The After School Discography Rate • FINISHED




Love Beat

Grade: 9.218
Honor roll: 10×8 (@Ana Raquel, @roblognick, @yuuurei, @KimLippington, @Macsun, @Cotton Park, @GeiPanda, @BEST FICTION), 9.75×1 (@M24), 9.5×4 (@chrisjche, @Wills, @Conan, @Hurricane Drunk)
Drop-outs: 8×2 (@singabob, @Love Deluxe), 8.25×1 (@vague), 8.5×3 (@RUNAWAY, @SloMover, @Oleander)
@Love Deluxe's score: 8
@vague's score: 8.25

5 ballots: #40, 8.350 avg.
10 ballots: #23, 8.850 avg.
15 ballots: #21, 8.933 avg.
20 ballots: #16, 9.088 avg.
25 ballots: #13, 9.180 avg.
31 ballots: #12, 9.218 avg.

"Love Beat" is the fifth track from After School's sixth Korean maxi-single, 첫사랑, released on June 13, 2013. Its lyrics were written by Minsul and it was composed and arranged by East4A.

In the press release for 첫사랑, Pledis described "Love Beat" as a song that "expresses a heart that only beats for one certain person. East4A, who has previously worked with Orange Caramel, collaborated with After School on an electronic song with a catchy chorus that lingers in your ears."

In 2017, Billboard listed "Love Beat" as the 9th in their 40 Best K-Pop Deep Cuts of the Decade So Far article, saying, "Despite being still officially together, criminally underrated girl group After School hasn't released a new K-pop album since 2013. Whether they will release new material remains to be seen, but if First Love is, in fact, their last release, at least they went out on a majorly high note. An EP filled with experimental dance and R&B cuts, 'Love Beat' stands a cut above the others for its swelling synths and crunchy electronica that grows by the second until leaping into its fluttery chorus and zipping dance breakdown."

(8) — "Post-chorus > chorus. Not that instrumental drop around 1:50 sounding like something you’d hear in one of those 'Drag Race Season 53 Speculated Cast' videos. Should've left like 30 eliminations ago!"

(8.25) — "I don't think this is a bad song by any means, but I've also never quite gotten the hype around it either. I think this should've gone ages ago - especially over the likes of "AH" and "Rambling girls" - but I guess I'm happy for all the lil love beaters that this has done so well."​

@roblognick (10) — "I'm just a hole for those basic dance beats, sir."

@Macsun (10) — "Coming in relentless with the beats. The finale in the dance trilogy of the First Love EP."

@GeiPanda (10) — "Why this wasn't the title track, I'll never know. I could even envision the pole dance adapted for this."

@M24 (9.75) — "Another perfect slice of electropop in this album, whew. I especially like the switchup right after the first chorus (1:34), it almost feels like a post chorus (maybe it is, I don't know)."

@eatyourself (9.25) — "The first part of the chorus is a bit ... quirky ... but the rest is delightful."

@berserkboi (9) — "Was not expecting some Havana Brown but I'll take it!!"​






Grade: 9.226
Honor roll: 10×16 (@singabob, @RUNAWAY, @Attis, @chrisjche, @SloMover, @Wills, @eyeline, @Hurricane Drunk, @Macsun, @Mikl C, @eatyourself, @GeiPanda, @BEST FICTION, @Oleander, @Love Deluxe, @vague), 9.75×1 (@M24), 9.5×2 (@junglefish, @Cotton Park)
Drop-outs: 6×2 (@yuuurei, @Vixen), 7.25×1 (@Remorque), 8×3 (@Ana Raquel, @ysev, @Slice of Life)
@Love Deluxe's score: 10
@vague's score: 10

5 ballots: #7, 9.900 avg.
10 ballots: #11, 9.400 avg.
15 ballots: #9, 9.333 avg.
20 ballots: #13, 9.175 avg.
25 ballots: #10, 9.320 avg.
31 ballots: #11, 9.226 avg.

"너 때문에" (neo ttaemune; because of you) is the title track from After School's second single album, 너 때문에, released on November 25, 2009. The song was fully written and arranged by Brave Brothers. Despite being released before the Gaon Chart was established on December 27, 2009, "너 때문에" was still a huge hit, peaking at #1 on Gaon's monthly chart for December 2009 and at #6 for the first week of January 2010. In 2010 alone, it sold 1,514,728 digital copies, making it the 92nd best-selling song of the year. The 너 때문에 single album was also a success, peaking at #2 on Gaon and charting several times throughout 2012; it sold 2,403 copies in total in that time period. Additionally, the song gave After School their first real kill on the digital charts.

Upon release, "너 때문에" was solidly charting within the top 10 of most digital charts, but it wasn't able to chart on all of them at first. The song's first real milestone was reaching number one on the Bugs! real-time chart on its first day of release, making it the highest any of their songs had charted up until that point. By the second day of release, "너 때문에" had reached the top 20 on every one of the main download charts, and the song kept rising from there. After School were able to hold the number one position on various charts for multiple days, but it wasn't until December 6, 2009 that they achieved an all-kill on all of the charts, cementing "너 때문에" as their first big hit.​


As everyone knows, "너 때문에" was the debut single for two of After School's most well-known members, Raina and Nana. Rumors first began circulating online back in June 2009 that After School were already holding auditions for their next member. Following Soyoung's graduation, Pledis confirmed on November 12 that "the girls will get a new member and come back as six members, and they will release their second single in late November." However, when the first teaser dropped, fans were shocked to see two new additions to the group. Nana's initial bio said her role was to be a rapper, while Raina was said to be the second main vocalist alongside Jung-A. In a December 2009 interview, Kahi said, "With two new members joining, it's become much more lively and energetic than before. The most important thing is that with Raina joining, our vocals have become especially stronger."

The song's music video was scheduled to be released on November 26, but did not actually come out until November 30. Upon its release, the video's sapphic undertones sparked curiosity. Fans at large were confused about the storyline, and when asked for an explanation, members would evade direct explanations. In an interview with THE STAR, Kahi stated, "It is hard to understand the MV. If we were to fully explain the MV, it might not do us good. (laughs) So, let's just say that the MV is a story of friendship... or... love?"​


Despite its success, the release of "너 때문에" did not go off completely without a hitch. After being accidentally played on Taeyeon's Chin Chin Radio show two days before its release, the song was leaked onto the internet and was widely distributed on P2P sites and YouTube. Pledis demanded an apology from MBC because of the leak, but MBC insisted that they did nothing wrong as the song has already been approved for broadcast. Pledis released a statement saying, "While it's true that the songs can be aired once they're approved, they are usually only aired after the official release date of the album. Considering the varying amounts of time each broadcasting company takes to review, we normally send the songs in early. Wouldn't the pattern be broken if the broadcasting companies aired them beforehand?" MBC, however, doubled down on their position and demanded an apology from Pledis. Due to this feud, After School's comeback performance on MBC Music Core was canceled, and Pledis then apologized three days later on November 30. It should be noted that at the time, SM Entertainment basically had MBC under their thumb and were given special treatment on their broadcasts, so Pledis throwing accusations towards Taeyeon's radio show was never going to sit right with MBC. The relations between MBC and Pledis would finally get resolved and After School were able to promote on Music Core... in late December.

Promotions on other music shows, however, went smoothly. Due to the song's huge success, After School were able to win their first-ever music show win on the December 20 episode of Inkigayo. On an episode of SBS Heroes airing in 2011, Kahi reflected on the group's first win, saying she wanted to say, "Grandpa, are you proud of me?" As we mentioned in Kahi's member write-up, her grandfather passed away while she was working as back dancer for BoA before she made it big on her own. Almost a month after winning their second Mutizen award - and two months after "너 때문에" dropped - After School received their third Mutizen on January 24, 2010, giving them their first and only triple crown. While "너 때문에" remained consistent on the charts throughout most of January, a lot of this win coming out of the blue was down to the release of the song's official remix on January 22, 2010. The triple crown was a nice victory lap to close out After School's most commercially successful era.

Although it's never been confirmed or discussed at all, it’s possible that the styling for "너 때문에" was loosely based off Jean Paul Gaultier's Spring 2009 Couture Collection. We'll cover this topic again in the write-up for "뱅(Bang)!", but we can see that in addition to being inspired by Robin Antin's girl groups, Kahi and co. also took a lot of inspiration from the fashion world. Just taking a peek at Kahi's old Tumblr account confirms this, so it wouldn't be a complete surprise if the "너 때문에" outfits were, in fact, inspired by Gaultier.​


While After School has bested "너 때문에" creatively, there's no question that within the After School canon, this is their commercial peak. The success of "너 때문에" was a perfect storm of the song resonating with the Korean public, while the group also hugely benefitted from U-ie's star being on the rise due to her constant hustle since joining in April. All of the stars fully aligned for After School and pushed them into the upper echelon of girl groups of this time. Unfortunately, however, Pledis never really capitalized on this momentum, and a lot of the groundwork After School laid with this comeback was lost with subsequent comebacks. While "뱅(Bang)!" was extremely successful and became an iconic song for the group, it didn't quite reach the heights of "너 때문에". Pledis being unable to navigate the group back to their former glory, as well as the long gap between "뱅(Bang)!" and "Shampoo", ultimately left the door wide open for newer groups to capture the attention of the Korean audience.

(10) — "Everything (mostly..) about this roll-out was flawless from start to finish. When I heard Raina sing that first line on their Music Bank comeback performance, I was like oh she came to Sing. I still think this is when Raina's voice was in its best form. With AH and Diva kind of carving a sonic niche for After School already, I never imagined what a ballad-leaning song would sound like from them, but this manages to fit the bill so perfectly. Those chorus harmonies are so robust it literally sounds like there's an army of Rainas singing. The one-two punch of Because of You and T-ARA's Bo Peep Bo Peep both becoming earth-shattering hits in the latter end of 2009 is honestly one of the most exhilarating zeitgeist moments of K-Pop for me. Brave Brothers did UEE so dirty with the vocal editing, she was one autotuned note away from responding to 'Hey, Siri?'."

(10) — "I honestly can't believe not a single one of the 2009 singles made the top ten, like wtf? This is like the 9muses rate all over again when y'all voted out all the Sweetune songs before the top five or w/e. ANYWAY. This is such an amazing song. I'll never get over how good this is tbh. Also, Bekah at her absolute gorgeous peak with the blonde hair in a suit? Stun."​

@singabob (10) — "Such a classic – Kahi's and Bekah's rapping, Raina's and Jungah's vocals, Jooyeon, Nana and Uee looking gorgeous."

@RUNAWAY (10) — "Blonde Bekah ^___^ and Nana's parts <33333 - I love everything about this song, but the autotune/vocoder really take me out of it every time. It was very of its time to do stuff like that, but it just....doesn't sound good now. I vastly prefer the Japanese version as it's actually SUNG, but this song is still an iconic piece of music. Also, the Bang Bang Bang performance never fails to make me emotional, as well as the OT6 performance late in their career where they had to dress themselves because Pledis stopped caring :((((( ~link and link~"

@Attis (10) — "Timeless classic, it still gives me feeling after all these years."

@SloMover (10) — "What I loved most about After School was that while they had a reputation as a strong, sexy and badass group of WOMEN, they were never one note and managed to show a range of sides and emotions."

@eyeline (10) — "I mean Jesus Christ! This is so close to my 11. The piano, the strings, Kahi and Bekah's raps, Raina's adlibs, the lesbian undertones of the video. Pure perfection!"

@Macsun (10) — "Either they were following the trend or made the trend (I prefer the latter) for melancholic mid tempo bops. The song that put them on the map and made pantsuits popular. JUYEON gave the performance of the decade with that ultimate eye-fucking jealous side eye in the MV, a true QUEEN. Great MV! Love the song overall song structure. One of Bekah's best rap lines and the addition of Raina gave the group that extra sheen with her power vocals."

@eatyourself (10) — "I... don't have words. This should have been a smash hit in 100+ countries."

@GeiPanda (10) — "Almost my 11. It's a K-pop classic that everyone needs to listen to."

@M24 (9.75) — "When I first heard the ballad instrumentation and the autotuned vocals... I thought I wouldn't like this. Glad that didn't happen, once I heard the chorus a couple of times, I was sold. It's so epic, and the lyrics are way more meaningful than I thought they were."

@junglefish (9.5) — "Living for Kahi's granny raps in this. It's very of its time and sounds like a BIGBANG song but nobody can deny it's a gigantic bop. Afterschool giving you versatility after their iconic debut and the ultimate trash bop Diva, you gotta love it! Emotional queens. I can't end this commentary without mentioning Jungah's mushroom haircut. Pledis's CEO really gave the hairstylist a picture of Toad and told her to go wild."

@berserkboi (9) — "Here I thought I was getting a ballad - HilaryDuffLOL.gif"

@Vixen (6) — "Okay weird opinion, but it feels like a precursor to 'Shampoo'. There are lot of similarities, but this feels like the rough draft of it... kinda."​





Grade: 9.298
Honor roll: 11×2 (@Ana Raquel, @Vixen), 10×10 (@junglefish, @Crisp X, @Attis, @roblognick, @Slice of Life, @berserkboi, @Macsun, @eatyourself, @BEST FICTION, @Oleander), 9.75×1 (@M24)
Drop-outs: 6×1 (@Cotton Park), 8×2 (@chrisjche, @Mikl C), 8.25×1 (@singabob)
@Love Deluxe's score: 9.5
@vague's score: 9

5 ballots: #20, 9.250 avg.
10 ballots: #7, 9.575 avg.
15 ballots: #8, 9.350 avg.
20 ballots: #9, 9.325 avg.
25 ballots: #13, 9.180 avg.
31 ballots: #10, 9.298 avg.

"Virgin" is the third track from After School's first Korean album, VIRGIN, released on April 28, 2011. Its lyrics were written by Jang Jiwon and it was composed and arranged by Maria Marcus, Hiten Bharadia, and Niclas Lundin. "Virgin" is a cover of French-Canadian popstar Jacynthe's 2010 single, "Don't Touch Those Faders".

In the press release for VIRGIN, Pledis described "Virgin" as "a song that is intense and sexy in a dance-pop style that has emerged as a hot trend in the US and UK." Aside from "Shampoo", "Virgin" is the only other song on the album to feature vocals from all nine members - at least we think so; it was never performed live and the vocal production is kind of weird, making it hard to tell nn.

Upon its release, "Virgin" reached #8 on the Bugs! real-time download chart. It also debuted at #195 on the Gaon Digital Chart, before rising to its peak position of #181 the following week.

(9.5) — "The sativa must've been potent, because I don't know what galaxy I was on when I gave this a 9.5. But werq at the Virgin album clinching two Top 10 spots when most of the album bombed out in the 50s and 60s! What in the unenunciating hell are they singing in that Simlish sounding chorus though? All I be hearing is 'duba-dub-dub-dub-dub VIRGIN!' like a CD player skipping because of a scratchy disc."

(9) — "Very shocked that this b-side outlasted all of their 2009 singles. I mean, it's a fine song in that crunchy early 2010s kind of way, but... yeah."​

@Ana Raquel (11) — "I'm a tad biased for this track because it's one of the few cases where I know the original instrumental - it's on a Jacynthe's banger I love. So it's basically two 11s in one? dd"

@Vixen (11) — "Their best song ever, I don't make the rules. The way I was also obsessed with the English demo of this. Jacynthe or whatever ha name was made several points!"

@roblognick (10) — "I had to look at the lyrics of this because I thought this was outrageous for a K-POP song title back in the day. But really it's about the first time on stage which I'm sure is an analogy for sex but it makes me feel better at least. It's a friggin bop though right?"

@berserkboi (10) — "Massive bop ALERT!!"

@Macsun (10) — "Starts out questionable then fucking lands with the glorious chorus. Kahi's DIVA, DIVA, DIVA towards the end! Perfection."

@M24 (9.75) — "I think it's hands-down the best b-side of the album. The chorus is amazing, Raina's part at the end of it is my favorite, maybe she is my bias because I usually love her parts. The middle-8 is pretty epic too, especially for the 'diva' callback. By the way, how did they manage to release a song with that title? I would've thought no kpop group could get away with having any word related to sex, however metaphorically used."

@eyeline (9) — "Still wish we had a video for this."

@GeiPanda (9) — "Should have been the promoted track."

@singabob (8.25) — "Great song but the production always sounded too muted to me."​

I love it when K-Pop songs are based on English language songs or demoes and I find out after the fact because it means I always prefer the kpop version. The lyrics in the original are terrible. After School's version sounds fuller, better produced and arranged. This song is such a good song to strut to when you're feeling yourself.
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Dressing Room

Grade: 9.427
Honor roll: 11×1 (@M24), 10×15 (@junglefish, @evilsin, @Attis, @roblognick, @Slice of Life, @Wills, @yuuurei, @Conan, @Hurricane Drunk, @Macsun, @Cotton Park, @BEST FICTION, @Vixen, @Oleander, @Love Deluxe, @vague), 9.75×2 (@singabob, @KimLippington)
Drop-outs: 7.75×1 (@RUNAWAY), 8×5 (@Crisp X, @Ana Raquel, @ysev, @berserkboi, @Mikl C), 8.5×1 (@chrisjche)
@Love Deluxe's score: 10
@vague's score: 10

5 ballots: #13, 9.500 avg.
10 ballots: #13, 9.350 avg.
15 ballots: #12, 9.267 avg.
20 ballots: #10, 9.313 avg.
25 ballots: #9, 9.330 avg.
31 ballots: #9, 9.427 avg.

"Dressing Room" is the third track from After School's sixth Korean maxi-single, 첫사랑, released on June 13, 2013. Its lyrics were written by Minsul and it was composed and arranged by Niclas Lundin, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad, and Linda Sundblad. Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad also has songwriting credits on AOA's "10 Seconds", BoA's "U&I", and Luna's "Free Somebody".

In the press release for 첫사랑, Pledis described "Dressing Room" as a song about "an alluring woman's seduction that happens in a mysterious dressing room. Among all the songs on this album, this one matches After School the best, and people can feel their sexiness and charisma through it." The song's description on their official site states that it "seems to express the strange temptation of the moonlight."

On November 16, 2020, Lizzy sang a bit of "Dressing Room" on an Instagram live broadcast before playing a color-coded lyric video of the full song to her fans:​

(10) — "The steampunk sounding instrumental break halfway in is so unexpected and the 'uh uh uh uh' sample that's sprinkled throughout the song is one of the most deceptively catchiest bits in their discography. In another universe this song was on Tinashe's 333."

(10) — "I think this is my favorite Korean b-side in their whole discography. There's a sort of sinister, almost seedy vibe to the whole thing that I just love."​

@M24 (11) — "This song clicks with me on all levels: Electropop production? Check. A soaring chorus that hooks to your brain? Check. Vocals both sexy and dramatic? Check! Easily my favorite out of all their bangers. I was also considering giving my 11 to Shampoo, but I'm sure that song will be top ten at least, and I'm not so sure about how this one will fare. Hope you all don't disappoint me... it's got to be in the top 20 at the very least!"

@Attis (10) — "Miles better than the title track, punchy yet still feels sexy."

@roblognick (10) — "It goes from this robotic minimalistic tune to this rock fusion and it's really cool."

@Slice of Life (10) — "an 11 contender yath."

@Macsun (10) — "Dark, delicous, beautiful beats married to the pillars of JungAh and Raina vocals. Raina on the final chorus? Murder my ears baby!!
A kpop act wish they had this in their catalog.
Simply genius!"

@Vixen (10) — "Easily one of their best b-side. The perfect level of sultriness, electro beats, and strong belted vocals near the end. I've said this regarding other songs, but this also another instance of 'Afterschool finally mastering what they were sort of trying to do in the early stages, and now fully delivering on their promise with a top-tier song of that 'genre'.'"

@singabob (9.75) — "One of my favourite album tracks – I love the melancholy dance vibe it has. Hearing this again after a long time, Raina's vocals towards the end of the song just gave me chills."

@SloMover (9) — "Raina screaming 'I'M CHANGING UP' repeatedly towards the end is iconic."

@eatyourself (9) — "This sounds like something a Disney girl would release to prove she's grown up and edgy. A hit!"

@berserkboi (8) — "Bop!"​