Exploring the Wonderland with A.C.E

Exploring the Wonderland with A.C.E

With summer just around the corner, A.C.E has returned as a temporary four-member group with their first repackage album A.C.E Adventures in Wonderland.

“Take Me Higher”

A noticeable genre switch in A.C.E’s history, the track “Take Me Higher” took its place as a nice summer track. The upbeat melody leading on the subtle yet pleasing harmony of acoustics was indeed an agreeable combination; the lyrics revolving around the heart-fluttering emotions of youth including WOW’s participation in rap-making brought the title song to have a more special meaning to fans.

A.C.E reaffirmed their iconic personas and styles in the music video. The fashion really popped, instantly catching my attention; from tie-dye shirts to vividly-colored matching outfits, and finally crop tops, all I could say is that JUN, WOW, JASON, and DONGHUN topped their outfits flawlessly (and I’m serious about this).

Aside from this, the setting in the video was literally filled with the rainbow itself (red, orange, yellow—you name it all!). The colorful props and background evoked a playful vibe. The adorable texts (especially the part “A.C.E X Choice”—literally shouting out goals!) and emojis further put the soft and lively concept into action.

The group regenerated their image into a more cheery and chirpy one through this comeback. Managing to show off their irresistible charms, the boys more or less attracted a whole new  wave of fans.

A.C.E Adventures in Wonderland

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A.C.E brought along two new tracks aside from the title in their newly released repackage album. Full of diverse songs with prominent characteristics, it’ll be pretty difficult to choose a favorite!

“Cactus (선인장),” the group’s debut single, is an EDM genre track that creatively brings about an uplifted atmosphere with a series attention-catching sound effects. Once heard, the striking melody won’t be easily erased from your head.

“Callin’” gives off a more powerful and darker feeling than “Cactus.” Tagging along to the previous EDM-based single, “Callin” sends out the message that A.C.E is ready for anything that is to come.

The duet, JUN and WOW, presented “Black and Blue.” The trendy electronic hip-hop basis with hints of a R&B vocal and rap flow topped off in my personal chart of A.C.E’s b-sides. The strong beat clearly expresses one's determined mind to capture a lover’s heart.

To contrast, “DESSERT” is a sweet confession song sung by DONGHUN and JASON. As much as this song held the title of A.C.E’s first unit track along with “Black and Blue,” the result was extraordinary. The tropical house genre brings the lovely atmosphere alive as the soft, steady sound effects layer onto the track to create a satisfying melody.

“5TAR (Incompletion)” is indeed a sentimental healing song. Directed to fans, the four boys sing their love and relay the message that they are here for them to depend on. Although the group is not currently “complete” without CHAN, we can sense that once the empty spot is filled, A.C.E will once again be able to show their full potential with all five members.

A.C.E Adventures in Wonderland ends with the instrumental versions of “Cactus (선인장),” “Callin’,” and “5TAR (Incompletion).” Following the sequence from most uplifting to most heartwarming, the instrumentals allow the listeners to recognize the importance of the each and every background instrument that work together to make up the tracks.

Hyping up the K-Pop community before the actual release with individual teasers, A.C.E successfully came back to lead us into a new world of music. Despite returning with a slight turn from prior concepts, the light, playful theme for “Take Me Higher”, yelling freedom, really set a cute and dorky impression of A.C.E. Venturing out to challenge the vast genres of music, the boy group really proved to go above and beyond no matter what they encounter as artists.

A.C.E Adventures in Wonderland Album Score: 8/10

“Take Me Higher” Title Score: 9/10

“Take Me Higher” Music Video Score: 9.5/10

Total Score: 8.83/10

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