After successful melody-centered releases for media properties like Tetris and Pokemon, aespa are now back following an extended rollout for “Drama“. The teasers for this essentially doubled as an acting reel for the future, and at least visually the end product is about as impressive as you’d expect from a group of their pedigree.
Musically though, things are much more mixed. “Drama” is a bit of a throwback to their earlier work, with the requisite clanging instruments and stomping rhythm that certainly has its moments. But I feel that whenever they prioritize the hip-hop elements it’s as if they’re handicapping themselves, and unsurprisingly the best part of even this are found in the pre-chorus and bridge vocal sections, both of which soar to heights deserving of the track’s title. Unfortunately, the rest of it is surprisingly drama-free, content to just sorta go through the motions and letting aespa’s acting reel in the music video do most of the work. In the past, even their busier tracks had central elements that were addictive or memorable, but this mainly just relied on the repetition of “dram-mamamama“, which is sadly rather forgettable aside from reminding me of MONSTA X’s “DRAMARAMA“.