Episode 9

After School "Happy PLEDIS 1st Album" (2010)

KEY NOTES

0:00  DISCLAIMER

0:19  What’s up this episode?

0:47  Charity projects

1:41  Today’s album

3:16  The A3Day rating

An Album a Day is my exploration into the Korean music scene. This podcast will cover mainstream, indie and some underground artists within the scene and provide both factual and opinionated commentary. The biggest benefit to sharing my thoughts this way is that it will hopefully expose you to more great music and exploration of your own.

We still have not reached a full album. How did After School endure this for so many comebacks? However they did it, Pledis Entertainment told the music department to put on a happy face and throw some holiday cheer into the mix because they were making an album unlike their previous ones. Jingle those bells and thank those fans, right after the drop. 

You’re tuned into An Album a Day. Show start.

Hey y’all, it’s the season of giving and holiday cheer in this time in history. Today, we’re time traveling to December 2010 for “Happy Pledis 1st Album.” We recently talked about concepts and themes but this here is a project. Projects can exist within a concept and have a theme. Let’s keep it this simple so that we can move forward. If you’re interested in understanding more about concepts and themes, look up After School “Bang!”, Season 4 Episode 8. 

The album “Happy Pledis” is a charity single. Charity projects are usually associated with a philanthropic cause and in this case, a portion of the proceeds (which is just a simple word for saying monies earned from an activity or an event) went to the Save the Children organization. Pledis Entertainment, the label that After School was built upon, might not have meant “charity” in this typical way exclusively. This album was released during December and lists its genre as pop and Christmas, so there might have been attention towards the Biblical definition of charity. After all, Pledis did say that they wanted their artists to return the love they receive from their fans and to bolster compassion for the winter season. More specifically, the Wikipedia page for this album says, “to look around themselves with a warmer heart in the winter season.” Pledis Entertainment encouraged other artists on the label to create their own version of the “Happy Pledis” album and their warmed heart allowed After School member Bekah a break from promotions to spend time with her family.

After School’s project contributions were tracks “Love Love Love,” written by member Raina, and “Someone is You,” written by Kahi. Instrumentals of both songs, created by Anders Dannvik and Krististian Lagerstr, and Dainel Barkman and Jorgen Ringqvist respectively, close out the album at about 14 minutes. I sincerely apologize for any mispronunciations of the names of these composers, arrangers, and writers. While I know there are some nuances to Swedish and the International Phonetic Alphabet provides some assistance, regional dialects can impact pronunciation and I hate screwing up names. 

The songs are lighthearted and a solid 180 from the energy of “Bang!” This makes total sense, as secular Christmas music usually is. After School took an adopted Christmas music approach, actually, where the actual holiday isn’t acknowledged but the tune can be easily placed into a Christmas playlist. “Love Love Love” is talking about the feelings of being with the person you love and the rush of that realization for the first time, and “Someone is You” isn’t far off from that mark. The musicality and especially video themes need only a bit of snow and a cup of hot chocolate and bam! Some of us are thinking of Christmas.

K-pop fans on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being essential listening and 1 not worth mentioning, the A3Day rating on this is a 5. Short and sweet, the ladies were able to raise money for charity, create love songs that can work for the time of year when people want to feel loved most, and accommodates both secular and non-Christian fans with lovely music compositions in instrumental form. I hope that things continue to go up from here for the ladies, just as I said in yesterday’s episode. I’ll catch you in the next episode, bye y’all.

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About the Podcast

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Multifacetedacg Presents: An Album a Day
A Review of Every Album in K-pop

About your host

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Ashley Griffin

Ashley "Multifacetedacg" Griffin is a diverse content creator. Since 2013, she's specialized in Hallyu Wave entertainment, with an emphasis on K-pop and music production commentary.