AB6IX’s recent comebacks have been all over the place, swerving from noisy beat drops to light funk to stately synth-pop. It’s a far cry from their debut year, which presented a sleek, stylish dance sound that seemed to be their calling card. Savior switches things up again, bringing in new producers and a new, darker sound. It’s an interesting experiment that never quite reaches its full potential.
The track opens with its chorus, though you may not realize it at first. I certainly didn’t, as this refrain feels much more like a verse. After a brief volley of rap, Savior blossoms into a dramatic, brass-laden pre-chorus. From here, you’d expect an equally ferocious centerpiece, but the song retreats back to the rugged hook that formed its introduction. Again, this is an interesting choice – especially when it comes to energy and dynamics. But as an actual experience, it’s not very satisfying.
Worse yet, Savior waits until its final moments to deliver its sucker punch. The song takes another hard turn, bringing guitar and percussion into the mix as its melody and arrangement become more robust. Bombastic finales are hardly new in K-pop, but I wish Savior had opted to sprinkle this energy more fully throughout its three-minute running time. Instead, we’re left with a confusing tease of a track. Its individual elements are all strong, but they’re arranged in a self-defeating way. I get the sense that AB6IX (along with every other boy group) are aiming for some abrasive NCT energy. Savior nearly gets there, but I’m not sure this is the right lane for the guys.