Review

Song Review: AB6IX – The Answer

Despite finding early success thanks to their Produce-fueled notoriety, AB6IX have had a rough go of it. They’ve rarely been able to promote as a full group, sidelined by injury and now scandal. The Answer (답을 줘) marks their first comeback after leader Youngmin permanently withdrew from the group following his DUI. It will take some time to get used to AB6IX as a quartet, especially given Youngmin’s popularity. The Answer was originally scheduled for release early this month, but was pushed back to allow for re-recording.

The track was written and produced by Zico, which elicited an unimpressed eyebrow-raise from me. I mean, this is a group anchored by the burgeoning songwriting of Lee Daehwi. I know that Zico has been popular this year, but I’d rather hear AB6IX develop their own sound rather than jump on someone else’s. And, that’s my core issue with The Answer. It’s not a bad K-pop song, but it sounds more like Zico than AB6IX. Their trademark deep house production has been wiped away in favor of a trendy funk/trap hybrid.

Still, The Answer sparks enough upbeat vibes to act as a decent addition to this summer’s K-pop slate. Its verses are too sing-song hip-hop for my taste, but they have a playful energy that feels refreshing. The chorus is stronger, bolstered by a laid-back bit of guitar that has a jazzy appeal to it. The chanted post-chorus has potential, but is undone by the tinny trap beats that support it. It’s during these moments that I can really hear the Zico influence, and I can’t help but wonder how The Answer would have sounded if that trap had been replaced by a propulsive club beat – the likes of which you just know Daehwi would prefer.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

18 thoughts on “Song Review: AB6IX – The Answer

  1. I pick 9 because i think this is a really good summer song, but i agree with you that the post-chorus could’ve been better.

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  2. It’s not a bad K-pop song, but it sounds more like Zico than AB6IX.

    This. This.

    That was exactly what I thought after watching it. I thought, this isn’t ab6ix, none of their singles sound like this. But Zico, Zico would easily put this out, from the boring instrumental to the trap filled post-hook the whole track has Zico written on it. And because of that, I don’t think this track even exists, its personality washed away.

    Also the fact that this Surreal could’ve been the title but wasn’t chosen because Zico is extremely trendy really angers me. Zico is a blessing to this industry, but please, leave these groups alone.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I guess the positives mainly came from his energy in Block B, because outside of that his output’s been a mixed bag and his songs for other artists a have been a mess.

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    • Surreal reminds me of Lana Del Ray’s Young and Beautiful in some ways, I think that’s why I’m attracted to it even more.

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  3. .

    First of all, it is a little bit of fun.

    I didn’t know this was a Zico song during my first listens. Now that I do know, yes I can hear how Zico would do the delivery. But to me actually It sounds like someone trying to copy a Zico-style rap. Now after a few listens, it sounds like Zico phoning it in with a little something he wrote in a morning. There is not much to it. A verse melody with intergral rap, and a chorus, and repeat that three times. I think the boys do a good job with the material, but there isn’t much more to that material than verse+ chorus.
    It is also a bit of fun for 3 minutes so really I am not complaining, just saying.

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  4. Here in Italy we have (for once) the perfect word to rate this song: “carina”. It’s not exactly good, it’s not exactly bad, but it’s not even something you *consciously* don’t want to care about. It’s just “carina”, “pretty nice but thank you, next”.

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  5. It definitely feels like a Zico song and not AB6IX at all, but I’ll honestly take it if that’s what it has to be for me to get an upbeat boy group song in 2020 lol. Truthfully, AB6IX have been very hit and miss for me – I thought their debut was great but they kinda lost steam for me after that with a lot of their songs sounding “samey” to me, so I guess this is at least refreshing altho a departure from their musical identity.

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  6. Even though Zico gets the side-eye from me (for his iffy involvement in the “golden phone” scandal), Ab6ix switching their song style up seems like the right “answer” (ha!)

    Had it been another group-composed production, I worry like we’d get yet another moody deep house track. And yes, deep house is fun, but Ab6ix can’t cement themselves in that ditch by 3 similar songs in a row (“5nally” was all member solos, so it doesn’t cut it here.)

    And while unforeseen and unfortunate, Youngmin’s scandal and sudden departure make the group more due for a change-up than ever. Evolve, change, show the general public that new quartet Ab6ix will chug on just fine with some changes.

    I haven’t listened to the rest of the mini album yet, but tbh I’m not that enthusiastic to do so. I mean, I was hardcore stanning them at debut, especially because of that P101/MXM/W1 hype. But the first album didn’t particularly resonate with me and I thought, “Oh well, but surely I will like the next album.” And then came the next one and I didn’t. And then the member solos. So even though I really want them to rise up and make my hop back on the wagon, it’s gonna be hard.

    I dunno. I just wish Brand New Music kept doing their hip hop stuff, which were great releases. But now it looks like they are going all in on idol stuff, and it’s just *ever so slightly* missing the mark. Like, I can’t explain it. It’s not like BNM is doing anything wrong necessarily, in fact, both Ab6ix and the PX101 boys have decent traction. Idk. Somehow (maybe just to me) it feels like idol production isn’t their forte, and they shouldn’t force it to be. Feel free to disagree. Since I’m bad at words, TL;DR: BNM as an R&B and hip hop label was much stronger than they are trying to be with these new idol projects.

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    • Listening to it more, the song has grown on me. It’s not Ab6ix’s strongest killer, sure, but the song is pleasant and easy-going. Maybe my standards for a good summer song have fallen, but I’d put the song up at a 8.5. It loses a point or so for Zico-genericness, but the guy knows how to make a song with replayability.

      I’m really hoping for this new OT4 lineup to rise up. It’s annoying seeing comments asking for that member to rejoin, and I’m not keen on Eunsang from X1 suddenly joining in either. The four members are doing a good job of selling “The Answer” in their performances so far.

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  7. am late, but i wanted to share my opinion about this song too. honestly, it’s my least favourite ab6ix title track so far. ab6ix’s sound has been going on a decline imo, with breathe being one of the best debut songs of 2019, blind for love being,, breathe but not as refreshing to listen to, and now the answer… it’s just obvious this is some random song zico had sitting around and only changed it up a bit for the group. it’s not too standout, and it’d be a pleasant song to have in some summer playlist IF it wasn’t for some of the delivery in this song. the second rap verse is practically unlistenable for me, woojin’s delivery is too nasal (?) and just gets up my skin rather than sounding like a fun rap part. maybe that’s because of youngmin’s absense- although i’d say in technicality woojin is a better rapper, i feel like youngmin was always the more varient one that could pull off many different types of raps and this one too. anyways that’s just me ranting- overall this song is just meh to me :/

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