Recess is over and it’s time to go After School. Back with a new, more mature look and with two new students in tow, the girls are set to heat things up in the KPOP campus.
Managed by Pledis Entertainment, After School was said to be a combined force of five Son dam Bi’s and were known as the Korean Pussycat Dolls. With their first single “Ah,” they showed a sexy-sporty image that was quite new in the cutesy-infested KPOP scene at that time. Their whole premise borrows from the idea of Hello Projects where girls graduate at a certain time and they go off to other activities, by then another member arrives—this rotation keeps the group interesting. I doubt this works in KPOP. In Japan it’s okay because girl idols from Hello Project are completely saturated. Anyways, I love After School because they were able to make the sexy concept not trashy and you can tell they really work hard. They don’t look like the typical skinny girl idols and these women know how to work their curves. What’s more, their age varies from the youngest to the oldest and they’ve come different backgrounds and training. It’s been quite a while since After School debuted (January of this year), and now they’re back with a more empowered femme fatale image with their new mini-album “AS 2nd Single.” Following Soo Young’s departure of the group, two new members were introduced. Will they fit in with the club?
Mini album review:
Because of you – With this title track, AS decided to go the opposite route of their typical routines. Usually you’d see them do some hard core/ almost athletic yet sexy dancing (dunno how they do it, but it works!) — now their sound and performance are totally different. The song is more melancholic and slow-paced as compared to “Ah” and “Diva,” and their dance routine focuses more on the girls’ facial expressions. Kinda like 2PM’s “I hate you” performances where their dancing is a bit toned down (minus the acrobatics) but still very very strong. Pledis is making it work!! This change of pace gives the girls more substance—there’s more to them than just being sexy girls. They can work those suits all covered up, yet you can still feel their sexiness and charisma. It’s not about how skimpy their clothes are, it’s their attitude. Damn, when I look at them I can’t help but feel envious LOL. They’re simply gorgeous. Okay back to the song. This time the rapping has REALLY improved! And the addition of Raina the vocals became much much better as well. Finally someone’s taking some singing parts away from Jung Ah! Nana, on the other hand, is cute but she doesn’t come off as strong. But I guess it’s to balance off the whole dynamics of the group. I just don’t like how Pledis keeps on drilling into our heads that the song is made by them. It’s a good thing the robotic “Pledis sound” is put at the end of the song.
Live comeback performance – As much as I love the girls, I was a bit disappointed with their comeback stage. The clothes, hairstyles were beautiful. The dance steps were sharp at point and their facial expressions were really good and suited the mood—but the singing, goodness, was kinda distracting. It was not in sync at all. I don’t want to pinpoint one particular person but I ripped the audio and I swear, there’s like one or two girls who were just belting it out in all the wrong places. Beckha’s rapping is hot but Ga Hee’s was a bit weak. Raina’s vocals were real good, UEE looked stunned as always, Nana has a pretty sharp voice and Jung Ah was a bit pitchy, sorry to say. I just wish there was more JooYeon.
A love triangle among Ga Hee, JooYeon with UEE in the middle, plus a mysterious man?
I had to re-watch the mv thrice to formulate some kind of sensible explanation for it. At first glance it kinda seemed like BEG’s Abracadabra which made it seem like Narsha and Ga In had this ~love~ relationship in the end but their only connection was the cheating guy both of them were seeing. But AS’ vid was more complicated as it seemed like UEE has a close relationship with Ga Hee and JooYeon, where one looked jealous when UEE is with the other. ~INTERESTING~
UEE, JooYeon in a tub + Ga Hee and UEE in a pillow fight = A dream come true for men
This is quite a weird scene were UEE was floating then Ga Hee rushes to her, and JooYeon also approaches her, then she breaks into pieces and vanishes into thin air. Whyyy is it all about UEE?
Then there’s this mysterious guy who’s like a voyeur peeping in a hole and observing everything that happens with the three questionable star-crossed lovers? The whole thing is probably a figment of the guy’s imagination or something. In the end it was shown that he was just watching the girls on TV. That or there could be some kind of connection with all of them as he is seen with Ga Hee in one scene:
However, you can see that his image is a bit faded, like he’s in a dream sequence. This vid has got me all curious LOL. What do you think? Is there some other meaning to it or am I just reading too much?
And PLEASE can someone tell me who this guy is? CRUSHHH! He looks like the amazingly beautiful guy in Antique Bakery.
Can I just give a hands down to Bekha? She looked madd fierce and gorgeous in the vid! Totally a stand out!
When I Fall – LOVE LOVE this song!! It’s totally unexpected from After School. I was expecting a more dance-y, upbeat song since the title’s already a bit mellow. But this song is even more soft and mellow! It definitely brings out the feminine side of AS! They used guitar strings and a really sweet melody. Vocals are great! And it doesn’t have rapping parts!
More pics of the members!
Leader Ga Hee
Flawless. On some angles she kinda looks a little like BoA (whom she back-danced for).
Lead vocals Jung Ah
Love her better with the long hair.
My fave member!
Okay. Here’s the deal. I know a lot of people have already noticed her expressionless Yamapi eyes. And how she gets all the attention. I myself don’t get it, but I guess it’s the innocent-meek-lamb kinda image. But she just does not fit the AS concept. But I gotta admit, the girl CAN dance. She’s really good. But her facial expression just seems like she’s mad or she just does not wanna be there. (see pic in Diva perf LOL)
Two new members Raina and Nana
P.S. What do you think of their new mini-album, new members and new look? Is it an A or an F? Tell me your interpretations of the vid! [Screen caps by me]