Song Review: aespa – Hold On Tight

aespa - Hold On TightThis isn’t a title track or a “buried treasure,” but aespa’s new Tetris OST seems noteworthy enough to receive a write-up. Yes… you read that right. “Tetris OST.” We’re living in the upside-down, here.

Thankfully, this upcoming Tetris movie is billed as a biopic/thriller and not one of those awful animated cash-ins that ruin a generation of nostalgia. I’m not sure how aespa fit into this equation, but fans are eager for any new music – video game themed or not.

Hold On Tight interpolates the iconic Tetris theme and does a nice job extending it into a full song. A bridge or breakdown would have made this feel even more complete, but that’s just not the nature of pop music in 2023. A pulsating electro groove keeps the song aloft until it reaches its familiar chorus. Tetris melody aside, I’m amazed how much the arrangement sounds like a quirky Eurovision entry. Aespa are well-suited for camp if they’d truly give into the more ridiculous side of their music, and I could see this being a step in that direction.

Overall, Hold On Tight isn’t robust enough to move beyond an interesting footnote in their discography. But as far as OSTs go, I’m glad we have it.

Hooks 8
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 8

Grade: B-


34 thoughts on “Song Review: aespa – Hold On Tight

  1. Personally, it is an easy 9. What would make it a 10 is if it was bit longer, and had a bridge as Nick pointed out. I’m absolutely in love with the song. The opening line had be hooked, and just as I thought it couldn’t get any better, the chorus comes in and makes me feel some kind of way. Its great!

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Eurovision was also my first thought, lol.
    I enjoy this a lot, too short, yeah, but overall pure fun. And it has a proper, killer chours! Yay, small victories.

    Sweet B from me. Would give more, but only 2:29 min is a crime.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. an easy 9 for me, I would even say it’s my most favorite track of theirs by far. it was instantly love at first listen. I agree that it should’ve been longer to truly be complete, that was a missed opportunity on the producers’ part.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I love the bubbling Moroder-esque synths (I Feel Love, The Chase, From Here To Eternity). Not convinced yet by the melodies attached to it. Maybe it’ll grow on me though.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Just had a listen to the above-mentioned Moroder classics, and I have to say this aespa tune slots right in well with them, particularly the Here to Eternity album. Could do with more ‘cheese’ factor, like a vocoder or other kitschy sonic flourishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh yeah, I can definitely feel the Eurovision in here.
    I don’ t really know how to feel about it, it sounds so unserious and yet it kind of works!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Oh man, now I’m listening to the soundtrack, and I totally the love the instrumental version that opens the album. Honestly, I wish it were attached to Aespa’s song, and acted as an introduction. It would be a 5-minute song, but OMG it really really works. I’m going to stitch them together to create a 5 min mp3 of this tune.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. [Sorry for so many comments, this is my last, promise!] Nick, you might want to review the Japanese track too. Very 80s Moroder-sounding, ReN’s Holding Out for a Hero.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Very reminiscent of ABBA I thought particularly “Lay All Your Love On Me”. Not bad but doesn’t sound like KPop so slightly confusing coming from AESPA.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m in love with the instrumental. Would be great to see this groove in some of their main songs. I don’t think badass and groovy have to be mutually exclusive. Catchy chorus aswell, that definitely sounds more like ABBA than aespa

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have to admit, I expected nothing from a Tetris ost. My brain was not gonna let me take this one seriously. This song is really good though and I love it a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. “Thankfully, this upcoming Tetris movie is billed as a biopic/thriller and not one of those awful animated cash-ins that ruin a generation of nostalgia. ” Hey Disney read this:

    The song is mysterious and cool. I like how they used the tetris theme inside the song. Just goes to show you can teach an old dog new tricks.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. i saw this review and had to do a double take because i am a huge fan of kpop (and some of aespa’s songs) and tetris and first of all HOW DID THIS HAPPEN LOL i had heard of the movie before but did not expect aespa to be on the soundtrack at all, the day that kpop and tetris collide is one that i had never really thought of but it has come and i’m still trying to process it lol is this real??? (you bet it is) most importantly though THIS IS A JAM they fit the tetris theme in the song so good and i love the synth sound of it and i’m amazed everything worked out this way, it really is the best of both worlds 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 3 things i love packaged into one with this song: aespa in a taron egerton movie that’s a banger! love this track despite it’s length as well as the other covers in the tetris ost. i was wondering when kpop would go full on eurodance / eurovision and this is great – really hoping the sm (despite their current fuckery) will go in the direction of darker, hypnotic songs that seem more up their alley than the meta-pop (🤢) work they’ve been doing. should also utilize karina’s surprisingly good tone more for singing than rapping.


  14. Is this a comeback? No. But does it still sound better than a lot of songs we’ve been getting recently in past month? Definitely. Unironically my favorite Aespa song by a large margin, borrowing the bias factor of the iconic Tetric theme. When they stick to more melodies and less shouty, they vocals shines through.
    Also replay value on this track is strong indeed

    Liked by 2 people

  15. My friend alerted me to the release of this song by sending me the Spotify link saying, “This song has NO RIGHT!” meaning it has no right to be as good as it is. I’m sort of inclined to agree, haha. I really, really like it though. I’m with everyone saying that it’s my favorite thing aespa has released. I wouldn’t be sad at all if they leaned into this stylistic direction in the future


  16. this is possibly my fav aespa song since next level, i think the sampling works great and they sound almost hypnotic. This is going straight into my playlist and a solid 8.5 for me


  17. personally iss a 9 for me because i didnt really like the post chorus if thats what its called other than that im 100% happy


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