Song Review: A.C.E – Down (ft. Grey)

A.C.E - Down
With 2019’s Under Cover and 2020’s Favorite Boys (Goblin), A.C.E have proven their ability to deliver a knockout title track. I wish they would funnel all their energy into crafting more of these killer releases. But, K-pop is an ever-expanding market, and idol groups have a variety of options on their plate. Despite coming from a small agency, A.C.E have done a great job reaching out to international fans. I’ve been able to see them perform twice, in venues much more intimate than the usual K-pop act.

Perhaps because of this international interest, the group (minus Wow, who’s on hiatus) has embarked on an English-language project single with American duo Grey. Now, if I had my way, we’d replace that “e” with an “a” and pair A.C.E with Korean hip-hop producer Gray instead. His beats always deliver. But alas, the pull of TikTok ubiquity proves too strong, and the group have settled for a generic mid-tempo instead.

As a song, Down is inoffensive and unmemorable. It’s neither here nor there. But everything surrounding it, from the vertical TikTok video to the trite slang, feels inauthentic. I doubt A.C.E would ever say “I’m not the type to catch feelings” in their day-to-day life. The guys perform the material well, and glimmers of their engaging personalities occasionally poke through. I just don’t see the benefit of such a dynamic group performing a so-so American pop track. The plonky, half-hearted percussion certainly doesn’t help, though I guess that chorus is catchy in an annoying sing-song way.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 7
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.25


6 thoughts on “Song Review: A.C.E – Down (ft. Grey)

  1. A.C.E are my ult bias group and I must say: this song is just not for me at all. I enjoyed Byeongkwan’s rap cos its the only part of the song that had any kind of tempo. I hate this tiktok chasing, hyper palatable, watered down nothingness “vibe” songs. Especially from a group has such an interesting discography. It doesn’t even feel like a song they would usually do. I hope the next Korean cb is more their style.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This feels like a playful little gift to fans rather than a serious track. Remember that collab with the French producer? That seemed like an interlude, too, and not at all like their usual style. It’s a fluffy summer song with a video meant to evoke the casual intimacy of friends. “Pop the ceiling,” though. I wish someone had corrected that phrasing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The nice thing to say here is “fan service song”. It’s ok, it meanders, its light, its pleasant, its fine, really.

    Darling daughter has taken a liking to ACE as well as Dreamcatcher, which this proud mom is perfectly fine with, broadly speaking. Except, EXCEPT she has decided that she is over and done with listening to soft classical music during the morning school commute at 6:30am in the morning. Instead, she takes my ipod and plays songs like “Under Cover” and “Scream” to a bleary eyed mom, at 6:30am in the morning,

    This ACE song would be a better choice, so I am going to buy it anyway.

    Liked by 3 people

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