[Single] After School – New Schoolgirl

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 (๋‚˜์œ ๋†ˆ)
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.


[Digital Single] HyunA – Change

With over three years of experience, it comes to no surprise that HyunA had what it took to hit solo. Although still a member of 4minute, she took the opportunity to react on her popularity and release a song. Change is the debut digital single by Change and features Yong Jun Hyung from BEAST. I remember that the song was really popular in Taiwan during the summer.

Released: January 4, 2010
1. Change (feat. Yong Jun Hyung from BEAST) [MV]

Change (feat. Yong Jun Hyung from BEAST) gives us a powerful dance/pop tune with hip-hop undertones. Right when the song it opens, it already brings attention with its sexier atmosphere. While it does utilize the ever popular repetition of the title, it does so in a way that allows it to avoid the redundancy found in many of today’s current K-idol tracks. It’s strong beats, with the overall dark atmosphere gives the song an extra edge and works with HyunA’s sexier image. While the song does have a lack of singing, thisย  rap-singing actually gives the song a boost and brings a more aggressive side to it. Junhyung rap break also works very well here unlike other songs where the rapping often breaks the singing in an awkward way.

Overall: For the first digital single, HyunA sure knew how to bring it. It makes me wonder what she will bring next as it will definitely be difficult to top this song. It’s aggressive, catchy and sexy.