Music review: Is Kara REALLY all grown up?


After following their career from their “Break it” days, to “Pretty Girl” era to their recent “Revolution,” I came to the conclusion that: You think you might know the girls of Kara—but you have NO idea.

Kara’s fierce image just a little after debut


Kara minus one, plus two


I’ve always been a bit indifferent about Kara. I think they’re a good group, but nothing stellar—they’re all right, I guess. After their debut album, I’ve lost all interest, as “Pretty Girl” and Honey did nothing but grate on my nerves. Hearing “purrreeetty girl” for me was like hearing long nails scratching on a chalk board. But that was about to change with the coming of their new release, “Kara Revolution 2.”

MAGIC– This song has a surprising pace for the usual happy-peppy Kara. It’s a mid-tempo ballad that has a very hypnotizing melody and has quite a melancholic vibe. LOVE the music box effect in the background. Their cutesy and random coos were nowhere to be found, thank goodness! They lowered the tone of their voices in the beginning and in the bridge parts—and added a very cool rap! Who knew Kara had this deeper side to them?

SECRETLY – Starting with an upbeat tone, cutesy, high-pitched “Why!” thrown in every now and then—I was about to press next until I head the chorus. Very nice! It was cute, but sprinkled in just the right amount. Could it be that Kara is beginning to learn how to restrain themselves from being overly cute and preventing themselves from suddenly bursting into a pillow fight? Could it be that they are starting to grow up and move away from their world of cotton candy, marshmallows and rainbow-ponies?


LET IT GO By the time I got to this song, the answer to my question is a resounding YES! While they still retain a cute image, it’s pretty obvious that they’re slowly adapting a mature image. Strangely enough, this song reminds me of BEG’s “Moody Night!” It has a mysterious-disco-pop sound, peppered with a little Lady Gaga beat! Must listen! Kara is, dare I say it, FIERCE!

TAKE A BOW – Just when you’re starting to go on a sugar withdrawal and miss the girls’ cute side—Take a bow comes along! At first I thought they were saying “Think about.. think about!” LOL. But the song is actually very likeable! I’m liking how they’re experimenting with different sounds and effects infused in this candy pop song.

AHA! – This song takes a page off their previous album. It kinda reminds me of their cheery song “Good Day,” only a bit slower. The random dialogues in the background are back! LOL. Kinda like how you can hear giggling and whispering in SNSD’s Genie song. I can imagine this as a JPOP song, it would really work well as an anime OST. If you’re a fan of JPOP singers Coorie, Mai Kuraki, CLAMP soundtrack this one’s for you!

WANNA– Cheesy MV, catchy but very repetitive song. It has a very 80’s “Footloose” sound with a JPOP feel. I laughed at the line “Everybody come on, everybody come on Papaya!” Well, it certainly is better than “If you wanna pretty, every wanna pretty!” This song is the type that grows on you over time. “Oy, oye oye!”

MISTER– This should’ve been their main comeback single! The intro was very strong, their stage performances and their boyish concept are amazing! It’s edgy, yet it stayed within Kara’s trademark style of coming up with choreography that can be easily remembered. Pretty Girl had the “makeup dance,” Honey had the hand-to-lip movements and Mister had the “butt dance!” Seunghyun had the most catchy part, while sexy Nicole stands out! I swear she gets better and better every time!

Bootay dance!


Same heart – Meh. Don’t like it.

***

THE LOWDOWN: While Kara may not be known for having the best vocals, in Revolution, they showed a wide range of their music that was not seen in their previous mini-album. I mean, how many versions of the same song (Pretty Girl bunny, school, plastic and rock versions) can you stand? Revolution is hip, fun and edgy—which shows that Kara has added some spice in their usual sugary sweet image! See, Kara can do it! They just need a little push! They need to bring it on more on stage! Just when you think DSP does not know what to do with the girls, it seems like they’re doing it just right this time around.



I’m actually rooting for Kara to win in music shows for all their efforts. Though I’m a fan of 2NE1 and BEG, it’s about time Kara got some recognition. They’ve been in the biz for quite a while now and it’s really great that they’re finally showing they’re a force to be reckoned with.


***

KARA THEN AND NOW

Maknae Jiyoung: I have to be honest. Didn’t like her before at all. I know she’s young and all but she’s just too… ditzy. Sorry. But she’s becoming such a lady now! Very lovely.



Seunghyun: The girl who gets the most flack from netizens (Remember the hairy arms issue? Poor girl!). But she keeps her cool and continues to work hard, you gotta give her props for that.


Doll-like Goo Hara: The very definition of pretty, but perhaps TOO pretty. She needs to work on her expressions a little bit more on stage.



Leader Park Gyuri: She kinda reminds me of high school queen Regina George in the movie Mean Girls—she may appear cold and b*tchy but you just can’t help but love her! Is it just me or does she resemble Ha Ji Won in their album photos (especially in the wet hair and white polo shirt pic)?





My fave girl Nicole! She’s just so naturally cute but when she’s on stage she’s on fire!


P.S. What do you think of their new album? Who’s your fave Kara member?

***

Advertisements

13 Responses

  1. “Could it be that Kara is beginning to learn how to restrain themselves from being overly cute and preventing themselves from suddenly bursting into a pillow fight?” – LOL almost spat the doritos i’m eating into the lappy screen. they look always ready to burst into a pillow fight don’t they? (fulfilling every ahjussi’s dream while they’re at it)

    omg thanks for the review!! i wasn’t really that eager before to listen to their new album songs (except for mister ♥) but after reading your take on their new sound i have to say i’m pretty excited lol. will order their album now!! i’m easily swayed lol. but seriously i wanna listen to Aha badly since you said it’s clamp-ish!! LOVE CLAMP. and i wanna listen to Let It Go too cause you know i love Moody Night by B.E.G.!! beg for the world!! lol. i’m really happy that now we can finally use the word FIERCE and KARA in the same sentence haha

    “Oy, oye oye!” – lol i was shouting this out loud last night in the house when i stumbled upon my sleeping mother. lol i was like “OYE OYE OYE!! OYE OYe oye oye… ohh” haha. she had a groggy HUH on her face after that. lol i did all of Kara’s signature dance steps as i read them off your list haha what a ditz *does the the hand-to-lip honey dance again* and yeah MISTER blew me away! at first i thought “huh wait is this really kara??” amazing!! who knew they had those moves in them. nicole really shines every time she does the hip booty shaking dance. diva! i’m really happy DSP listened to the fans’ clamor for the old KARA (aww we miss gahee!). true i have a secret wish for these girls to win! they work so hard! look at how lean and defined their bodies look. and i never expected them to deliver sexy but they did it!

    honestly when i first came upon pretty girl i didn’t know that jiyoung was the maknae lol. she looked mature during their pretty girl album phase. ironically, now that they’re not doing the cutesy prepubescent girly image anymore, they all look younger for me lol. maknae girl actually looks the part now. seungyeon really garned lots of bad rep due to her occasional word vomits lol but she has the best vocals i think, so whatever. i used to like leader girl gyuri before cause her face really stands out (but i find gahee to be the prettiest still!) but meh i find her too fresh! she really is the queen bee type lol. it surprises me every time when she does the high note adlib thing when they perform wanna lol. goo (or is it koo? whatevs) hara is really freakishly pretty. she’s the token monster beauty girl. loving her frayed hair thing going on in their performances haha. i didn’t notice it before but nicole looks way thinner yeah. she seems to be everyone’s fave kara girl. if i had a favorite it would be her too cause she’s the only girl whose personality stands out lol. she’s so fiery hot in their mister performances true!!

    thanks for the Kara review! looking forward to their performances (of Mister mostly lol). speaking of cutesy girl groups my sister and i are totally hung up now on Morning Musume’s oldie song Jyosei Kashimashi Monogatari! huhu we missed jpop haha

    • oooh i forgot to say! CLAMP omg brings out the otaku in me, plus full metal alchemist, ah my goddess, ouran high school (hana kimi anime ver), yaoi, the list goes on otherwise i’d fill this comment up. sigh morning musume, i’ve heard a lot about them, but never really checked their music out. they’ve got a lot of subgroups ala JE, and they really start out young. and i feel bad for the ones who graduate they kind of disappear after that, unless they have a very strong otaku fanbase. you have to watch those grad ceremonies—otakus are literally bawling/crying like fools lol sorry but the fail is just too much.

  2. “While Kara may not be known for having the best vocals, in Revolution, they showed a wide range of their music that was not seen in their previous mini-album”

    agree. I used to get boring with their songs back then. With a not-so-good vocal range, and monotone melody, I’m sure they will be defeated easily with other newcomers. But now, after listening their new album, I must admit I’m impressed.

    However, I miss the cute kara. I remember back then, they look so cute, with pinky and pastel tone dress, even with their ‘plumpy’ body. Now, they got great abs, not afraid to show it off, even playing their sexuality, which somehow kind of similar with others. Since 2NE1 breakthrough, seems like the rest girl bands try to compete them by looking fierce also.

    *sigh* this is the weakness of K-pop. Everyone is great, it’s just that everyone always following the trend not making a trend or signature style. Uniformity is always there.

    • “Everyone is great, it’s just that everyone always following the trend not making a trend or signature style. ” —-I AGREE. in kpop, it’s always about the “concept” or the “point” in every dance. it’s always like “mature concept” or “cute” or in dance they’d have trademark moves that everyone should look out for and imitate (Kara’s booty dance, 2PM’s again and again chorus, 2ne1’s i don’t care shrugging) i’ve noticed in interviews hosts would always ask, “what’s the concept of this new single?” or “what’s the main point to your dance?” sigh. it would be hard for someone NOT to have a concept because they wouldn’t know how to explain themselves. unless their concept is “not having a concept.”

  3. Hello! Oh my gosh, I’m sorry I got back to you so freaking late, I don’t check the About page that often and I didn’t get a notification like I usually do :(. I’m really sorry! But I just wanted to say thank you so much for such a nice comment! That’s very nice of you! ❤ 🙂

  4. I’m really loving their album i got it yesterday and i was actually wondering when you were going to do a review!! Haha, I couldn’t stand Pretty Girl or Honey era but I love their new sound I hope this keep sound for any future endeavours.

  5. I’ve never been a fan of Kara, I always found them to be mediocre. I always thought that it’s because they debut around the same time as WG and SNSD did that it was the main reason why they weren’t as adore by fans. They just didn’t have that oomph in them that WG, SNSD and 2NE1 have, the factor that makes you stare and continue to watch. I always found them to be mediocre, like almost there but not quite. Although yeah, over time I have given KARA more attention but i still feel that they’re lacking but nonetheless improving. I also think another reason for their setback is that they never established a trademark look for themselves. They were always adapting to other girl group images that work. When cute worked for SNSD, they follow and now the whole ‘mature concept’ is going on, they continue to do the same by following the trend. Instead, they should set the trend and perhaps then they’ll be taken more serious.

    • i agree about kara being just “almost there”, like i said they just need a little push and they need to bring it on more on stage. it’s too bad though, they should’ve began improving long ago. and in my last post “old and new kara” i also stressed that they keep changing their image it’s hard to keep up! the girls have potential, i’m glad they’re showing it now, but i hope they’d take off and do something really great. anyways, love your comment! very well said!<3

  6. i think it’s so sweet that you take the time out to read the comments and then personally reply. you’re so kind hahaha.

    • awww i love reading comments! it’s good to have conversation and know what people think! it makes me feel like i’m not the only one ranting/raving about something lol! thanks for always dropping by!<3

  7. when it comes to kidols i have 3 groups. the ones i like to listen to, the ones i like to watch on shows and the ones that i like to watch and listen to^^ kara is in the second one. I’m just not feeling their songs and prefer just watching them on sgb or s4 idol show bc their personalities shine thru more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: