[Review] aespa’s “Supernova” is aespa in all the glorious ways aespa should be aespa

aespa are releasing their first full album in Armageddon on May 27, but before that, they’ve released one of their title tracks in “Supernova“. More than anything, it’s immediately recognizable as a sound that one should associate with aespa.

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The opening line of “I’m like… some kind of supernova” being done in a similar cadence to “oh my gosh, don’t you know I’m a savage” sets the tone from the get-go, letting me know it’s gonna be a glorious and potentially polarizing mess one way or another.

Indeed, the production starts with this zippery, revving synth and constant bass hits that lay the foundation for electropop goodness. It’s almost an industrial sound with a punchy beat, and it establishes a surprisingly serious tone to it all. That said, “Supernova” actually starts off a bit slow, coasting in terms of delivery the first time around. However, it definitely shifts gears as the song progresses, getting grimier and adding this spacey, futuristic sound to the background, along with more metallic-sounding elements that round out this aespa-esque soundscape. While all the bells and whistles are nice, the important core element is that it’s very easy to nod your head along with it while your brain deciphers what’s going on.

The “nova, can’t stop, hyper, stellar” chant in the chorus didn’t hook me initially, but I have a feeling it’ll probably be a grower due to the strength of the production. Regardless, what was immediately effective was the quick reading of “bring the light of a dying star, bulleonaen nae ujureul bwa bwa (see this universe I’ve brought forth)” is a surprisingly impactful in both delivery and meaning. Meanwhile, the old-school hip-hop breakdown with a “Planet Rock” sample was a bit of a surprise, but the transitions were smooth enough, and at least it’s utilized to springboard into an appropriately increasingly frantic closing sequence.

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Once the song finishes, it takes a bit to get your bearings back, as “Supernova” provides quite a ride that never lets you catch your breath. That’s even more true if one watches the mile per minute music video alongside it, which could take a while to digest in itself. But in the end, the driving quality to song with subtly addicting hooks is what eventually sold me, and the replay value has been incredibly high in the short time it’s been out.

I’m not sure how “Supernova” might be received by the general public, but love it or hate it, I enjoy when aespa goes in this kind of potentially polarizing direction. In a time when it feels like everything is catered towards being inoffensive, “Supernova” feels like it belongs on a Cyberpunk 2077 soundtrack for a party scene in the best way possible.

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