[Review] ACE stray from their identity, but show new promise with “Take Me Higher”

I had the pleasure of attending ACE’s first global fanmeet last month, and beyond marveling at their talent, my biggest takeaway was that this small group from an even smaller agency has been able to galvanize a dedicated international fan base with only three songs under their belt. New single “Take Me Higher” comes at the perfect time to capitalize on this buzz, especially after the group’s successful stint on survival series ‘MIXNINE‘ and The Unit.

For those who have been following ACE since the beginning, “Take Me Higher” will come across as a complete 180 turn. Gone are the hardstyle influences of previous singles Cactus and Callin, and the group is down a member in main vocal Chan, who is currently promoting with project group UNB. Both factors are missed dearly in “Take Me Higher”, but the song also offers promise. Rather than hit you over the head with sledgehammer beats, “Take Me Higher” takes a more nuanced approach.

The song’s verses provide a great sense of build, but in a more organic way than we’re used to from EDM. They have a soulful, finger-snap shuffle that leaves ample room for vocal flourishes. From here, the instrumental briefly slows as strings enter the fray to usher in the sweeping chorus. This central melody has a very classic appeal, underlined by double time percussion that approaches drum & bass in its execution. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss the unique hardstyle energy of their past work, but I can see this becoming one of the summer’s biggest growers.

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