Song Review: AB6IX – Salute

AB6IX’s music has really grown on me since debut, but my impression was initially quite negative thanks to pre-release Hollywood. I mention this because new single Salute hearkens back to many of the elements that I disliked about Hollywood, offering a noisy beat-drop in place of a chorus.

It feels like Salute was designed with its intro and final thirty seconds in mind. Or, maybe the guys just wanted to wear cool uniforms in the music video. Everything else comes across as connective tissue. Nearly all of the melodic elements have a throwaway quality to them. They’re slotted into the right spots, but land with a thud. There are just no real hooks to be found. In between, we get a lot of Woojin (and Daehwi’s!) rap, which is solid but needs a more interesting instrumental to support it. Salute could have been turned into a pretty cool hip-hop track if it had leaned more strongly in that direction.

However, none of Salute’s meager strengths make up for its thudding, unpleasant chorus. I don’t know how you manage to make ceremonial brass and drumlines feel uninspiring, but Salute does it. The production takes all the joy out of this arrangement as the song throws a couple halfhearted refrains over the top so that the whole thing can pass as a hook. None of it is remotely enjoyable or original. Salute’s finale tries to compensate, unleashing thundering drums and chant-along vocals. But, it’s too little, too late. File this alongside VERIVERY’s G.B.T.B as one of 2020’s biggest disappointments from an otherwise strong group.

 Hooks 5
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 6
 RATING 6.25


11 thoughts on “Song Review: AB6IX – Salute

  1. I liked it, but probably because I like anything that has any sort of marching band in it regardless of whether the song’s actually good or not (ON & Wonderland being my favourite) – it sounds like it was composed by Teddy, but I’ll give it a 7.75 just because.


  2. As someone who hated Hollywood, I really enjoyed this. But thats mainly because I love the drop. For this song, one’s enjoyment relies heavily on the drop. So this leads to a love it hate it scenario. Here I thought the production was very solid and the performances really sold the track for me.


    Also as someone said before this marching band style is really appealing. I love the grand and uplifting atmosphere in Salute and in tracks like ON aswell.


    • See, that’s the part that pissed me off, because BTS used the Blue Devils for ON, and someone like me who even knows the Blue Devils fairly well couldn’t tell they used the freakin Blue Devils until I read the comments. So whats the point of that in the end? To show off a row of snare drums, but not truly use the ensemble? rahr rhr rahr rant rant rant

      In any case the BTS song that is perfect for a drum corps is Fire! Believe me, I have thought about this more than I ever should. The whole first verse shows off the stationary percussion, the xylophones, etc. Prechorus is perfect for fast moving formations. Plutonium, freeze in place, horns up. In the chorus, comes the horns in full! That main synth sliding line is perfect for trombones, that electronic woo-eep woo-eep line, call and response with the trumpets doing the sung ay ay-oh-ay-oh. Second verse tubas! Hey, turn it up. Pre-drop moving spinning formations. The big full out drop,this time with feeling, bring out every single big drum they got, shear cacophony from the field. Sweet baby hey zeus it would be awesome.

      Red Velvet Ice Cream Cake is also perfect for a drum corps, while I am on the subject.

      Some corps did a version of “Idol” which was just OK – the trumpets were off sync.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. .
    I share some similar sentiments as both Nick and MIRES above.

    This sounds like a Blackpink x Ateez mashup. Come and get me, Come and get it.
    And then, one more time with feeling! The song is like the fencing robot: off its mark. Alright OK its not terrible (for me), its just at this point typical, meets expectations, which means I am not buying it.

    The part that irritated me is that this is the nth song to utilize a marching band theme just this year, and the marching band is almost all for show. The drums are a fraction of a full drum line. They show a horn, but the sound on the song is not a horn at all, more like a fog horn sound. Really, its all about the costumes, isn’t it? Or about one small dance element of people marching in a line with snares? But there is so much in the drum corps genre that could be used so much more effectively, that all these songs are way way underutilizing.


  4. For once I actually agree with what you say. For a song named salute I thought it was going to be a really powerful song but it wasn’t to say the least. It’s super unmemorable. The b-sides from the album aren’t my favorite from Ab6ix but any of them would’ve been a better for a tt well maybe not the ballad unless they wanted to go that direction. I didn’t really like anything about salute and it really was a big disappointment for me since I like Ab6ix and their music usually


  5. Yeah, I agree with most comments on here. A bit surprised to know Daehwi wrote this, but then again he wrote Hollywood as well. Much prefer Heaven and Bloom to this.


  6. I really love this Marching Thing in songs so I am biased but I gotta say it, instrumental on Woojin’s rap sounds messy and don’t suits that part. Other than that post-chorus just isn’t it, like a waste to the song.


  7. As a fan of the group’s music this is disappointing to say the least. They do so much better with songs like Breathe & Blind for Love which have sort of become their signature sound?

    I understand wanting to experiment and try new things but this, isn’t it. The choreography is great though and it’s nice that they at least get to showcase that. The album also luckily has gems like Bloom, Maybe and Heaven which sorta make up for it.

    Here’s hoping they go back to the deep house sound they’re well known for and liked for rather than a bg noise music wannabe music.


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