aespa “Girls” Album Review

Girls – The 2nd Mini Album (Apple Music Up Next Film Edition)


  • Genre: K-Pop
  • Release Date: 2022-07-08
  • Explicitness: notExplicit
  • Track Count: 10
  • ℗ 2022 SM Entertainment, under exclusive license to Warner Records Inc.


Compared to Next Level or Savage, Girls seems to be much more appealing. Those earlier Aespa songs contained a lot because aespa combined so many different musical genres into one piece. The same thing happens in Girls, but a sense of cohesion makes it feel tighter and flow much better. The track list abruptly shifts from tracks with a robust hyper pop influence to ones that are placid and uninspired, which doesn’t feel in line with the brand of Aespa.

NO Title Time
1 Girls 4:00
2 Illusion 3:15
3 Lingo 2:36
4 Life’s Too Short 2:58
5 ICU 3:41
6 Life’s Too Short (English Version) 2:58
7 Black Mamba 2:54
8 Forever 4:58
9 Dreams Come True 3:24
10 Up Next: aespa 4:09

Album Cover Art

Aespa &Quot;Girls&Quot; Album Review, Yours Truly, Reviews, April 22, 2024

The album title is slightly beneath their group name, written in purple with a unique font, floating above the K-POP stars dressed in black or have a huge touch of it in their outfits. The four South Korean ladies that is Aespa can be seen standing in different white rings like video game characters waiting to be selected by the player. Clearly, the design has experimentation written all over it, just like what can be found in the body of work.

Tracks and Features

The title tune from the album, Girls, is remarkably good. The production is wonderfully subtle and grandiose with enticing beats and a clean guitar (obviously another Yoo Young Jin masterpiece). And as usual, the vocals are fantastic and strong. Again, there are the futuristic beats, futuristic voices, attitude, and heady sensation. But unfortunately, confidence and assertiveness are limited in their effectiveness.

However, Girls’ problems don’t stop there. The song’s obvious identity crisis stems from the fact that it doesn’t truly feel like an Aespa song. Instead, the music sounds more like something we might hear from NCT 127, although the group’s distinctive futuristic quality is here loud and clear.

Illusion, which was released before the actual album launch, comes next. Aespa’s hyper-pop influences are clearly present in this song, which is both flamboyant and hypnotic. The rich composition is a fantastic marriage of intriguing production choices and smooth chord progressions, and it perfectly fits the group’s prior record.

Lingo, the group’s third song, is another standout track. The song begins with the females having a funny back-and-forth phone conversation before moving into a production and beat with a cowboy motif. The first few listens may feel disconcerting because the lyrics are considerably darker than the juxtaposed preppy chorus, but rest assured that it won’t be long before you’re bobbing your head along to the song.

The following song, Life’s Too Short, was also made available before the album, but in its English translation; it is also a part of the EP. To be honest, life’s Too Short isn’t an awful song, but its cliches and predictability make it rather sub-par. However, the Y2K vibes are cute for sure.

We have the guitar-driven pop ballad ICU to continue the sartorial Y2K theme. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to say about this song. The typical K-POP album closer is sweet, gentle, and slightly reminiscent of Disney Channel. It’s not terrible, but after hearing it once, you’ve heard it all.

The remaining songs, including Forever and Dreams Come True remakes as well as Black Mamba, the group’s breakthrough hit, were all released in recent years. I’m not entirely sure why the songs were included in the EP because they don’t appear to blend in at all with the other tracks, neither sonically nor lyrically.

Album Message

Girls lack of consistency has less of an effect, and almost appears unfinished. Unfortunately, there isn’t much for listeners to consider because there are so few new tracks, and what is presented here sounds blander than it did before. This EP gives the impression that Aespa were forced to decide between quality and quantity for it, and they eventually made neither choice.

Production Credits

There is no available info on the EP’s production, but its arrangement was overseen by Ryan S. Jhun, Hitmanic, Pontus “PJ” Ljung, and Yoo Young-jin, amongst others.

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