AB6IX Encourages You to "Breathe" in Debut
The long-awaited debut of AB6IX has finally arrived. Their new EP B:COMPLETE contains seven tracks, including their pre-debut release “Hollywood.” The members of AB6IX include former Wanna One members Woojin and Daewhi, MXM members Youngmin and Donghyun, and finally former YG Entertainment trainee Woong. As the first idol group coming out of hip-hop label Brand New Music, many were unsure of what to expect.
Fans of Produce 101 are sure to recognize this song. This was the song that four of the five members of AB6IX used to audition for the show. Remastered for five voices instead of four, it brought a lot of nostalgia towards the first male season of Produce 101. The song begins with the chorus which is entirely in English. The most prominent beat is drowned out at most parts of the song by the sound of the synthesizer, making it really difficult to hear how it mixes with the melody.
The Music Video
The music video really wasn’t anything K-Pop fans haven’t seen. The music video for “Hollywood” was released a month before the official debut. The five members are dressed head to toe in black. The music video set is stark white, creating a nice contrast between the members and the background. The lighting was also utilized to add red contrast throughout the video.
Title Track: “Breathe”
This song contrasts well against their first release as a group. “Breathe” is a song that truly brings the sound of summer. The EDM-focused track starts with a breath and soft vocals that are matched with the light beat and piano melody. However, soon after the rap comes in and snaps you from tranquility. The chorus feels like a breath with the sudden change from the high-toned beat and melody to a simple beat and melody being created by the vocals. The first lyrics of the chorus being “I want to breathe just set me free,” allows listeners a way to feel a little closer to the meaning without knowing all the words. This song was a great pick for the title track and sets a great precedent for what to expect from the rest of the tracks.
The Music Video
Unlike “Hollywood,” “Breathe” features a variety of settings adding to the refreshing sound. The music video starts out in a white room with blue lights throughout and the members dressed in shades of blue; however, the scene changes quickly to include places like an old room with covered furniture, abandoned storage centers, and rooftops. A cool thing to notice throughout the music video is the creative use of fog or cloudy shots, and when the lyrics say the word “breathe,” the shot is crystal clear. Another thing to take note of is that the chorus is always well lit and colorful, while the verses are muted and full of dark colors and shadows. The choreography isn’t shown as much as some might hope; however, the last group dance shot takes place outside in the rain where the members seem to be refreshing themselves. Finally, the last shot of the entire video is the members running down a long tunnel.
This song is so good it deserves its own heading. The song starts out with the sound of a rumbling 808 base that is followed by a biting rap. The verses are spliced between the aggressive raps and lofty vocals that lead into the drop at chorus. It is easy to identify the chorus in the track by the sound of a gun being cocked to fire. The song brings a punch that one should expect of a group coming out of a predominantly hip-hop focused company.
“Friend Zone” and “Light Me Up”
These two tracks are what one could consider classic debut tracks. Both songs have an upbeat catchy rhythm that makes the listener get up and dance. “Friend Zone” has a cute, bouncy melody of a slow, digital beat. The song’s pace stays relatively the same until the rap verses, where the pace increases just slightly. “Light Me Up,” on the other hand, has more percussion based beats unlike the former’s digitally created beats. At the beginning it's easy to hear the snaps and the piano. The overall sound is a little darker than “Friend Zone” with a heavier reliance on the beat. The rap verse in “Light Me Up” adds a bit of an electronic sound before transitioning back to the piano-focused melody.
“Shining Stars” and “Dance for Two”
Like any good debut album, these two songs showcase a different side of AB6IX. Both tracks are created with guitar and piano, the beat coming from a classic drum set leaning more into a ballad-style song. Musically, the songs are very similar. “Shining Stars” has a recurring sound of a clock ticking throughout the whole track. The chorus of “Shining Stars” is more pop than ballad, but makes the transition back to balladesque sound. “Shining Stars” is the type of song that would make the audience clap along the whole time while “Dance For Two” is more suited to the quiet sway of hands or lightsticks. “Dance For Two” is a song that would make a great outro of a modern romance K-Drama. Both songs allow the for the vocalists of the group to take center stage, while the rappers take more of a supporting role.
This is a solid debut; the EP gives the opportunity for all the members to shine with their individual strengths. As the first idol team out of Brand New Music, the team is setting the tone for other companies who do not traditionally create idol groups to branch out and take a chance; the trainees may surprise you.