Song Review: aespa – Dreams Come True

aespa - Dreams Come TrueEven decades after formation, some things haven’t changed about SM Entertainment. They’re still clever vultures, digging through old pop detritus and repainting it to craft shiny new baubles. A recent example is aespa’s Next Level (pulled from an old Fast & Furious soundtrack), but SM has been doing this since the 90’s. SES’s 1998 hit Dreams Come True was a cover of a single by Finnish girl group Nylon Beat.

Lately, SM has also been revisiting and celebrating its past through remastered music videos and covers. This sense of legacy is very welcome, and pays tribute to the agency’s illustrious history. Aespa’s reinvention of Dreams Come True is the latest step in this project, and doesn’t skimp on behind-the-scenes firepower. Not only do the girls have super-producer Yoo Young-Jin at the helm, but agency senior (and K-pop legend) BoA has a hand in production and arrangement.

I’m a big fan of the original Dreams Come True. You really can’t go wrong with a melody this strong. I’m glad to see aespa reinvent the track rather than opt for a straight-up cover, but their modern update falls prey to many 2021 SM tropes that mire the agency’s current output. For one, it feels like the arrangement pushes melody to the background. The catchy synth flute hook is an afterthought rather than a driving force, replaced by a fun hip-hop beat. This production would have been fantastic on a different song, but here it muddles the waters and causes Dreams Come True to lose its trademark bite. Often, ‘simple and straightforward’ is the best approach and results in truly timeless material. Aespa sound fantastic and most of their added hooks (especially the post-chorus) are enjoyable. But, it’s hard to improve upon the original track.

 Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.25

10 thoughts on “Song Review: aespa – Dreams Come True

  1. I think its OK, but it doesn’t improve on the original. It =sounds= like a cover. What rescues the performance here is the bucu money SM spent on the video. But the visual doesn’t emotionally match the audio which doesn’t match the song itself. The girls aren’t selling it. Its too cool and mechanical.

    SM uploaded the SES original (remastered) (itself a cover) last month, so here it is for everyone.

    Liked by 5 people

    • What a lovely instrumental and MV aesthetic. The peak of late 90s and early 00s styled computer CGI. It’s all high-concept and futuristic, except the processing power wasn’t strong enough to make something super clean and shiny yet. So instead, there’s this strange middle ground where the look of buildings and areas is too cohesive and structured to look like a cyberpunk dystopia, but not so excessive and extra that it looks manufactured or unnatural. There’s this uncanny/organic look that is so unique and interesting to me.

      The instrumental kinda reminds me of new-age artists like Enigma. Ironically this is also a genre that stemmed from a bridge between old and new sounds, though with mixed results.

      I want to like the aespa version of this song, but for some reason the instrumental sounds much louder than their vocals. Almost twice the volume, I think. Maybe that’s just a problem with the MV.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. wow… I remember watching the remastered s.e.s. video a month back and getting flashbacks to the early 00s Tollywood music I grew up with; naturally, I enjoyed it. listening aespa’s version of the song, I realized I’d listened to this song before only during the chorus, and I’ve got to agree with what you’ve written: it does feel as though the melody has taken a step back and overpowered with more hip hop elements. weirdly, skz’s recent release, winter falls, reminds me more of dreams come true than the aespa’s cover. I did have a nice time finding the Red Velvet and Twice cover of the song from 2018 Gayo Daejeon.

    on another note: this is my first comment on your site after a couple months of scrolling through and I thoroughly enjoy reading your thoughts on different songs and have come to appreciate a music taste different than mine. and, slowly, I think I’ve gotten a feel for your different musical preferences and it’s quite a treat.

    Liked by 1 person

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