Buried Treasure: aespa – Yeppi Yeppi

aespa - Yeppi YeppiA K-pop group’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.

However you may feel about aespa’s debut mini album, you can’t deny that it firmly lays out the group’s worldview. It’s a cohesive work, even if some moments are stronger than others. Title track Savage has grown on me a bit, mostly due to its Yoo Youngjin-driven SMisms. With a few small tweaks, I think it could be really fantastic.

For me, nothing on the album is as instantly iconic as Next Level, but Yeppi Yeppi would have made an exciting (and less polarizing) title track. It’s simultaneously more brazen in its experimentalism and more welcoming with its melodies. This is a tricky balance to strike, but in my mind Yeppi is the only song on the album that feels like a bonafide hit.

Produced by Coach & Sendo, the exuberant song sounds like something ITZY may have tackled during their debut year. Its verses pulse along a similar, catwalk-ready thump as aespa attack the track with brash enthusiasm. This quickly moves into a standout chorus. The melody is very catchy, but I’m more smitten with the instrumental running underneath. Its hulking sound recalls that wonderful era when SM flirted with the complextro genre.

Verse two is absolutely bonkers, throwing all sorts of genres into a blender for an arrangement that very nearly swerves off the rails. But that’s where Yeppi’s clean, well-written chorus comes into play. You can afford to experiment with arrangement when your song is anchored by an incredible hook. For me, Savage slightly missed the mark in this regard. It’s thrilling to hear producers challenge existing ideas of pop music, but Yeppi Yeppi doesn’t forget to include the elements that make pop so fun in the first place.

 Hooks 9
 Production 9
 Longevity 9
 Bias 8
 RATING 8.75


20 thoughts on “Buried Treasure: aespa – Yeppi Yeppi

  1. Hope SM gets Coach & Sendo to produce more tracks for their next album because this is just chef’s kiss. How would you rank the tracks, Nick?


  2. *Idk if my comment deleted or my page just glitched but i’ll post it again.*

    Agreed! Yeppi Yeppi is also my favourite [no surprise there] but here are my thoughts on the mini as a whole.

    Aespa ‘Savage’ mini album

    FIRST LISTEN [2-3 hrs after it dropped]

    – Aenergy [7,7,7,7] = 7/10 – Idk what they be saying but I heard everyones name like 8 times.

    – Savage [7,8,8,7] = 7.5/10 – I actually don’t know what I listened to tbh. First impression was a huge disappointment for the chorus/drop. Everything else was a blur. The ending was just super chaotic and Ningning’s random high notes were both beautiful but super disorientating. What da hek man.

    – I’ll Make You Cry [8,8,8,9] = 8.25/10 – it sounds really cool and futuristic and I love some of the melodies. I just wish it was more powerful.

    – YEPPI YEPPI [9,9,9,9] = 9/10 – YESSSSSS! OH YES MAN. I love the energy of the track, especially the drop. The bass is really nice and warm.

    – ICONIC [9,8,7,8] = 8/10 – it’s good some nice vocals and the melodies are cool. The pre-chorus is really nice. Nothing stands out tho.

    – Lucid Dream [8,8,7,7] = 7.5/10 – no comment i’m tired good night.

    Disappointed and confused first impression but ‘YEPPI YEPPI’ is as an immediate standout. It’s exactly the sound I hoped from Aespa.

    MULTIPLE LISTENS [after 3 days of listening]

    – Aenergy [7,7,7,7] = 7/10 – There’s potential but it’s not my thing.

    – Savage [8,9,8,8] = 8.25/10 – I think it’s a good track that has a beautiful pre-chorus, amazing bridge, and cool dubstep influenced dance break. I think the bridge itself adds like a whole point to my rating. I don’t dig the chorus yet, but it is what it is. It probably won’t grow anymore.

    – I’ll Make You Cry [8,9,8,9] = 8.5/10 – I enjoy this one quite a bit. I would have preferred if this was the title track because i think it fits Aespa’s vibe better imo.

    – YEPPI YEPPI [9,9,9,10] = 9.25/10 – I love the energy of the track, especially the drop. The bass is really nice. It sounds like a very very good ITZY track but twisted with some SM shenanigans.

    – ICONIC [9,8,7,7] = 7.75/10 – A decent track.

    – Lucid Dream [8,8,7,7] = 7.5/10 – Nice groove but not my thing. I can see this being a popular one because of the ‘vibe’.


    I’m digging the mini WAY more than I first did. Overall, there is so much potential to Aespa’s sound. I love their use of electronic sounds [lots of random dubstep and techno sound effects lol] throughout all the tracks. These sounds are really my thing but I’m a bit disappointed they decided to strip back the instrumentals so often for the chorus/drops. But like most SM groups, Aespa has amazing bridges. Every Aespa title track has had phenomenal Bridges and so does this album. Also, Winter is such a bias wrecker god damn. OH MYYY WINTERR PLZ. I’m a bit energetic for no reason today lol.

    Liked by 5 people

    • On another note, i just wanted to share this instrumental i made for SM Ent. to use for ‘Aespa’ lolol. I tried going for a dark-synthwave/trap feel but i think the track didn’t really represent the vibe of ‘Aespa’. I also completely skipped the bridge…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is definitely a highlight from the mini I think Savage is its crown jewel but I think Yeppi Yeppi and Aenergy are super fun.

    so impressed with how developed their vocal colors are. it’s so easy to tell them apart
    that said, sometimes Karina’s voice has a kinda …challenging affectation.
    It’s cool tho, but it’s Winter and Ning Ning who have very much much impressed me.

    This one is kinda like Itzy verses with a knockout “Red” Red Velvet hook.
    But yeah across the mini, Aespa’s sound comes off as very cohesive. and that’s a cool thing. The mini has been what I’ve been listening to for the majority of the week, and it’s not spectacular but it’s really fun and feels new and fresh.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I hope we get more of this style of sound from AESPA in the future, while Savage has grown on me a decent bit THIS is definitely more my style. It definitely reminds me of some of those early ITZY title’s except I feel like it’s executed a bit better. This might be because the Aespa girls are better singers than ITZY but the song just feels more palatable on a vocal level than those early ITZY tracks.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Yesss, I love Yeppi Yeppi so much! When the chorus hits…it’s so good oml 😩 it also reminded me of debut-year Itzy…oh how I wish Itzy was still releasing stuff like this…

    The rest of the album has also been on repeat for me, it is definitely really cohesive and sounds great all together. Every song could grow on me even more than they already have, even Savage, which I’m still not completely sold on but it’s becoming tolerable now (^~^;). Anyways, Yeppi Yeppi is just a blast and may end up being one of my top B-sides of the year at this rate, it just gets better every listen.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is certainly more palatable, but there’s just some sort of supernatural hold that Savage has on me. “Yeppi Yeppi” sounds good to my ears, I just can’t shake the feeling that it’s rather… expected? It’s a fantastic B-side, though I’m not sure why my preferences for title tracks are different than for B-sides.

      Somewhat unrelated, I’ve been listening to Sticker recently and I can’t get enough of that song. It just works for me and I have no idea why. The fact that someone on the production team approved that stupid flute almost makes me mad. Even worse is the idea that I think I actually like it.


      • My love for Savage, and Sticker, will sit on the shelf of “go-to contrarian opinions to greet someone with” for the foreseeable future.


  6. unfortunately this song tires quickly for me, I don’t think it would have worked well as a title track. the chorus immediately gives me red velvet vibes which is always welcome!
    I think the best song is still aenergy but honestly none of the songs are standout (the mini is cohesive though) next level is still the best thing since sliced bread


  7. The warmth of the chorus really hit me. Red Velvet vocal style/melody over a Shinee instrumental, indeed.

    I’m not too fond of anything else in the song by comparison, but the chorus I liked enough to look up a lyric video. I’ve heard enough K-pop at this point to know that the song is about beauty, and for some reason, the song hit harder when I thought it might be about the beauty of something… outside of the singers (the beauty of a friend’s soul, of love in general, of nature, or even of the listener.) Like Boa’s “No. 1” “YOU’RE my number one,” or Catallena being about a bewitching woman the singer admires.

    Not to say that aespa aren’t any of the things they’re singing about—I just think the song would have been more refreshing if it was an outpouring of emotion and adoration toward someone else.

    This is a minor nitpick toward the song itself, and just something I’d like to see more of from K-pop these days.


  8. This was the only track from the EP that I playlisted so obviously I liked it enough to think I’d want to listen to it again, but on re-listen it turns out, nah, I’d rather not. All the pieces are kind of there but it just doesn’t hang together enough to be an enjoyable dance track. I keep hearing people talk about tracks like this being experimental, and I guess that’s fine if that’s what they like, but it’s really not for me.


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