On Tuesday, we saw the comeback of KPOP groups/bands from two different time extremities. Tuesday’s review was for CN BLUE, who made their comeback 11 years ago in 2009. Today, I will be reviewing a brand new female group, aespa. The new female group comes from the legendary SM Entertainment, the home of well known groups such as BoA, TVXQ, Super Junior, SNSD, EXO, SHINee, Red Velvet and NCT. Four members currently make up this group’s lineup, Karina, Giselle, Winter and Ningning. They debut yesterday with Black Mamba.
One thing that I have continuously mentioned when it comes to debuting acts is that the song they are debuting with needs to be bold enough to get the attention of the industry and kickstart building that fanbase. Most of the time, both female and male groups start their careers with a very generic or standard track that isn’t their best foot forward. Many don’t make it past that first track and very few actually ‘make it’ down the track if they are fortunate to pass a second track. When I listen to Black Mamba, I feel that aespa nails the brief within just this song. It might simply be due to the fact they are under one of the biggest companies in the KPOP industry. But Black Mamba is groundbreaking for the company in terms of a debut track. I really like the dark and mature feel that this dance track brings to the table, giving off a EVERGLOW type of feel for me. I like the song’s grumbling bass and the explosive pow that the chorus brings when we are launched into the chorus. I like the thundering drums, combined with the various synths that make the chorus so dynamic. Vocally, aespa impresses. Catchy hooks that really highlight an appealing side to the group and the song. Both Winter and Ningning’s vocals during the bridge were superb, and the latter’s high note leaves an impression. The rapping could have been a little more punchy, if I was to be critical about something in this song. But overall, Black Mamba ticks the boxes for a solid debut from this up-and-coming female group.
aespa is a unique group, given the fact that the group actually consist of human and virtual members. Each member has an ‘æ’ version of themselves, who also make a presence in this music video. And this idea of virtual members gives way for a new era of music videos and storylines that I am sure SM Entertainment and aespa will indulge us with in the future. For Black Mamba, the video is very digitally aesthetic, colourful in a punk-ish way and almost felt like a futuristic landscape, similar to Avatar (the movie of blue aliens) – just a lot more purple and pink. There is also seems to be a new trend with SM music videos. At the end of the music video, we see a figure emerge from the visual glitchiness and this figure resembles a male person. Fans assume this is Kai, who is due to make his solo debut later this month. Something similar happened at the end of SuperM’s One music video, where aespa’s logo made an appearance at the very end. Interesting to see whether SM will be linking the videos in the future, as I don’t think any company has gone down that route before.
Performance-wise, aespa carries over that boldness from the song to the choreography. Definitely a show-stopping element to the choreography are those drops that they do at the start the chorus and lunging to the other side. The choreography, overall, also matches the mature and darker feel of the song.
Song – 9/10
Music Video – 10/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.3/10