Alfred Soto: Stentorian arena-pop that should’ve been called “Thor” because it’s blustery.
David Sheffieck: We’ve heard this song a thousand times in the past five years, the forced dramatics and pomp, the maximalism and the shuffling, stomping percussion and the Clearmountain pause before the final chorus. What I haven’t heard as much, or at least what hasn’t worn itself down trying to scale Mount Tedder, are those strings — stabbing, swooping, earning the operatic tag that the rest of the song can only grasp at.
Will Adams: “The mirror’s gonna fog tonight” comes straight from Natalia Kills, but the real thing that makes this sound practically timewarped from 2011 is the faux-kink edge that plagued so much of radio. The dramatic strings do little to amp up the blank arrangement, and the awkward workaround to make “Aphrodit-eeeeee” rhyme with “tonight” comes off as the most distinctive aspect.
Jonathan Bradley: Kamaliya sings the title as if, at the last moment, she has been informed that it doesn’t rhyme with “night,” and, while yelping in panic, she has to append the final syllable. The swirl of violins is also panicked, and a better hook, but these dizzying Evanescence dramatics didn’t need nu-metal scratching to complete the effect.
Maxwell Cavaseno: There’s that little shrill, shrieky note at the end of the “Aphrodite” on the chorus that really does wonders for a song that’s honestly just a lot of generic opulence. For all the pop-opera vibes that Kamaliya aspires to, “Aphrodite” leans further into the spirit of excess and floridity of that older musical style without ever actually needing to dive-bomb into severe melisma or virtuosity. The tone of the record is unabashedly narcissistic, all wolf-grins and wild eyes that can fall on the schisms of manic pride, yet, rather than end on unstable, allow her to sound magnanimous. In an age of anthems that reach for command and empowerment, “Aphrodite” stands tall not for the desire to become stronger, but the will to recognize one’s sense of gloriousness.
Ryo Miyauchi: The production might try its best to cover it up with a pomp to match its divine theme, but the fact is “Aphrodite” is simply a one-liner stretched out into a full-length pop song. We get it: you’re good at sex. You don’t have to belabor the point with an entire verse as the set up.