A.C.E Returns with a Daring and Impactful Concept
After nearly a full year since a comeback, fans of A.C.E can breathe a sigh of relief now that the group is back on the scene with new mini-album, Under Cover. The album features four new tracks, including title “Under Cover,” a brash and fierce track with a concept to match.
The Title: “Under Cover”
A.C.E has come back with a concept they haven’t fully explored, until now. The melody features an intense electric guitar mixed with a fresh hip-hop beat, creating a unique and infectious rhythm. Perhaps I’m biased towards tracks that feature heavy metal melodies, but there’s nothing about “Under Cover” that I can complain about. The rap and vocal verses are perfectly placed, with the flow incredibly cohesive. This is an incredibly strong return musically for the group that is different enough that it may actually get them some of the spotlight they deserve.
The group really pushed the boundaries with their visual elements and concept, highlighted by Byeongkwan’s crop top outfit and pigtails. The dark musical undertones are matched by darker and bolder outfits, complete with all black, leather, and chains. The solo member shots contrast with the dark melody, showing well-lit scenes with bright reds, greens, and yellows. The visual concept goes back to their roots in “Cactus.” In addition, the choreography shots are extremely powerful and fierce; the type of choreography that only A.C.E could master. The concept and choreography really tie the entire comeback together.
The album kicks off with the equally as intense “Do It Like Me,” a modern hip-hop-influenced track that starts the album off on a highly energetic note. It also utilizes minor chords quite often, which make the track stand out. The transition into “Under Cover” is well done, considering the drastic differences in sound between the two tracks. These first two tracks already prove A.C.E’s musical versatility, with songs that sound very different from what they have released previously.
“Mr. Bass” once again shifts the musical tone, this time introducing a lighter EDM melody. The switch doesn’t go quite as smoothly as it did for the first two tracks, with an abrupt ending to “Under Cover” transitioning straight into a synth melody that feels different right off the bat. Still, “Mr. Bass” has its own groovy charm. The album then concludes with “If You Heard,” yet another musical shift on the album. “If You Heard” is much brighter, with a soft acoustic beat and classic pop themes throughout. After such a strong start to the album, it’s a little bit of a letdown to end on this note, but it’s not the worst conclusion to an album.
Under Cover will be the album for you if you enjoy your groups showing a lot of musical prowess by playing around with genres rather than creating a cohesive sound. We see four different sides to A.C.E in this album, which isn’t something that every group can successfully pull off. The boys have continued to show their strong performance skills on top of vocals and rap, and this comeback may be the one to finally get them recognition.