I skip forward to Friday (a.k.a. yesterday) to review aespa’s latest comeback, Girls, the title of both the group’s second mini-album and latest title track. This is the group’s first release since their promotions for the remake of S.E.S’ Dreams Come True at the end of last year. Since then, members Karina and Winter debuted as part of the super female group, Got The Beat, who promoted Step Back earlier this year (a release I will make sure to review some time in the future), performed as the 2022 Coachella, and released two pre-release singles for the mini-album Girls (Illusion and Life’s Too Short).
Girls is a lot more palatable compared to Next Level or Savage for me. Those past aespa tracks had a lot within in them, the result of stringing and jamming so many styles into one song. Girls does the exact same, but there is a sense of cohesiveness that makes it feel tighter and flow a lot better in my opinion. Each style that I heard within Girls had a bombastic flair that ties everything together. My favourite is the rock influence we get midway in the verses. There was so much power and kick to it that it woke me up when I was writing this review. Similarly, the dance break that we get in Girls features these super crunchy synths that I find are so satisfying to listen to. They brought so much energy and intensity to the already intense track. Girls also showcases aespa’s vocal and rapping is a very strong light. They brought more power to the song, and I find it remarkable that somehow aespa always emerges on top of the ‘noisy’ instrumental backing in their synth dance tracks. aespa has consistently showed off their vocals, but I feel Girls has done it the best way possible. The high notes are (as always) impressive. When it comes to the flaws of the song, I feel the chorus was probably the weakest aspect of Girls. There isn’t a memorable hook to it, and what we did get as a hook was somewhat flat. I also feel like the chorus took it down a notch and didn’t really match up with the energy, intensity and power that the other parts of Girls was loaded up with.
As with the other aespa’s music videos, this one is clearly connected to Kwangya somehow given that it is set in that alternative reality setting. I haven’t really been following the developments of this SM cinematic universe, so I really don’t know how it fits in with the bigger picture. I just know that it does. But as someone without context, I see that the members (both the human members and the ae members) have found a hideout and have gone into it to destroy a rock like heart object. Obviously, the members had to fight their way through to destroy the rock like heart. Interestingly, from somewhere, a mysterious figure who has a snake as a pet (maybe a black mamba?) was watching the events unfold (and controlling those who were defending the rock like heart object. That figure ended up dying as the result of the rock being destroyed. I liked the action scenes and found the rest of the video to follow a similar cool flair.
As for the choreography for this comeback, I thought it was rather weak and didn’t have enough oomph to match the music. It also didn’t seem to top the iconic Next Level choreography, which I kind of expected with this comeback. Even the dance break didn’t really live up to expectations, and that usual does for other comebacks.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 5/10
Overall Rating – 7.4/10