One of the first girl groups to debut during the girl group craze of 2009, After School is still one of the most popular. While they have continued to add members due to their similar concept to Morning Musume, only one member has actually graduated since. Been following this group since their debut and have enjoyed all their releases. Strong performers. New Schoolgirl is the debut single released by After School. AH was used as the promotional track.
Released: January 15, 2009
1. Play Girlz
2. AH [MV]
3. Bad Guy (나쁜 놈)
4. AH (Inst.)
New Schoolgirl opens with Play Girlz, a striking hip-hop tune that starts off with rapping. While following the Brave Brothers craze at the time, this song is very different from the previous songs he made with soloist Son Dambi. It’s powerful and shows off the talents of the (3) members featured. My favourite part is definitely when the song breaks into singing as Jung Ah’s husky vocals are nothing to ignore. Strong opener. AH gives us a dance tune with some hip-hop influence. While it does continue the strong sound of the last song, it goes for a more pop edge. It’s playful, catchy and each member is able to shine, although I did wish for more Soyoung as her voice adds more to the song than Jooyeon’s weaker vocals (although she’s my favourite). The song also features a great rap that has Bekah and Kahi firing back and forth, which is a nice change from usual idol raps. Bad Guy gives us another Brave Brothers tune and follows in the vein of the last two songs with its hip-hop influence. It’s my least favourite of the tracks though as the chorus is too slow and disappointing for my tastes. Parts of it reminds me of Girl’s Days Tilt Your Head, which is really odd. The verses are great though it is filled with some well pulled off rapping.
Overall: A good debut single release by the girl group. All three songs have some sort of attitude with them and easily allowed After School to be tagged with the fierce label. While all the songs were Brave Brothers tracks, each seemed to have its distinct characteristics. While I was not very impressed with Bad Guy, it still had some redeeming qualities to it.