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After School returns to Korea after Kahi’s departure

K-pop group After School has returned to Korea with its fifth album “Flashback,” after a successful year in Japan.

With the new album, full of electronica sounds and beats, the girls are trying to rekindle the image of their debut in 2009.

“The album title ‘Flashback’ means that we are trying to go back to our initial image to the fans when we first debuted,” said Jung-A, the group’s lead vocalist, in a news conference held in Seoul on Wednesday.

“For our new album, we are trying to show what fans want After School to show and closely hear the words of the fans. They are also trying to do music that is more acceptable to fans at all ages, she said, adding that she believes the first impression the group gives is of “mature girls who know how to party.”
Members of girl group After School pose for photo at a press conference held in Seoul, Wednesday. (Pledis)
Members of girl group After School pose for photo at a press conference held in Seoul, Wednesday. (Pledis)

The lead song, “Flashback,” produced by TEXU, has an electronic sound that blends well with the group’s powerful and charismatic image, its agency Pledis said. The album also contains Jung-A and Raina’s duet “Timeless.” Nana, who has been establishing herself in Japan’s fashion industry, has her first solo performance with “Eyeline.” Last year, the girl group debuted in Japan and promoted themselves and their music throughout the year.

Following the footsteps of other K-pop girl groups making inroads into Japan, Asia’s biggest music market, After School also has seen substantial success. Tickets were sold out for their first concert “AFTERSCHOOL First Japan Tour 2012- PLAYGIRLZ” in April. The group also held an encore concert on Monday at Tokyo Dome City Hall, as a way to thank fans in Japan.

The comeback showcase in Seoul was the first event for the group after their former leader Kahi’s departure.

Kahi, who gained popularity for her dance style, left the group, due to the group’s school-like enrollment and graduation system. To fill the gap, the group added another young member, Kaeun, who is only 17.

“Kahi’s loss is overbearing but we have tried very hard to fill in the gap and worked extremely hard,” said member U-ie.

“(The new member) Kaeun is doing exceptionally well, managing the difficult choreography of the hit-song ‘Bang’ during the group’s Japan tour,” she said.

With new member Kaeun, the girl group now consists of eight members including Jooyeon, Raina, Nana, Lizzy and E-young. After School debuted in January 2009 with their single “Ah!” and established a strong fan base with other songs such as “Diva,” “Bang” and “Because of you.”

By Lee Hyun-jae, Intern reporter  (