Ever since their one two punch of Breathe and Blind For Love in their great debut year, AB6IX have kind off fallen off my radar. I found both their 2020 releases incredibly lack lustre and their latest single Salute was easily their weakest by far. And so I wasn’t at all expecting much from Stay Young, the lead single for the repackage album, ‘Salute: A New Hope’. So given these rather low expectations, how does Stay Young fare?
Well, I’m pleased to say that I quite enjoy the track. It’s not a perfect return to form but it carries many elements that were missing from the groups past few singles. The most notable is the inclusion of healthy doses of strong melody. In fact, Stay Young feels more like a mid December single than anything, conveying the more winter vibes both musically and conceptually. To the point where the music video is set within a snow filled fantasy wonderland. But back to the music. I really enjoy the arrangement here, which goes from laidback guitar and percussion to some truely symphonic moments. The pre-chorus especially is absolutely gorgeous, incorporating a heavy dose of strings and backing vocals to create a moment that truly borders on transcendent. It’s surprisingly weighty and is easily the strongest moment of the track.
And I think because of that, the tracks central hook doesn’t hit as well as expected. It’s by no means bad and the aloof, almost throwaway nature of it sure is appealing but I think it lacks the kind of melodic sucker punch expected after such a strong set up. The second part of the chorus helps make up for this with a nice, comforting melodic drive but a stronger and more cohesive centrepiece would have really elevated this into something special. In many ways it’s reminiscent of Treasure’s My Treasure from last week but I think that Stay Young pulls of this particular sound much better. It’s a nice, pleasant return from the boys and acts as a course correction for their consistent discography.
Final Rating: 8.25 / 10