Orchestral version of aespa’s “Black Mamba” is interesting, but not in the way SME probably wanted

So if you hadn’t heard yet, SM Entertainment are having Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra do instrumental versions of their songs under the brand SM Classics, and the latest is aespa‘s “Black Mamba“.

There’s nothing especially noteworthy here, just that Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra sounds great, will improve most things, and that I love orchestral backings.

But I’m writing about this because what stood out to me is they honestly could’ve been playing anything. Like in the sense that there’s so few melodic touchstones in “Black Mamba” that it’s almost hard to place where they are in the song. Compare that “Black Mamba” cover with the one for Red Velvet‘s “Red Flavor” — which is arguably less interesting as an orchestral instrumental — and the difference is that the latter is easily recognizable throughout and obviously is the more successful pop song. Don’t think that’s a coincidence.

Well, at least I’ve found a new reason to care about these things.


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