It’s full steam ahead on the ‘aespa-conquers-international-markets’ ship with the release of another English-language single following last year’s Life’s Too Short. Earlier this year, they also dropped the Tetris-interpolating Hold On Tight — their best non-Korean track to date. I definitely underrated it back in March.
Better Things isn’t as creative, but it’s a charming little earworm that does no harm to the group’s burgeoning legacy. Apart from a rhythmic switch-up during the bridge, the song finds a nice, shuffling groove and luxuriates in its soundscape for three and a half minutes. The structure feels more cyclical than climactic, though additional percussion during the climax ends things with a punch.
The charm of Better Things lies in its ebb and flow, especially the ascending melodies during the pre-chorus. The song’s central hook feels dangerously close to novelty in its constant repetition, but the ladies sell it well. A few nice vocal highlights pop up during verse two, offering a peek at the group’s power. Beyond this, I’m not sure Better Things is a great (or even accurate) starting point for uninitiated listeners. It plays things very middle-of-the-road, which isn’t exactly what I’d expect from aespa.