Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: After School–“Rambling Girls”

After School go a-rambling in sexy, layered silvery outfits.

Did you like the song?
I can’t remember when I first heard After School’s Japanese single. Probably back when the teaser came out. But from that point on, no joke, I’ve sporadically had the “la la la, la la, la la la,” part stuck in my head, despite the fact that I have no idea what “rambling girls” are. The melody comes at odd times, especially when doing boring chores, which leads me to know that this is a great song to brush one’s teeth to. Here’s the thing—this would okay, if mildly irritating, if I adored the song.

Unfortunately, I’m still on the edge. The song is absolutely catchy, but it seems to constantly be building to something that I wanted to be more decisive and explosive than what happened. But I did like the hint of Spanish guitar towards the end. More of that, please!

Random rambling (heh) note: Like many songs, this one would be better with the addition of some accordion. Let’s continue the accordion trend!

After School Rambling Girls members concept photos names

Jooyeon, Raina, Lizzy, Kahi, E-Young, Jung-Ah, Uee, and Nana.

What was your favorite part of the song?
I like what I see as the climax of the song, the last “la la la” part.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
The English needs some work. First of all, what is a rambling girl? We turn to Google (all hail Google):
rambling (adjective):
1. Lengthy and confused or inconsequential.
2. Extended over an irregular area; sprawling.
3. Prone to wandering or roaming.
So they’re girls who won’t stop prattling on about inconsequential topics, girls looking to grow, or girls who tend to be nomadic. Got it. I suspect they are trying to say that it’s hard to keep them as girlfriends; they’re interested in living more fully and will leave you if you get boring. It’s an interesting choice of words.

Secondly, we have lots of phrases like, “Going with me? Up to you, baby,” which is a bit fragmented, to say the least, and not pronounced particularly well, either.

Did you like the video?
Eh, not really. I feel like the music calls for something richer than shiny costumes on a blank stage with random visual effects to make it look like something is happening when it’s not. The red of the press conference room was more what I wanted. I had this Roma/Eastern European/Middle Eastern vision for this music video where the girls dance around a fire with colorful scarves.

It also irritated me how they were so close to cutting out the girls’ heads in some of shots, showing just below their necks. After School’s videos tend to hyper-sexualize them, but this was just out of line. I started to wonder if the cameraperson was just having an off day. (“Oh, there are actually people in this MV, as opposed to bodies?”) Good luck learning After School’s names with this one, new fans. They’re all wearing the same thing, and their heads are sometimes cropped out of the shot. Yay.

After School Rambling Girls screenshots

Jooyeon falls prey to the chopping block.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
After School are space travelers back from their first intergalactic mission and getting interviewed by the press about their discoveries.

After School Rambling Girls Raina

Raina handles all the reporters.

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
Like the song, the dance has this hypnotic quality, which I’m pretty sure is 90% due to the weird silvery layered dresses the ladies are wearing and 10% due to their hips. (I seem to keep having to explain that I’m not actually gay. I guess bi is looking more and more like a possibility. Thanks, Kpop.)

Do the members look good?
Of course. But why was part of their dress almost see-through? I didn’t like that as much, not because it was too revealing but because it didn’t seem to match with the rest of their outfits.

After School Rambling Girls members concept photos names

Uee, Kahi, Jung-Ah, Jooyeon, Nana, Raina, E-Young, and Lizzy.

Which member stood out the most?
Have to give it Kahi. She’s just so gorgeous. But I liked Jung-Ah, too.

After School Rambling Girls Kahi

Pretty, pretty Kahi.

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Aside from finding it too memorable in a not entirely pleasant way, I am afraid of buying this song. I am afraid it would never leave me. My only hope is that my brain finds something else to stick with me, and soon.

That said…I haven’t had new Kpop in a while…and it is very tempting…you know, I will probably end up getting this. Curses.

Any ending thoughts?
But at least it’s a new Japanese song instead of a remake (right?), and it’s certainly catchy. But, Avex, please get your act together. Join us in the new century. Please upload a full-HD version to your official site. Thanks.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“…Mortal Kombat?”

Thanks for reading! :)


  1. Yay, After School made a new song! Too bad it's in Japanese. I was kinda hoping they'd make a new Korean comeback by now. I'm starting to miss them in the Kpop scene :(

    Oh, and are you reviewing Kpop-related Japanese songs, too? Since After School and U-Kiss made Jpop songs and you just reviewed them... (Tick Tack was really upbeat and catchy, though. It was as good as Neverland!)

  2. I'm starting to miss them in the Kpop scene :(

    I want After School do have a Korean comeback with something as awesome as the Korean version of "Bang!" I miss that, but hopefully they will be back soon.

    Oh, and are you reviewing Kpop-related Japanese songs, too?

    Sure, if the artists are from the Kpop world and the songs are new and interesting. I also did 4minute's "Ready Go," which I believe was in Japanese. (I admit to being extraordinarily biased towards U-KISS and 4minute, though, heh heh, and will review anything they touch.)

    I just don't want to review Japanese music video remakes of hit Korean songs--that's what irritates me and makes me feel like the artists aren't getting a chance to progress. SHINee in 2011 drove me up a wall with frustration at all their remakes. I feel that artists entering new markets should release new songs where some thought has been put into how the new language fits the music. Oh well.

  3. Yeah, Japanese Lucifer wasn't the best remake I heard at all last year. I couldn't listen to it after 10 seconds into the song, so I stopped. But some of them were actually really good in a new language (Mister and Genie were the first songs I had thought of).

    The only Kpop idol groups that I know of who made new Jpop songs are SNSD, Big Bang, U-Kiss, 4minute, After School, KARA, SuJu, and DBSK (or HoMin and JYJ if we talk about them seperately). There's probably more, but I don't keep track on all of the artists.

  4. I couldn't listen to it after 10 seconds into the song, so I stopped.

    Ouch. That's pretty bad. I also kind of cringed my way through it, although I don't know Japanese so I was more cringing at the video and general sound. It just hurt because I adore SHINee but keep feeling like they haven't made anything new in so long. Maybe this year they'll have a comeback with an original song. :D

  5. methinks you may have caught a version of the video where it was zoomed in, hence our headless members making an appearance. 

    In other news, I've just stumbled across this site, and I really enjoy your writing! 

  6. Hi, nice to meet you! Glad you like the site. :)

    You're right, I did at first see a close-up version because at the time the full correct version hadn't been released yet. But even in that version there are one or two scenes where the girls' heads are cropped out, I think. I could be wrong. I just like ranting. :D