The first group to be reviewed this week is AB6IX, who made their return with Stay Young today. This new song is the title track off their repackaged version of their third mini-album, Salute: A New Hope. Previously, the group made their epic comeback in October 2020 with SALUTE, via the mini-album of the same name. I have yet to publish my album review for SALUTE. Originally that was going to come out past new years. But as soon as I heard that the quartet was gearing up for a comeback with a repackaged version, I thought I hold it back to include the new side tracks. That should hopefully come out by the end of the month. In the meanwhile, here is my review for Stay Young.
First impressions of the song is that is very different to the grand and epic nature of SALUTE. If I were to compare the two song side by side, SALUTE would be ‘bold’, ‘powerful’ and ’empowering’, which I am sure are words that many listeners would use to describe that number regardless of whether they enjoyed the song or not. Stay Young would definitely be described as ‘toned-back’, ‘delicate’ and ‘warming’, which are without a doubt in a completely different league. The song itself is a dance track that employs a unique combination of textures, classical instrumentation and bouncy synths. It almost felt like a throwback to their title tracks during their debut year which featured a heavy presense of the house genre. Stay Young features a trendier and refreshing mix that makes the song sound more appealing than straightforward house. The textures and classical instrumentation also bring a differen dynamic to the song. I liked how the producers of the song go for a very nice change in textures towards the end of the song, by bring a touch of guitar, squeakier synths, and the re-employment of the textures that I already mentioned. It definitely makes the song more interesting and brings a fresh wave of energy to end the song in a satisfying manner. The bass in this song is also commendable. Woojin’s rapping was definitely quite strong and complimented the song’s bolstering buildup. Their vocal work was quite nice, but it felt best during the chorus. The vocals in the verses were forgettable. But overall, Stay Young is definitely a decent track overall that I am sure fans will enjoy. Props to their slightly different direction, yet still calling it back to their roots.
From what I got from the lyrics, the song is all about staying indivualistic by staying young. I just wished that message was slightly stronger in the music video. But from what I could understand, the theme park was closed, yet the members still managed to get into the theme park and have some fun. They reference that this could be seen as a rebellion, but they see this as being young. I had a slightly more confusing interpretation which invovled the letter flying backwards and the flower in Woong’s hand while they emerge from apocalyptic setting. But I don’t think it is as strong, felt muddled and might make it confusing, which is why I have left it out. I would like to know any theories/interpretation you might have that involve these scenes, as they do feel a bit random. Aside from the messaging, the video actually felt quite nice. The lighting really helped warm the video up. The setting brings about a nostalgic feeling, while their outfits add to the warmth of the video. Good choices, overall.
The choreography was quite good. I found it to be quite enjoyable to watch, especially when it came to the choruses. There was a vibrant blast of energy in the choreography that really help strengthen the song. I also liked how they played with the song’s slight textural change at the end, which made the performance more captivating and fun (depending on which way you look at it).
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 8.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.6/10