Released: April 2011, South Korea
And here come the slightly bigger-named artists, after a slew of small-time, rookie groups. Mind you, this isn't the only After School song on the list, so don't freak out over "injustice" just yet.
It took me quite some time to decide which Korean After School song to include this year, because as far as "Virgin" is concerned, majority of the better songs on the album are practically on the same level. For the longest time, it was between this and the gorgeous new arrangement of "When I Fall". So, once again, I let my mind take a backseat and I just chose what I felt was right, which is "Play Ur Love".
The reason why I chose this over "When I Fall" is because even though it was re-arranged, After School doesn't sound like that anymore. What I want to do with this list, hopefully, is capture the sound of 2011, and the re-arrangement wasn't so drastic as to capture the essence of the "new" After School sound. "Play Ur Love" is.
The melody is gorgeous, and the harmonies throughout the song bring it to another level. It's got a lot more going on than the previous ballads I featured, but that's the point. And I like that even if there are so many different instruments doing different things, they're not only tied together well, but they still manage to not clog up the song. You hear everything as it happens, and you know exactly what's happening.
Everything sounds so gentle, so serene, but Gahee, Jung Ah, and even Raina's, vocals give the song that pinch of kick that After School have always been known for. Earlier this year I was complaining about how "Virgin" was so bland, but listening back to this, I realize that the "kick" I had been looking for wasn't necessarily in the material, it was in the way they carried what they got. And believe me, if someone else sang this song it would've been even more boring and flat.
(Note that I'm reviewing the album version, which does not have the guitar part at the beginning. The video is merely for visual purposes. :D)