K-Pop artists are sometimes identified with one aspect of performance, such as having intricate choreography with flawless execution or possessing charismatic stage presences. Some groups are lucky to be associated with more than one of these qualities, and five-member group A.C.E is a prime example of that.
The group, consisting of leader Jun, Donghun, Wow, Byeongkwan (formerly known as Jason), and Chan, debuted in 2017 with each member having impressive pre-debut resumes. They first broke into the scene with their debut single “Cactus,” which soon became known for its live stages:
However, the group has proven they are much more than those hot pants, with their impressive vocal skills taking the front seat. They’ve performed numerous vocal covers pre and post their debut that showcase those skills, and surprisingly, some of their most impressive covers are in English. Except for only one member (Byeongkwan), none of the members have any prior education or experience in speaking English. Despite that, these covers are near flawless, and their incredible talent deserves greater recognition. With that in mind, here are, in no particular order, six covers of English songs as performed by A.C.E.
1. “Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi
Released six months ago, A.C.E’s cover of the popular ballad by Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi is one that will hit you right in the feels. Lead vocalist Jun and the two main vocalists Donghun and Chan, are the members who perform this moving cover. The song’s slow tempo allows you to hear all the nuances of their vocal interpretation, as well as how much their English pronunciation has improved. Their voices are all in beautiful harmony as they sing the song in a way that would make Lewis Capaldi proud.
2. “Empty Space” by James Arthur
This 2018 song was originally released by the Englishman James Arthur, who won the ninth season of The X Factor (British Version). All five members participate in this cover, allowing the listener the opportunity to hear each member’s voice both independently and within the ensemble. They all powerfully convey the song’s story of the feelings one has when they lose someone they once deeply loved, and the ensuing struggles to fill that void. It’s a moving cover that can provide comfort to just about everyone, whether they’ve lost someone or not.
3. “Youngblood” by 5 Seconds of Summer
A.C.E takes on this 2018 smash hit by Australian band 5 Seconds of Summer and makes it a version all their own. The original release of the song achieved massive critical and commercial success, won several awards, and has regularly been ranked as one of the band’s top 5 songs ever. The cover A.C.E performs shows how the member’s vocals can all uniquely and masterfully fit the edgy and gritty sound of the song. Some say this is an especially tricky song to cover, but A.C.E’s cover does the original justice, and then some.
4. “Easier” by 5 Seconds of Summer
“Easier” is the second 5 Seconds of Summer song A.C.E has covered (thus far), but it has an entirely different vibe than “Youngblood” does. The song, both the original and the cover, sounds less pop-punk-rock and instead has a darker, synth-pop sound. The song’s arrangement allows listeners to hear the full vocal range of all of the members, with each one having the opportunity to show off impressive falsettos individually and together. It’s a song (and video) that will most definitely leave you feeling some type of way.
5. “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes
Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes has made a household name of himself by releasing hit song after hit song, including this Grammy-nominated single they released earlier this year. All five members sing their parts with intense emotion, and successfully channel the melancholic feelings that come from the struggles faced in one’s life in a performance that will tug at your heartstrings.
6. “Flashlight” by Jessie J
This live, raw, unedited performance of British pop star Jessie J‘s song might be the best example of A.C.E’s mastery not just of English covers, but of all vocal covers. Originally part of the soundtrack for the movie Pitch Perfect 2, this song is ballad-like in its musical style and is perfect for a group with vocal skills like those of A.C.E. In this unscripted video, the group shows their take on the song with a moving acapella performance that you just have to hear to believe.
This list is just a highlight of the English songs the group has performed, and they have countless others that are equally as impressive in their native Korean. It’s their covers of English songs though that, in particular, show how A.C.E truly is the vocal king of K-Pop.