Congratulations are due for Shampoo, which never fails to bring a double-take to anyone who hears the name for the first time. “This song is called what?”
This 2011 track was a hard pivot for After School, who thus far had pretty much exclusively stuck to powerful, in-your-face tracks like Diva or Bang and had built up a deserved reputation as one of the best performance groups around. (Their drumline-inspired prologue for Bang is still impressive.)
Despite its status as an aberration, or maybe because of it, Shampoo is one of my favorite tracks from After School’s discography. The lilting piano progressions are a refreshing departure from the norm, and for a genre that hesitates to have its title tracks go above the three/four-minute mark, it’s nice to listen to a song that isn’t afraid to take its time.
That “to be continued” tag at the end of this music video was a lead-in for Let’s Step Up, the prologue track to their Virgin album which was accompanied by tap performance choreography. While the effort is impressive, one has to wonder if After School’s skewed focus on gimmicky dance routines was worth it—considering they’ve been radio silent for nearly seven years at this point.