The After School Discography Rate • #53 | Page 5 | The Popjustice Forum

The After School Discography Rate • #53

Discussion in 'K-pop' started by vague, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. I’m halfway done too. It will be nice to have a few more days. Thanks for your patience @vague @Slice of Life
     
    Remorque, vague and Love Deluxe like this.
  2. One more day pleasssse
     
    Remorque and vague like this.
  3. By the grace of Nana I was able to complete my scores this morning and send them in at last. Some stats, 'cause everyone loves a stat:

    Average: 8.60
    Number of 10s given: 23(!) including my 11
    Lowest score: one 5
    Number of times the virus plaguing my body made me pass out while I was trying to rate: 3

    Looking forward to the results!

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  4. Finally submitted. It was honestly so nice to go through their discography. Still amazed at the sheer number of bops they gave us!
     
    Remorque, evilsin, RUNAWAY and 2 others like this.
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    Today we're honoring the prodigy, the legend, the jill of all trades, and the last (and only) remaining member of After School: Nana. Always camera-ready, she will pose you down within an inch of ha life, this visual turned main dancer is another one of Kahi's protégés.

    Before joining the entertainment industry, Nana studied at Seoul Arts College's Department of Beauty Arts, where she earned a Bachelors of Arts, with a focus on skincare. Nana also worked as a model before debuting as an idol. In 2009, she participated in the 2009 Asia Pacific Super Model Contest. Even after debuting in After School, Nana continued modeling in both Korea and Japan, including walking the runway for Tokyo Girls Collection and Seoul Fashion Walk S/S in 2012 and NYLON's a-nation fashion show in 2013. She was also a fixed cast member on the Japanese fashion show, Tokyo Brandnew Girls, and graced the covers of many famous Japanese fashion magazines. Nana has even stated that once she retires from the entertainment industry, she would like to open a beauty shop called Beauty Shop Opened by Former Orange Caramel Member Nana nn.

    After a year of training, Nana debuted as a third generation member of After School in November 2009 with the release of "Because of you". When she first debuted, it seemed like the writing on the wall was there for Nana to just be the chic and quiet girl that would get maybe one (at most two) lines and call it a day (hi Juyeon girl!). But with the release of "Bang!" in 2010, Nana told us she would not be ignored and didn't leave us a single crumb in the music video. Her bubbling charisma was palpable, and this was probably the moment Nana became an ~idol~. She was easily one of the stand-outs of the "Bang!" era, despite only having one shared line with Lizzy.

    Nana just has the perfect pop voice, and is the only member who got a solo song ("Eyeline" from the FLASHBACK mini-album) in a major After School release who wasn't a main vocal (in other words, only Jung-A and Raina got to release solo tracks on the group's albums ffff). Nana is an absolute chameleon and easily executes every concept thrown at her with a razor-sharp and refined performance style. These skills would be greatly utilized with the formation of After School's first sub-unit, Orange Caramel, where Nana was utilized as the group's center. Raina put it best when she said, "When it's time to get on stage, more than anyone else, she is the most appealing. Recently she has been really good at using her expressive eyes, I believe."

    To reference a tweet that we, unfortunately, can't find at the moment, Nana literally created a Tumblr sub-culture and was Tumblr's It-Girl from about 2010-2015. Things haven't changed, though, because Nana is still making headlines and turning heads in recent years whenever she appears at an award show. Her brief appearance in BTS' Sing "Dynamite" with me music video had her trending on Twitter once again in November 2020 as a whole new generation of fans were mesmerized by her beauty and charisma.

    Today, Nana is the lone After School member still signed with Pledis. Unfortunately for us, though, she has never been given the solo release we all deserve. She has instead focused on her acting endeavors and the occasional modeling gig. Her busy acting career is also the reason she was unable to partake in After School's 2021 reunion; she had conflicting schedules and was not able to appear on MMTG with the other five members. We may never see Nana as an idol again, but as long as her face and name are still on complete takeover of the After School Facebook page, then we'll always have hope!

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    Park Sooyoung, most commonly known as Lizzy, and currently going by the stage name Park Soo-ah, is After School's comedic relief. She is the group's queen of camp as well as the queen of airing out Kahi's dirty laundry right in front of her on variety shows.

    Before debuting in After School, Lizzy was a backing dancer during promotions for labelmate Son Dambi's biggest hit, "Saturday Night", in March 2009. A year later, she was revealed as the newest member of After School on March 17, 2010, and officially debuted with the group a week later with the release of their third single album, BANG!, on March 25.

    Lizzy probably possesses one of the most unique vocal timbres in After School, having the ability to mold her voice to any genre, but sounding completely different every time. When she wanted to, she could hold it down on a ballad, but she could also turn up the camp 1000 notches for Orange Caramel's releases. Lizzy's voice was also well suited for trot songs, as seen in her solo debut single, "Not an easy girl".

    It's ironic that Lizzy was one of the most charismatic members and a variety show godsend for the group when she was initially criticized by netizens as being "an idol with no presence". Lizzy really made a name for herself in the variety show circuit, and is responsible for keeping After School's name out there (only second to U-ie) in some of the group's most commercially trying years. Lizzy has spoken about her ambition to be known as an "all-around entertainer", saying she wanted to succeed in "singing, acting, and being an MC." She also mentioned her future goal was to become a professor who teaches within the entertainment division in a university. Even when she was younger, Lizzy wanted to be an entertainer, saying her dream was to become an announcer.

    Outspoken and not afraid to say what needs to be said, Lizzy publicly expressed dissatisfaction with Pledis in 2016, citing that her contract with Pledis was coming to a close, and yet the CEO was still not giving her any job opportunities. Once her contract ended in May 2018, Lizzy opted to leave Pledis and signed with Celltrion Entertainment, changing her stage name to Park Soo-ah and her acting career thrived.

    Though Lizzy has experienced bouts of personal strife in recent years, we can only wish nothing but the best for her and hope that she can come out the other side of this better than ever. Despite whatever happens, she'll always be the lovable and charming Lizzy, who knew how to entertain but could also sing us the house down BOOTS.

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    After requests asking for an extension, we've decided to extend the deadline until the coming Sunday, October 24. This will be the last extension, so if you want to vote, please get your scores to us before 11:59 pm in the last time zone. I'll send out PM reminders again in a few days, too, just in case. Thank you guys~
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
    Remorque, ysev, He and 21 others like this.
  6. Nana has every ingredients needed for going solo, especially during 2013-2015 where sexy concept is in and dance-oriented soloists are better received by public but of course Pledis wasted all that potential. If they played the card right, Nana could've been Pledis new breadwinner a la Cube / Hyuna.
     
    Remorque, ysev, Love Deluxe and 12 others like this.
  7. For some reason I did not know Eyeline was a Nana solo! Usually that’s highlighted on the track info. Eyeline is a certified bop. Ugh we could have had Nana on the reunion! How amazing would that have been.
     
  8. When Eyeline came out I quoted her being S.Korea's Britney Spears. She has that charisma, presence and voice to be a great pop star. KAHI really knew how to pick them. Too bad (for us) that Nana never went the pop idol route. Her being a discerning Virgo, she had the foresight to pursue acting and continue modeling. She's done well for herself.

    One of my favorite old school Afterschool dance practices..
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
  9. I can't get over how shit the dance routine for Japanese Diva was.
     
    Remorque, vague and roblognick like this.
  10. YES! The dance was completely ruined and I came to prefer the original, even though the Japanese version was actually the first version I heard. I noticed in later performances in Japan and on the Japanese version they started doing the original choreo, though sometimes only in the chorus and at the end.
     
    Remorque and vague like this.
  11. Nana will always be a part of my holy K-Pop Bias Trinity, along with Sooyoung and Eunjung.
     
  12. Never consciously followed these girls but I gave the playlist a shot and am very impressed! Love getting invited by @vague (iconic 9MUSES I got to discover this way too!) and @Love Deluxe! Merci mes amis! <3
     
    Remorque, evilsin, roblognick and 5 others like this.
  13. M24

    M24

    Hi, I would love to participate if that's ok! I've developed sort of a reputation lately as a harsh voter, but I promise I would be nice with my scores!

    Regardless, is there a youtube playlist with their MVs and performance videos that any new fan should watch?
     
    Remorque, evilsin, roblognick and 4 others like this.
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    For our last member spotlight post, we'll be highlighting two of the most underutilized and underappreciated members to have been admitted into After School. First up is the group's musical virtuoso, Noh Yiyoung a.k.a E-Young.

    E-Young was After School's valedictorian, with an impressive repertoire of over thirty different pre-debut awards and achievements for her singing, dancing, and playing the piano and cello. Even before her debut in the group, there was major hype surrounding her musicality and dancing skills in both the Korean and western fandoms. Her skills with a wide variety of instruments (electric guitar, bass drum, piano, cello, and flute) and dancing styles (popping and ballet) definitely had fans excited about what she would bring to the group. Even the group's other members thought E-Young would bring something special to the group, with Bekah, in particular, saying, "I have a lot of hope for E-Young … She's someone who I really felt could add new energy to our group. She's unique and really cheerful. For people like her, you really want to help them show off their personality and full talent."

    Unfortunately, Pledis never really allowed E-Young to show off her skills or to flourish as a member of the group. They initially treated her like After School's secret weapon but never really allowed E-Young to show off her musical skills or to flourish as a member within the group. Her epic debut performance of "Bang!" at SBS' Gayo Daejun on December 31, 2010, her solo guitar performance on their first Japanese tour, and getting to co-write, compose, and play piano on "Time's up" from the First Love mini-album were really the only times Pledis put any stock into E-Young or her talents.

    E-Young was never really able to carve out a niche for herself and develop an idol persona for herself the way the group's other new additions were able to. She was often pushed to the back and given few - if any - lines in comparison to the Orange Caramel members who were exploding in popularity at the time and getting a bigger push within the group and individually with variety appearances and burgeoning acting careers. To be honest, E-Young was added at a time when the group really didn't need any new members, and Pledis clearly didn't know what to do with her.

    Squandered potential could be used to describe so many of the After School members, but is especially the case for E-Young. Pledis really proved that they could not be bothered with E-Young at all when she graduated from the group and left Pledis and had to share the news herself on Instagram. Since her graduation, E-Young has remained rather lowkey. She established her own one-man agency in 2020 and continues to perform at festivals and other small gigs with her band, and also occasionally posts song covers on her YouTube channel, E young TV. E-Young was not involved in After School's 2021 reunion, but posted messages of support on the members' Instagram posts.

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    After School's final admission and longest-serving maknae, Lee Kaeun, is yet another example of Pledis' dire mismanagement and mistreatment of their female idols. Unfortunately for her, Kaeun joined just as Pledis was seemingly losing interest in promoting the group. It's a bit sad that Kaeun appeared in about as many music videos during her years-long tenure in the group as Soyoung, who was in the group for, like, fifteen minutes, did.

    In June 2011, along with the announcement of Bekah's graduation, Pledis and avex, After School's Japanese label, announced they would be holding auditions for a Japanese member to join the group for their advancement into the Japanese market. This audition would ultimately go nowhere, and Kaeun was then announced as After School's newest member on April 9, 2012. Her Japanese fluency was cited as one of the reasons she was chosen to debut. Kaeun made her first appearance as an After School member during the opening date of the group's AFTERSCHOOL First Japan Tour 2012 -PLAYGIRLZ- on April 27, and first performed with them during Kahi's graduation concert on June 17.

    The announcement of Kaeun's admission into the group led to a minor controversy as Kahi alluded in now-deleted tweets that she was unaware the group would be gaining a new member and was unhappy about that fact, saying “What? Nine members? What is this news I hear?? ^^;;;; Anyways... It's always like this... We're working hard and it's like they dumped cold water over us..." She would later clarify that of course she “knew about Kaeun", but it felt like damage control and netizens were both concerned and shocked by Kahi's tweets. Kahi announced her graduation on June 5, and her graduation single, Lady Luck / Dilly Dally, was released just days later on June 13. “FLASHBACK", Kaeun's official debut single with the group, was released just a week later on June 20.

    Today, Kaeun is probably best known by kpop fans for her appearance on PRODUCE 48, Mnet's reality competition show that formed the girl group IZ*ONE in 2018. Kaeun was one of the front-runners to join the winning group throughout the competition, to the point where viewers believed Pledis, along with Yuehua and Starship Entertainment, were being favored by the show's producers due to their trainees getting the most airtime on the show. Kaeun remained in the top 10 of the rankings for every elimination and even earned the top spot for three weeks, but only reached fourteenth place in the show's finale, meaning she would not be joining the group. After allegations of vote manipulation and a multitude of lawsuits, it was revealed in November 2020 that Kaeun's final ranking was actually fifth. By that time, Kaeun had left Pledis and was concentrating on her acting career, so her company, High Entertainment, opted not to take action against Mnet.

    Following her appearance on PRODUCE 48, Kaeun released her first solo single, “Remember You", on July 6, 2019, and then opted not to renew her contract. She signed with High Entertainment on July 16 with the intention of launching an acting career. She made her acting debut on December 3, 2020 in the movie Motelier, and landed a role in tvN's drama, High Class, which began airing in September 2021. She was not involved in After School's 2021 reunion for MMTG, but commented on Jung-A's Instagram post in support of her former group members.

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    And that's it for our pre-rate write-ups! A lot of these turned out kind of sad, didn't they? Pledis really did not do right by this group, especially after 2012 or so.

    Anyway, don't forget the final deadline is this Sunday!! I'll be sending one last PM reminder 24 hours before voting closes just in case nn. Thanks so much for your patience!
     
    Remorque, ysev, He and 18 others like this.
  15. you're definitely free to join us! the deadline is this coming Sunday!!

    unfortunately, their YouTube presence is kind of a mess. most of their early videos have never been officially uploaded. you can watch this for a bit of an introduction to their performance style:


    and their entire first tour is also on YouTube:
     
    ysev, He, evilsin and 13 others like this.
  16. M24

    M24

    Awesome, thank you!!
     
  17. Pretty much finish scoring, just need to add my comments to a couple of more songs. Revisiting these songs have been a joy. The breadth of bops they have in their catalog is inspiring. I'm glad a gave out my 11 earlier in their catalog because the amount of 10's I gave in Dressed to Kill is gagworthy. My only criticism on the album is that it's lacking in personality compared to their other songs. I guess artistically they were going in as a collective vocally. No one really outshining the other on vocals. Overall the album is masterfully produced.
     
  18. I agree 100% and that was my main criticism when it was released but I've grown to really love the emotionless sex cyborg thing they had going on with Dress to Kill. Avex gave them a really cool concept that I don't think any other Kpop group were womanly enough to pull that off.

    On the other hand, and maybe I'm way overthinking it, but it also makes me a little uncomfortable as well considering Japan's continued lack of accountability of comfort women.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
  19. How did they After School’s Japanese tracks so right and Orange Caramel’s so wrong?!

    I agree that their Japanese stuff does often feel very lacking in personality. It’s good but I think any competent girl group could be delivering it.
     
    Love Deluxe and vague like this.
  20. I'm finishing my scores right now and I'm so frustrated that their best album is not on streaming services. All the songs are 11s.
     
    Love Deluxe, roblognick and vague like this.
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