Of all the K-pop songs that have grown on me this year, AB6IX’s Breathe has had one of the most impressive climbs. I was dismissive of the track upon release, describing it as “the kind of music you’d hear in the background at an H&M.” That’s still probably true, but the song went on to sink its teeth into me. Yes, AB6IX’s deep house aesthetic is trendy and derivative, but they pull it off well. New single Blind For Love continues this sound but ups the tempo to create a strong follow-up.
Unlike Breathe, Blind For Love’s instrumental never stalls or segues into unnecessary breakdowns. This allows the track’s momentum to build and creates a cohesive through line. There is no single sucker-punch hook, but Love succeeds by grafting a series of smaller earworms together. The chorus is refreshingly developed, composed of two lengthy segments that compliment each other for an effect that is greater than the sum of its parts. When it comes to melody, AB6IX’s calling card has quickly become the clipped, aloof structure that can be heard in the second half of Love’s chorus. I like how this refrain echoes elements of Breathe without simply cutting and pasting.
Blind For Love’s verses are less memorable, but they’re kept aloft by a percolating energy that gives that track a fashionable allure. Woojin’s second-verse rap is especially effective, supported by a brisk instrumental that generates momentum just when the track needs it. None of this really goes anywhere spectacular, but Love is consistently enjoyable from start to finish. That can be a rare feat in modern K-pop, and bodes well for the song’s long-term appeal.
IATFB says: A nice foot-tapper. Enjoyed listening to it, but for whatever reason it struck me as more good than great. Should be interesting to re-listen in December for the year-end list and how it ages.