Song Review: AB6IX – Breathe

To me, a knockout debut should immediately establish a group’s identity. It should convince me that there’s a spot for them in an overcrowded marketplace. And, at its finest, a debut should offer something new. 2019 has seen a few debuts like this, but boy group AB6IX have yet to carve out their personal style. Instead, Breathe is K-pop’s umpteenth deep house track, augmented with all of the expected bells and whistles.

At this point, if a group is going to go deep house, they better be delivering the absolute best deep house track I’ve ever heard. Like a handful of other trends, this genre has been scraped clean. A song like Breathe feels recycled from so many other boy groups, and lacks the spark that might establish AB6IX as a force to watch. To be clear, the group itself is quite an exciting prospect. Composed of Daehwi and Woojin from Wanna One, as well as Donghyun and Youngmin from MXM, AB6IX has become a quintet with the addition of member Jeonwoong. With this kind of star power, the guys are rightfully one of the most anticipated debuts of the year.

This sense of excitement makes Breathe all the more underwhelming. It’s not a badly produced song. It’s just wholly unnecessary. The instrumental opens with moody synth ripped straight from Seventeen’s most recent work before coasting into its propulsive verses. The rap is pretty solid here, even if I hate the way the beat collapses into half-time trap nonsense. This tempo change occurs again as we veer into the chorus, which employs a catchy vocal hook over minimalist electronic production. None of this really builds to anything, or incorporates any unique ideas. It feels like the kind of music you’d hear in the background at an H&M. As polished as Breathe is, it’s a pretty narrow idea of what a K-pop title track can be in 2019.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25



21 thoughts on “Song Review: AB6IX – Breathe

  1. I love the groove the first part of the chorus has and I wish they had structured the entire rest of the song around it better. The specific sound it has only lasts a few seconds before moving on to something less engaging. It’s still not particularly original but it would’ve been enough to carry a whole song for me if every second of the track was embued with the same energy, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “It feels like the kind of music that you’d hear in the background at an H&M.”

    “It’s just wholly unnecessary.”

    The fact that you’re so relatively clean on this blog makes for the absolute sickest burns. Every time a track bores you, the review doesn’t bore me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Unfortunately for bands like this, youtube autoplays ACE “Under Cover” for me right after almost all of them to remind me what good kpop is.


      • I was thinking that as I read this haha. ACE shows us how to keep a concept fresh, even if you’re not the first one to do it.


  3. Tracks like this is the reason why usually I now listen to the chorus of kpop songs before giving the whole song a chance. I don’t want to waste my time listening to wholly unnecessary music.


  4. I like the track and I love the AB6IX members, but we’ve already seen this song in Longguo&Shihyun’s “the.the.the.”. And that song came out in mid-2017. Daehwi has pretty solid composing skills, especially at his age, but I wish they could work with an exclusive producer to help them develop a signature sound, and not just shoehorn-in self-production credits from the members here and there. “Breathe” is currently my favorite track of the album so far; while the other songs are enjoyable, they more come off as “noise” and filler to finally debut a post-P101/W1 release (and starting bringing in that $$$ to Brand New Music.) Anyways, at the end of the day I still like the song and and super charmed by the members, so I guess BNM wins this time.


  5. I suppose ‘older’ adults wouldn’t enjoy this. It’s neither good nor bad.

    Nick was right, it’s unmemorable. I had listened to it at least 5 times and it didn’t go into my head. The tune simply vanished into thin air. Lol


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