6IX‘s “Savior” is just that: underwhelming. Prior to “Savior”, AB6IX have had a tumultuous journey filled with comebacks showcasing a variety of genres and styles. The group has always performed with such finesse and coolness that even when their comebacks fall short, it remains memorable. Unfortunately, that that is not the case with “Savior”.
“Savior” is definitely on the darker end sonically, with its focus on electronic beats and edgier soundscapes to draw the listener in. The melodic pre-chorus is the highlight of the song, ramping up to what seems to be an explosive chorus, only to serve the listener with an underwhelming and unsatisfying listening experience. The chorus, which the song opens on, ends up sounding more like a verse than a chorus because of its emphasis on a sleek and cool sound. This ultimately leads to the unfavourable outcome where the song falls flat due to sudden drop in energy, and subsequently, a disappointing experience.
The verses and the pre-chorus do not necessarily match, and tonal and energy changes are prevalent throughout the song. Although this can be a little bit jarring upon the first listen, it does eventually grow on you the more you listen to it. However, the same cannot be said about the shift between the pre-chorus to the chorus; it just doesn’t work.
Towards the end of the song, we are met with a flashy finale, and the song’s energy spikes up once again. But this is short-lived, and the listener is left wanting more of those final moments. It is frustrating to see a group that had one of the best debuts fall flat on their face in trying to be something they are not. “Savior” has been likened to some of NCT‘s music, particularly with its bass-heavy and experimental elements. Although experimenting is always a good risk to take, simply because it allows the group to grow and expand in the type of music they produce, experiments should not come at the cost of sacrificing the strengths of the group.
AB6IX’s strengths lie in more dance-like and bombastic tracks. As seen in how memorable “Savior”‘s pre-chorus and finale are, they are good at it. It’s not to say that the verses and the chorus were not good – as individual elements, I particularly enjoyed them – but when placed beside such a strong pre-chorus and finale, the song feels unbalanced, and there isn’t anything to remember it by.
Visually, the MV is stunning. It features high-quality sets, a loose storyline to keep the viewers engaged, and most importantly, choreography. AB6IX’s performance is amazing as always: the members have their own charisma, uniqueness (and nerve and talent), and the ability to command a space to ensure that all eyes are on them at all times. They are a fun group to watch, oozing a charm and individuality that forms a highlight of their performance, even if the song itself is not the best.
Although some groups tend to keep the dancing to the members only, it is always entertaining and particularly enchanting when a group brings in backup dancers to fill the space even more. More bodies mean more shapes and formations can be created, and by having an ensemble move with the members’ actions, the viewers can feel the power that the group holds. By combining powerful dances with precise light cues and stunning sets, the viewer is met with a visually compelling performance which glues their eyes to the screen at all times.
In sum, what is there to say about AB6IX’s “Savior”? Musically, it is a disappointment. It is truly unfortunate that this comeback is not as strong as I had hoped it would be. “Savior” does contain strong individual elements, but the strengths that each element hold fade away when stitched together. However, all groups have their fair share of ups and downs, and it certainly would not be fair to write off AB6IX based off one comeback song, especially when its album has some really amazing B-sides.
The performance element was most definitely this comeback’s savior (see what I did there?), and AB6IX have always been good at delivering strong performances that leave an impression on the viewer. Although “Savior” may not be the best comeback the group has had so far, we hope that they will continue to grow and experiment further, and give us that bombastic comeback that we know they are capable of.
(YouTube; Images via Brand New Music.)