Song Review: CIX – 458

CIX - 458If my count is correct, it’s been 370 days since CIX released their first studio album. This makes for a surprisingly lengthy hiatus between comebacks. They’ve returned with a different sound, taking a few cues from their debut era but bringing a newfound sense of maturity. As a fully-realized song, 458 doesn’t always get there. But, its overall vibe is quite captivating.

To my ears, 458’s opening verse is among the best pieces of music CIX have delivered yet. I love the percussive use of keys, which lend the instrumental a weight that instantly draws your attention. The arrangement is sparse, but every element is here for a reason. This segment has a confessional quality that works very well with the members’ vocals.

From here, 458 grows a little more familiar in execution, drawing on a few popular boy group tropes. But, the song remains evocative as it ties sharp bits of melody to an alt-r&b sound that injects percussion without sabotaging the creeping, almost-skeletal appeal of its groove. It uses empty space well, allowing the listener to focus on each element without the kind of boisterous assault that’s become common in 4th-gen boy group releases. However, there’s a limit to just how impactful a song of this style can be. I wish 458 built to a striking centerpiece that sent the song off on a memorable high. Instead, it lurches along, repeating its (admittedly great) tricks over and over. Nothing quite touches the drama of that first verse, but I’m happy to see CIX stretch their artistry with something a little left-of-center.

 Hooks 8
 Production 9
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.25


19 thoughts on “Song Review: CIX – 458

  1. After seeing concept photos for this comeback, I got deeply concerned about the way how it would sound. I expected it to be an obnoxious boy group bluster with tons of shouting and chanting which I’d rate somewhere around 5 out of 10. Now, I can admit that I’m pleasantly surprised. The piano-led verses are chef’s kiss, and actual SUNG chorus (not chanted or shouted!) is a real treat. Agree with the rating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • P.S. I think that the b-side Without You is even stronger and should’ve become the title. Its late 2000’s vibe (as the mini album teaser suggested) is refreshing as hell.


  2. I had huge expectations for this comeback because for whatever reasons I have huge expectations for Cix in general, so I am a tad bit disappointed. They are still doing the subdued dreamy thing, but now it is a bit draped in melancholy? A killer ending part would maybe have sealed the deal for me. I will still play the hell of the song and the mini though.


  3. I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I expected! It had the kind of dark mature vibes that I personally adore but it was done in a gentle manner and that just makes it so much better!

    You have no idea how big a sigh of relief I let out when that chorus hit and the notes went higher and higher in a melodic manner – because almost 90% of other boy groups at that point would have had that beat drop with two staccato words being repeated over and over again and then yelling the title a few times XD

    Yes, the song just vibes along with the same pattern throughout but in one way it’s easy listening and something that could grow even more!


  4. Coming back after multiple listens, and the song actually has an enthralling laidback charm, like it just does its thing at its own pace, and that is quite soothing.
    And that high-note transition between the short dance break and the rap section is flawless in my books.

    (Sorry for the overintellectual stanning though haha)


    • Agreed! First listen I was thrown off by the late song rap break, but coming back to the song today I’m enjoying how it’s placed and the songs overall.

      Really great song, beautiful vocals and performance. These boys can sing.


  5. This song haunts me. I gather their lore is related to Dante’s Inferno, and this song and the performance have the right atmospheric brooding and longing to fit that. Also, the butterflies? Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i’m glad that they didn’t do the typical 4th gen bg (?) title track! seeing the concept pictures worried me a little, but i’m happily surprised.

    i like how it’s still distinctly cix even if the backtrack was more empty 🤔 might be bc of the way they sing and how their vocals are mixed. also the way they used the instruments was interesting yet purposeful? like they were there to not only make the song memorable, but create impact. i just wish they added a little more elements to the final chorus, but overall a 8.75 for me


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