The indefinite hiatus of girl group After School and its sub-unit, Orange Caramel, is made even more frustrating whenever one of the group’s members returns with a by-the-numbers ballad. I don’t believe in shoehorning an act into one specific style, but Raina seems intent on crafting the most weightless material possible. New single It’s Okay (작아지는 중) is another subdued, OST-sounding entry to add to the stack.
No one can fault Raina for wanting to showcase her vocals. After all, both After School and Orange Caramel were usually more focused on dancefloor edge than emotional balladry. And she possesses an effortlessly pleasant tone, instantly calming but not devoid of nuance. She drives It’s Okay with a polished performance. But musically, there’s just not much to work with.
Arranged primarily as a simple piano ballad, the song incorporates a bit of soft percussion and guitar. This hushed instrumental mostly stays out of the way, providing a gentle atmosphere that doesn’t pander with attempts to wring tears from its listeners. The stark melody echoes Lee Hi’s 2016 hit Breathe, though it’s far less striking and lacks that song’s emotional gut punch. There’s definite sentimentality here, but it never feels in your face. Even as Raina’s notes extend and amplify in power, It’s Okay still comes across as muted. This would work perfectly as the soundtrack to a drama. On its own, the song becomes all too forgettable.