Song Review: aespa – Life’s Too Short

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 more 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 spirit 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 find mainstream success while simultaneously pushing the industry forward. After all, that’s kind of been SM Entertainment’s mission statement from the beginning!

Hooks 8
Production 7
Longevity 8
Bias 8

Tags: aespa, k-pop, kpop, rating 7, review, sm. Bookmark the permalink.

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