Saturday, December 10, 2011

[#35] KARA - "STEP"

From: "STEP" (Album)
Released: September 2011, South Korea and November 2011 (As part of "Super Girl"), Japan
Rating: 2.85

I know not a lot of people will agree with me when I say this, but Japan has worked wonders for KARA. They may not be aware of it, but after they began their Japanese career, majority of their singles have been strong, with the likes of "Jumping" (which was #20 on last year's best of list)

"STEP" dropped nearly half of it's initial score when I reviewed it earlier this year, however it's still one of the best KARA singles ever. The most important thing to take note of is that with "STEP", KARA managed to find a balance between the cutesy image they were known for, and a more current, albeit technology-dependent, sound. And balance is all I've ever really wanted from KARA, to be honest.

I understand that the concept of "cute" will never leave, because of all the money and fans they've made with it, but KARA themselves have to understand that they won't be in their late teens/early twenties forever, and once they get past that age, cute just won't work anymore. Can you imagine 30 year-old's singing "Rock U" or "Pretty Girl"? I think not. They have to think for the future, and "STEP" is the beginning of that.

And a portion from my review earlier this year, which I'd like to point out:
It's nice to know that after all the complaining I've been doing these past few years about the fact that all these idol groups have no sense of musical identity and cohesion, everyone in kpop is finally, slowly, finding their ground, and their niche. I've been waiting for more than 2 years for this, it's about time! 
And of course, that middle 8 is stunning. They can't sing it live to save themselves, but on the recording it's a much-welcome pause from the synth-laden, chaotic song.