After School member Raina has quietly built up a respectable solo discography after, and even prior to, the group’s radio silence since 2014. It’s Okay is her first solo track in more than a year, and it’s a good one.
Raina has chosen to focus on romantic ballads, which is a great fit for her incredibly emotive, soulful voice that does justice to her genre of choice—although she may wander into bubbly, coming-of-age tracks sometimes like she did last year with Loop.
For the most part, though, Raina’s solo releases are firmly on the acoustic listen-while-rain-patters-on-the-windows side of the spectrum. From A Midsummer Night’s Sweetness to Don’t Know to You End, And Me, her discography seems tailor-made for those melancholic evenings, when you’re reminiscing over a lost love or the good old days.
The quality of her solo albums is enough to make me (just very slightly) bitter at Pledis, her management company. Think of how much more she, and After School, could’ve achieved had they only been given a competent agency! (For more of my ranting against Pledis Entertainment, please consult my numerous tirades on this subject.)
Correction: an earlier version of this story labeled After School as a former group. This is inaccurate: while half of the members have left, and they haven’t released a new song since 2014, and Pledis seems uninterested in even confirming their existence, they are, technically, not yet disbanded.