[Review] Stand By You – A.C.E

Ahead of the official release of a digital single tomorrow, A.C.E has unveiled the music video for their new release, Stand By You. We last saw the group thought their Savage promotions back in November of last year. Since then, we haven’t heard much from the group. While that is the case for the last few months, it seems like we will be seeing A.C.E more in the foreseeable future. The music video for this release ends with the title card ‘A.C.E: the beginning’, along with the member’s nametags on a window sill. What does this all mean? I guess we will know in due time. In the meanwhile, here is my review for Stand By You.

Stand By You is unlike the songs that I know A.C.E for. For those who are unfamiliar with A.C.E, they are commonly associated with powerful EDM dance tracks. I am not familiar what their side tracks are like, unfortunately, so maybe something a long the lines of Stand By You has popped up before. But for me personally, Stand By You is very different. It is a soft rock ballad that brings out the vocals of all the members. There isn’t much to the song in terms of complexity, which the group is widely known for through their title tracks. The instrumental feels like your typical soft rock track. It isn’t bad in any way. It is rather light and quite calming. It just doesn’t have a unique factor to it, if you were to compare it other soft rock ballads. But this allows their vocals to be in the forefront of the song and the song does an amazing job of showcasing the member’s vocals. The harmonies that come about in the song and the lightness of the song feels very youthful and innocent, which comes into play when I will discuss their music video in a bit. Overall, I quite liked the track. Everything comes together well, giving the song a refreshing tone. Other than the vocals and the instrumental, I don’t think there is enough to make this song memorable. As just a digital single, it could get lost in the mix of various comebacks we expect in the coming weeks. But there is enough for me to enjoy with an occasion listen or if it popped up on my playlist.

The music video is definitely the beginning (or sequel) to something a lot darker. It opens up with Jun narrating over a scene where he is kneeling in the rain, in front of a girl. He says ‘The world rejected me, so I tried to burn it down. But then I no longer had a world. When I opened my eyes, inside the prison that is my heart, I discovered a cactus reflected in a small mirror‘, whilst crying and shivering in the cold. The scene is quite dark, contrasting with the many light scenes that follow. The video then flips to the same girl in a classroom. Interestingly, she is alone and goes to the one table in the classroom. She fumbles around and opens a diary, where a photo flies out. She leans down to pick it up and we then see Jun looking up back at her (and the other members in the classroom). The photo is of all of them wearing coloured skirts and a feathered headband. They plan an outing and we get some sort of indication of the members having a crush on the girl. We don’t know for sure yet, but there seems to be some awkwardness while they plan the outing. The members turn up to school one day with a gold cart and with their female friend, they embark on their trip. The golf cart breaks down and they all set up camp under the stars. It is there they dress up in coloured skirts and a feathered headband. Not sure what this means, but it seems like this all occurred before (based on the photo). The next day, they all turn up onto the beach. While their friend takes in the sights, the members hang back. For a moment there, the members look at her fondly, as if they are all watching over her. She realizes something, turns back and the members are no longer there. She then grabs something from her pocket and becomes emotional about it. This music video definitely brings forward a lot of questions and definitely leaves me intrigued for what is to come.

Song – 8/10
Music Video – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.4/10

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