131011_seoulbeats_kahi4The illustrious ex-leader of After School has finally made a solo comeback!

Kahi graduated from After School in 2012, promising that she would return as a solo artist and that she’s done. Having debuted as a soloist in 2011, with “Come Back You Bad Person,” this isn’t her first outing alone. And now, over a year since her last solo release, she returns with “It’s Me.”

Anyone looking for a similar release to her first one is in for a surprise. There is less noise in the background, and is quite stripped down, when compared to “Come Back You Bad Person.” We get a minimal amount of instrumental to complement Kahi’s voice. All in all, I find it to be a better use of her voice; she’s more in her element and there is a trace of sexiness that befits her age.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=li0asJQPN70]

The track was composed by Rottyful Sky (or Alice Sky), who recently passed away after battling a brain tumor for a year. This track is thus the first and last composition from the artist. Despite this sadness surrounding the release, Kahi manages to take the track and shine in it. Due to its stripped down nature, it is a laid back song.

To accompany the laid-back nature of the track is an equally laid-back MV. Set in Spain, we see Kahi indoors in her apartment, and outdoors, traveling in style. While it is a fairly simple MV with plain walking shots, it does make good use of her ambient surroundings.

131011_seoulbeats_kahi3What truly shines in the MV are the dance shots. After all, Kahi is most in her element when she is dancing. The precision and the gracefulness in the way she dances is uniquely Kahi. The choreography plays with the beats and is quite mature, much like the song and artist. In fact, it’s unique in that it’s sexily mature  — I can’t imagine anyone else doing it. Kahi does masculine sexy like no other.

Lyrics-wise, there is nothing special. It tells of a girl telling her ex that he didn’t really know all the facets of her personality. Those aspects of her are proclaimed in the repetitive but nonetheless addictive chorus of: “I’m so bad girl. I’m so good girl. I’m so sexy, sexy, sexy girl.”

It’s a shame that this was released now instead of it’s originally planned release in the earlier part of this year. This song was not worth the wait and lacks a special something, a spark, that would gain the demand and attention of the viewer and make them want to watch it again. The track is more exciting to watch during live performances because that has been the best thing about this comeback.

131011_seoulbeats_kahi1What this release does is magnify why Kahi was needed in After School, as well as how Kahi might’ve done better had she not graduated from After School. Yes, she’s doing fine on her own, but her charisma isn’t enough to lift this MV from where it is steeped in. In fact, I wish she would’ve released a full-on dance MV instead. While she looked fine, with everything technical in place, the Spain half of the MV brought nothing to the story — it doesn’t connect with the song. The dance scenes shine through and hence make the live performance a better channel for consumption.

If she were part of After School when they had released “First Love” and then had made a comeback with this, I don’t think many people would’ve minded the simplicity of it. But at the same time, this is exactly why this comeback is different from others: the lack of extravagance, of grandeur and of faux sexiness or faux cuteness.

In the quantity of releases, it remains to be seen how much of a boon Kahi can make with this comeback. Nonetheless, the dancing is a clear signature of hers; she sounds great and looks great. It’s easy to see how After School was on another level when she was their leader. While she may have a lot of competition, this MV was no slacker despite its laid-back nature and it gets a 3 out of 5.

Readers, what do you think?

(Pledis Entertainment, YouTube)