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Led by 'Spicy,' aespa returns with 3rd mini album 'My World'

May 8, 2023 - 17:17 By Hong Yoo
Aespa at the press conference for its comeback with 3rd mini album "My World" held in Seoul on Monday (SM Entertainment)

Aespa finally made its long-awaited return on Monday with songs filled with bright young energy, unlike its powerful and intensely conceptual previous tracks.

Aespa dropped its third mini album, “My World,” on Monday, 10 months after the release of its last album.

"This album shows a new side of aespa. We've mostly done dark and intense music so far because of our Kwangya story line, in which we fought with a villain called Black Mamba. But as we are back in the 'real world,' we wanted to focus on the ordinary teenage version of ourselves," said Karina at the press conference held in Seoul on Monday.

Aespa's member Winter was back with the group after recovering from an illness. She had sat out during the group's recent gigs in Japan because she was not feeling well.

The new album comprises a total of six tracks, led by the track, “Spicy,” with five side tracks: “Welcome To MY World,” “Salty & Sweet,” “Thirsty,” “I’m Unhappy” and “Till We Meet Again.”

With this mini album, aespa is continuing the narrative revolving around Kwangya, a shared SM cinematic universe for the K-pop powerhouse’s artists.

This part of the story is about the members returning to the “real world” after their journey in Kwangya as avatars in the metaverse.

Aespa’s previous tracks “Black Mamba,” “Next Level,” “Girls” and “Don’t You Know I’m a Savage” laid out the journey of the K-pop group taking off to Kwangya to resolve the “synk-out” problem with its metaverse avatars, “ae.”

The quartet has already hit a new milestone with the number of preorders of this new album surpassing 1.8 million. Previously, aespa had recorded 1.6 million preorders for their second mini album, “Girls.”

The titular track, “Spicy,” is a dance song composed of a strong synth base sound and dynamic beats that accentuate aespa’s musical strengths.

The music video of the titular track seemed like a scene from a young adult movie revolving around high school students.

"The main dance move in this track involves putting your pinky finger next to your lips, as if you are eating something spicy. We still haven't named this dance move so I hope our fans give us a good name for it," said Ningning.

The side track “Welcome to MY World,” which was released prior to the album drop, is an alternative pop song composed with orchestration and a mystic guitar lift.

Aespa’s Kwangya helper, “naevis,” is featured in the track, which is about inviting naevis to the “real world.”

"This was actually supposed to be naevis' song featuring aespa but we loved this song so much that we wanted to sing it. That's how it became our song featuring naevis," explained Winter.

The side track “Thirsty” is of the R&B genre and compares an ever-growing love to a ripple of water.

Another side track, “Til We Meet Again,” is a ballad composed with the warm sounds of an acoustic guitar.

It is a fan song in which aespa wanted to deliver the message that they will always be united with their fans through music even though they are not physically together.

The side track “Salty & Sweet” is another dance track composed of rough synths and base sounds that highlight the vocals of aespa in the hook.

It is about enchanting the other with aespa’s “sweet and salty” charms.

Another side track, “I’m Unhappy,” was already performed by aespa during a concert held in February.

It is a pop song composed of a minimal and mystical melody that sings about looking for true happiness and breaking free from the judgments of others.

Aespa's Giselle made a surprise announcement during the press conference that there will be a full-length album coming soon.

"We are already preparing to release a full-length album. It will feature a lot of good songs that we have saved specially for our first full-length album. You will get to see a different side of us through this album, so please look forward to it," said Giselle.

The quartet is also set to become the first K-pop group to perform at the Governors Ball Music Festival 2023 in Queens, New York in June.