Quick Reviews: aespa’s “Armageddon” feels more like getting hit with a pebble

Armageddon, aespa‘s first album, has already been a success in a way. Their single “Supernova” has been dominating the charts and they almost literally can’t make enough of the especially cool special CD player albums for fan demand. Now though comes the release of the title track of the album, which is surprisingly lacking in bombast or eliciting much feeling altogether.

If “Supernova” was K-pop maximalism at its best, “Armageddon” definitely takes things down a notch or three. Perhaps Karina mentioning that it might take fans a while to get used to it should’ve been a warning, as indeed the chorus of held notes on “done”, “gone”, and “run” aren’t exactly exactly instantly catchy. While the rumbling synth bass sound was interesting, it’s ultimately a rather basic hip-hop foundation (a bit throwback, I guess), and there’s really not a lot going on. Some flourishes in the pre-chorus and bridge, but it was mostly notable for how oddly unengaging the sound felt, like a track I’m not sure many would even bother having takes on if it wasn’t from aespa.

Meanwhile, the roll-out and concept felt like big budget Apocalypse Trilogy to me, which was automatically appealing, and the music video is predictably a visual treat. However, musically I mostly came away from this feeling glad “Supernova” exists to fallback on.

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