[Review] UNDER COVER – A.C.E

Since the promotions of Cactus and Callin’ in 2017, A.C.E went on a mini hiatus due to each member’s participation on different survival shows. Jun and Chan participated in The Unit (with Chan managing to place ninth and debut as part of UNB); while Wow, Kim Byeongkwan and Donghun participated in MIXNINE (with Kim Byeongkwan and Donghun making it into the final group). As the final groups of MIXNINE were unable to debut due to logistical reasons, A.C.E announced a 4-member comeback (excluding Chan due to UNB promotions) with Take Me Higher last year. Today, the group return with all five members and the title track, UNDER COVER 

A.C.E ditches the light and bright concept they went for in Take Me Higher for this comeback. Instead, the group returns to the intense sound that it debuted with. To be even more accurate,  the group managed to return with a more concentrated version of the intensity we got back then. UNDER COVER‘s instrumental opted for a rock-based instrumental over the usual dance synths to really throw us into the deep end of all this energy and intensity. Given the current industry’s direction, this makes the track very unique and I don’t mind this difference. While the song does allow for strong choreography, the song also managed showcased a lot of amazing vocals. Even the rapping was awesome. Both managed to fit in well with the impactful nature of the instrumental and surprisingly, they were not drowned out in any way. I think the track is a very powerful and hardcore form to mark their return to the stage. I do quite like it and I can expect many repeats listens, especially when I need that instantaneous rush of energy.

I think the music video works really well with the song (with the exception of one section). I liked the edginess they brought along through their red military jackets and the dark nature of some of the shots. I just think the choreography scenes in the tiled white rooms to be ill-fitting. It just felt too bright and colourful for this track. Also, I would have liked the song a little more if they brought down the brightness. I think edgy does well in a darker setting and this could have been showcased a little more. I liked the overlaying of some words on the screen. I thought that gave a possible aesthetic vibe and wished they did more of it throughout the video to really add to this vibe.

No live performances yet. But I think what is shown in the music video is definitely a lot already. The dance moves were pretty amazing as well, complimenting the intense style of the song. It is definitely a powerful routine and probably very hard to pull off while singing live.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 7/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating -8.4/10

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