Though HYBE has made the BTS brand synonymous with K-pop around the world (at least to casual listeners), I still think SM Entertainment is the agency others are most seeking to emulate. Even during times their industry cachet has lulled, SM has remained an inexorable through-line when thinking about K-pop on a macro scale. Aespa are the latest in their lineage, finding tremendous success and influence mere months after their debut. Pre-release single Life’s Too Short caters to their growing global audience, performed in English and premiering alongside this week’s slate of international Friday releases.
Expectedly, the song plays more like a brief diversion than a bold statement. The upcoming title track will certainly have more impact, but it’s nice to hear the group’s vocals unencumbered by the bombast that surrounds most of their work. Life’s Too Short is a little chill for me, with plonky percussion and a gentle anthemic quality that feels quite familiar within the global pop market. But, the melody is an earworm and grows organically throughout the track. It’s nice to hear a sung bridge – especially when the vocals are so clear and pleasant.
After oddball choices like Next Level and Savage, it’s a little jarring to hear Aespa tackle such a straightforward pop track. Now that they’ve proven they can deliver both extremes, I’m hoping for a future where their music borrows from the best of both worlds: experimental instrumentals with satisfying pop melodies over the top. With momentum on their side, there’s no reason they can’t find mainstream success while simultaneously pushing the industry forward. After all, that’s kind of been SM Entertainment’s mission statement from the beginning!
Rating’s about right. It’s a song that I wouldn’t skip on the radio but would skip on a playlist
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You didn’t review Illusion, what did you think about it? I thought it kinda slapped, it was an instant earworm for me.
Life’s too short is pleasant
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This one is okay for me. Nothing special, sounds like a perfectly serviceable top 40 radio track.
My rating would be the same. Though I wouldn’t skip if I heard it on the radio, probably won’t add this to my playlist.
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Sounds to me like a Red Velvet deep track, one the fans would enjoy, but not a single…
I like this. I never really got into aespa but I will be praying for this to do really well in the US simply because the radio is on at my work all day and I am desperate for anything new. If I have to hear Heat Waves 6 times a day for another month I’m going to turn to a life of crime.
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“sometimes all i think about is you-” TURN THAT SHIT OFF RIGHT NOW!!!
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i work at a bubble tea place and every time that song pops up in my coworker’s playlist i feel like quitting right on the spot at least this song is fun and catchy enough for me to hear on repeat at work
It’s like this tracks is Kpop’s kindest way to say “hey haters? stfu”
I really really enjoyed this track. At first I was taken aback by the contrast of the casual gestures of the girls with the lines they sang that were more defiant like “you need to get a life” XD, but then I liked that and ended up liking the song itself a lot. By the way, they reminded me a lot of Little Mix, especially in their vocal delivery.
Btw will you review Sorn’s “Save Me”? I’m waiting to see your thoughts since you also didn’t review Scorpio (which I really enjoyed).
What I really want to know is who is singing the chorus? It sounds like one of them , all of them, and none of them, all at the same time.
Other than that, it’s fine.
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SHIT NICK RINA’S NEW SINGLE IS COMING OUT THIS MONDAY!!!! “Catch me in the air”
hear the sinppet on TikTok
September Better come quick I can’t wait!! 😭😭
i really , REALLY don’t like this song. it’s such an obvious ploy to try and sneak aespa into the western market.. when i think of aespa, i think futuristic, hyperpop (especially with the savage ep) and metal, not this julia michaels, 2016 charli xcx rehash sound.
Agree with the rating but not sure I agree that SM is really “pushing the industry” forward. Aespa indeed became successful through some oddball choices like “Savage” but those oddball choices were not great musical moments, nor adopted generally. Also, wasn’t Next Level a Fast & Furious song mashed with something? And don’t get me started on NCT and the brash sound that it brought into the industry. That’s one of my major ticks against the company. I also don’t like how aespa has been caricaturized as this ethereal AI group, upping the beauty standards in an industry already toxic with these “levels”. I saw on some page that people were bashing some group’s member for having visible back acne. What nonsense.
Anyways, my rant against SM is over (I seriously dislike NCT). Hope SM goes back to its past and less toxic self. Honestly, among the big 4, if I had to chose, JYP seems to be doing a better job than most. NMIXX’s O.O was weird but instead of flagging them as computer software AIs, they are trying to market them as “singers”. Wow, idols can sing. Can’t believe that this has to be a marketing technique but there you go. I also have really liked how Twice have been so consistent with their work and Nayeon’s solo is a Bop and being marketed well! Hopefully, JYP can now give NMIXX and Itzy some good songs too…