[Album Review] SALUTE / SALUTE: A New Hope (3rd Mini Album / 3rd Mini Album Repackaged) – AB6IX

This is one big album review post. AB6IX made their comeback way back in October 2020 with SALUTE, the title of both their 3rd mini album and title track. Originally, SALUTE‘s album review was going to be published at the end of December/early January, as did most of the reviews for the albums released in October and November 2020. But when I caught the news of an impending comeback with a repackaged version in January, I ultimately decided to hold off the album review. Today, I will be fast-tracking the album review and posting my thoughts of both the SALUTE mini-album and the SALUTE: A New Hope repackaged version in the one post. Altogether, there are 13 tracks. Two of the song were instrumental versions of the title tracks and another two were rearranged versions of two of their past songs (Surreal from VIVID mini-album and Blind For Love from their 6IXENSE studio album). The rest of the 9 songs are new and will be dissected below.

1. APRICTYAPRCITY is a pretty straight forward song. It serves as the opener to the repackaged version. The song features a pleasant level of energy and this promises a lot for the rest of the album. But aside from being a nice pop track, there really isn’t anything that really stands out for me. Maybe the repetition of the title during the chorus, but I don’t think the repetition was enough to make APRICITY one of their best tracks on this album release. (7/10)

2. Stay Young (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for Stay Young. (9/10)

3. ENCORE (ft. ABNEW) – For those who don’t know, ABNEW is the name of AB6IX’s fanclub. Given that ABNEW is featured in the song (they chant the ‘Encore’ in the chorus), this is going to be one of those pop songs that are dedicated to fans. ENCORE felt touching and heartfelt. You can hear the smiles on each of the members’ faces and happiness that gleams off their vocals and rapping. I will admit that it is a bit slow for my liking, but it is hard to fault a song that is meant to be for their supportive and passionate fans. (8/10)

4. Mirror – Right off the bat, the album is pumping energy and intensity with Mirror. It is definitely a powerful song that is full of EDM. Some of it mimics the breakage of glass, while other parts give us a taster of what is to come in the title track. It is definitely a song that is ‘full on’. Personally, I don’t mind Mirror as the opening track of the original mini-album. But I would understand why some people might say Mirror is a bit much. Aside from the music, the group handles their vocals and rapping in this song really well. (9/10)

5. SALUTE (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for SALUTE. (7/10)

6. Heaven – Following two powerful songs, Heaven opts for something softer and more melodic. It is definitely a big relief. It is a bit of a typical track for my liking, but it was still enjoyable. I do note that there is some similarity between Heaven and SALUTE, despite being two completely different sounding songs – the potential to be epic. The backing of Heaven features what seems like choir vocals. This could potentially lend to an epic stage performance (provided that it sounds a bit tighter). Heaven also allows us an opportunity to focus more on their vocals, which had a cheerful tone to it. (8/10)

7. Maybe Maybe follows Heaven and opts for a hip-hop influenced instrumentation during the verses, before developing into more a pop track in the verses. I liked how it started and wished they explored more of it, rather than opting for the pop influence. There wasn’t anything wrong with it. It just felt a bit typical. While Maybe lends well to showcase the vocals of the group, Woojin’s rapping sounds awesome and manages to steal my attention from the vocalists. He blends well into Maybe’s pop sound with his deep voice. (8.5/10)

8. Bloom – Out of all the side tracks on this mini-album, Bloom is my personal favourite. If you know me, I am usually drawn to more vibrant songs and Bloom is definitely a strong example, Bloom had everything from colour, energy and youthfulness in its house styled dance instrumental. On a side note, the house style music also reminded of their previous comebacks. The vocal work and rapping were on point and helped deliver all of the above to make the song even more appealing to me. (10/10)

9. Behind YouBehind You is the mini-album’s mandatory ballad. It is definitely an outlier on this mini-album, but it serves as a very nice and soothing ender to the album. My self-made indicator of a good ballad was activated and I was swaying along to the music. The classical instrumental was typical, but it was amazing to listen to. And the vocal work was stunning, especially when it came to Lee Dae Hwi’s ad-libs. Personally, I felt Woojin’s rapping to be the weakest moment of this song. I don’t think rapping was the right delivery mechanism in this song, which would have helped make this song even super meaningful to their fans. (9/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.4/10

3 thoughts on “[Album Review] SALUTE / SALUTE: A New Hope (3rd Mini Album / 3rd Mini Album Repackaged) – AB6IX

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