Song Review: ATBO – Next To Me

ATBO - Next To MeATBO are one of a few newer boy groups whose music feels interchangeable to me. They’ve delivered one unique highlight, but their ever-changing sound is very much “Boy Group 101.” It’s as if their singles discography is a collection of songs from the concept round of an audition show. They could be performed by anyone.

Next To Me is a nice, mid-tempo summertime bop. It’s very slight as a title track — something you’d play in the background on a Sunday morning as you sip coffee. Its breakbeat-heavy percussion and old-school sound lets the guys play with phrasing during the rap-heavy verses. The melodic chorus paints a warmer tone, buttressed by exuberant stabs of brass. But for whatever reason, the song doesn’t stand out for me. It will make a fine addition to most playlists, but feels more like an amiable cool-down than a memorable highlight.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8
 RATING 7.75

Grade: C+


7 thoughts on “Song Review: ATBO – Next To Me

  1. Ay-tee-bee-oh is back! Is fine. The loose hip-hop new jack swing style flair is nice to hear. The lead guy, the one with the two tone hair who starts the song, seems to have substantial stage presence. The rest meets expectations.

    For the old kids here like me: I get this feeling like I am hearing a New Edition + NKOTB collaboration that never happened. (This song here is from 1984!)

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I like this, I also like them as performers. The song was rap heavy but not in an annoying way (I’m never really a fan of kpop rapping anyway). I’ve always enjoyed their 2 main vocals and how their tones are more r&b-ish rather than the bland kpop tones we get sometimes. Plus I just like watching groups have fun.


  3. The first few seconds reminded me of the theme song from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”.😂

    As the song progressed, I felt I heard an old school sound, some NCT Dream and even an early TXT. I like all of these, so it’s an 8/10 (in my opinion, of course).

    I also appreciate when groups defend their songs (good or bad) with enthusiasm. They make me believe they are having fun with it, and that makes the song better.


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