First Love is the sixth single released by After School. The title track was used as the promotional song.
Released: June 13, 2013
1. 8 Hot Girl
2. First Love (첫사랑) [MV]
3. Dressing Room
4. Time’s Up
5. Love Beat
6. Crying While Putting on Make-up (화장을 하다 울었어)
The single opens with 8 Hot Girl, a sensual R&B intro. I don’t know what it is about this one, but the vocals just seem so off. Would’ve been better if it was just the music and the bit of rapping.
However, the intro nicely transitions into the title track, First Love. This is another sensual and slow R&B-pop tune with some clear influence from George Michael’s Careless Whisper. The song is largely dependent on the percussion, electric guitar and saxophone riff. The vocals are not bad, although most of the girls are just whispering throughout the song to give it that sexy feeling. Nana and Raina definitely stand out here. With that said, the whole song is just a bit too slow for me. It’s nice once in a while, but can become a bit dull.
Dressing Room is a bit funkier. It’s still somewhat slow, but has some rock and electronic elements in the music. I wish the chorus was a bit faster and more impactful in terms of melody because it doesn’t totally match with the explosive energy of the arrangement, but it’s still pretty cool. Has some 80s feel to it.
I love Time’s Up. Up to this point, it is the most uptempo song and has a lot more energy than the other tracks. The melody has some ballad qualities that I like and makes me think of the song as an upbeat version of Because of You. I’m really enjoying the pacing of the song. My only gripe is I wish Raina didn’t totally dominate the song, even though her voice fit the song surprisingly well.
Love Beat brings us a heavy dance song made just for the clubs. It has strong beats and an array of synths and is quite catchy. I don’t think it is particularly original, but it is a fun listen.
I expected Crying While Putting on Make-up to be a ballad and well it is. It is a duet between Raina and Jungah and is pretty much your standard K-Pop ballad. Really, they’ve had better ones out there, but this one does get better about halfway through when it gains some power. It was nice to hear Jungah have a large amount of lines.
Overall: I can’t say I’m terribly impressed although it is better than their last single. It’s an average release from the group. There were some decent songs, but only one I really enjoyed. It was nice to hear the group attempt something different with the title track, but I think they work better with songs that have more impact.