BROKEN HEART feat. Jung-A, Raina, Nana, E-Young
Diva [Japan Ver.]
Just in time
Shampoo [Japan Ver.]
Because of you [Japan Ver.]
Miss Futuristic feat. Kahi, Juyeon, U-ie, Lizzy
Bang! [Japan Ver.]
Shanghai Romance [Japan Ver.] (CD only)
1. Rip off
I love the pinball machine shtick that starts the album. Rip off is kind of aggressive but so different from what I know of the group and it just kind of took me to a different place. Though I will say how they say ~rip off~ is kind of funny to hear. I’m surprised that at only three minutes, it felt longer hahaha. Still a good way to open the album up!
2. Rambling girls
Third A-side and the primary one, Rambling girls is some hot shit right here. I love the deeper synth beats and the mysterious flow of the girls…but also comes off in a good way because they sound more sexy than they did back in “Diva” and “Bang!”. I still do have my problems with the song like the chorus being full of ~la la la~ and nothing really more. The verses though…god it’s orgasmic!
3. BROKEN HEART feat. Jung-A, Raina, Nana, E-Young
So two of the album songs are split between the 8 members! BROKEN HEART is kind of a little more pop-based than the previous two tracks but I’m good because the tune sounds really nice and the chorus is aggressive but not at the levels of the previous two tracks. The four girls sound really good together oddly enough. I liked it a lot!
4. Diva [Japan Ver.]
Damn, this album has impressed me so far! Diva comes next and like I said in the single review, this was actually the only song that was given a new arrangement in lieu of the original’s. I hate to say it but they slammed the original into the ground but you can’t deny the new aggressive nature and electro-ish feel gave it new light and the girls sound better! I think it’s my favorite of the 4 A-sides on the album!
5. Just in time
After those energetic songs, we start to calm down a little bit with Just in time which kind of has this cute SNSD sound to it which isn’t a surprise to me but I do like the kind of laidback feel to it. Though I do question that buzzing synth here in the verses because it’s kind of annoying. It’s different but I know AFTERSCHOOL for their energetic tracks not stuff like this lol.
6. Shampoo [Japan Ver.]
So the album gets two more new Korean to Japanese songs. One is Shampoo and while I never heard the original yet, Shampoo here sounds a lot more impressive than “Just in time” though the rapping sequence is a tad bit weird for me. Still I thought this was a better cute song for the group than the previous song oddly enough.
7. Because of you [Japan Ver.]
As I reviewed the single, I still think the Korean version still sounds better overall than the Japanese to be honest because it didn’t feel as strong IMHO. I mean it does catch up in the chorus but I’m still feeling for the original version just a whole lot more but not a bad try tbh.
8. Gimme Love
Moving out of the cute songs of the album, we swerve back into their energetic dance tracks with Gimme Love. I will admit that I love the vibe I got out of this song because it has a certain K-pop glow but mixed in with their Japanese feel which really worked. All the girls sound great and while the auto-tune is there, it’s not utilized all over the song so that’s good news. Probably my favorite of the new songs.
9. Futuristic Love feat. Kahi, Juyeon, U-ie, Lizzy
We get to our other split song in Futuristic Love and then I start to worry because of the intro with the auto-tune abuse. I do approve of the arrangement having a lighter but still danceable feel to it but OMG why did these four need to have the auto-tune going on…I mean you have Kahi who’s a great singer and I’m sure the other three sing well too >.> I mean, it’s catchy and all but I felt these four got the short end of the stick here…
10. Bang! [Japan Ver.]
So the group’s debut A-side is found near the end of the album huh. To be honest, I felt that of the upbeat songs on the album, Bang! just didn’t cut it for me even though it was the optimal choice to debut with since it was big in Korea. I did love the PV since it was a marching band kind of motif, but since the PV isn’t what I’m talking about it’s hard to form an opinion. It’s different and the girls are yelling the chorus which is new to me…but “Diva” and “Rambling girls” outrank it in the A-sides.
11. Tell me
The final song on the album does make sense closing the album but it’s weird coming off from the previous three songs to this song which could’ve fit somewhere around “Shampoo” and “Because of you” since it’s cute but it’s also a ballad. I do like the very light arrangement and the ladies’ vocals are just pretty to listen to. A very fitting way to close the album!
12. Shanghai Romance [Japan Ver.]
As a little extra incentive, the CD only version comes with Shanghai Romance which is a song from Orange Caramel (one of the sub-groups from AFTERSCHOOL). Featuring only Raina, Nana, and Lizzy in this song you could say it’s the third split song. Honestly, I’m surprised by this because I love the whole Chinese feel mixed with their K-pop touch. To be fair it kind of rubs off as parapara for some reason because it just sounds perfect for it. I kind of love this song for it…it’s cute but fun at the same time…Interesting choice as an extra song but a smart choice too!
Song of Avoidance
Ahhhh, AFTERSCHOOL’s debut album in Japan is a whole lot better than the last J-pop debut for a K-pop group (U-KISS). PLAYGIRLZ is definitely an albut that brings some nice color and interesting things for the group. I will say there was like maybe 2 or 3 songs that I didn’t totally care for but the rest was pretty awesome. A lot of energy and cute altogether. I hope they continue to release in Japan because they just know how to do this.