Over the course of the past year, AB6IX have been playing with the word “complete.” A new special album concludes this trilogy of completion, positioning the fans as an important part of the group’s existence. Throughout their career, AB6IX never settled on one defining sound or energy. The upbeat 1, 2, 3 continues this mix-and-match approach, but the song has its moments.
If anything, 1, 2, 3 takes the funk influences from last year’s Cherry and cools them down. It’s a bright fan song with great energy. The tempo never approaches maximum velocity, but the production is surprisingly boisterous for a slower-paced track. I especially like the pre-chorus, which harnesses a swinging, soulful approach that feels very old-school. As a whole, the track is a celebratory stopgap, and thus not meant to be taken too seriously. But, I appreciate how it avoids the temptation to become a stereotypical, sentimental ballad. As repetitive as its hooks get, they’re kind of irresistible.
The only moment that takes me out of the track is its silly breakdown. The English-language lyrics here are intentionally simple, but they come off as juvenile and stilted. It’s a pity, because the chant-along melody is quite fun. I’m more enthused by the chorus, which grows addictive with each repetition. It’s deceptively straightforward, but wrapped in brassy instrumental that makes it feel like a big hug. When the melody pops up for a final time during 1, 2, 3’s climax, the effect is pretty rousing.