Friday, September 9, 2011

Review: KARA–“STEP”

KARA steps it up with their colorful new music video.

Did you like the song?
With KARA’s past songs, i.e. Mr., Jumping, and Lupin, I’ve usually been right on the edge of really liking them. They’re not bad songs by any means, but there hasn’t been anything that really stuck out for me. And I guess I think the problem lies in the choruses. They’re okay, sure, but they’re always lacking something to make them really catchy (to me, anyway). The most distinctive chorus from the three has been the Mr. one, although that may just be because that butt dance is so memorable (and dirty!).

All that is to say that while I still think the chorus here could still be stronger musically, “Step” has so many other things that go right that it’s hard not to like the song. Especially…

What was your favorite part of the song?
That buildup to the chorus is great (the “Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” parts), and I really enjoyed the celebratory “louder” parts. I do want to know what is with all these songs having a random slow and pretty bridge in the middle of songs? I mean, so far I haven’t heard an instance of them done badly, I just want to know if this is a new trend or not. (Incidentally, the best ones I’ve heard are in After School’s Bang! and SNSD’s Mr. Taxi.)

KARA group

(Left) Hara, Jiyoung, (Right) Gyuri, Seungyeon, and Nicole

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
No, actually. There are quite a few English phrases sprinkled throughout, all logical and pronounced well. Good job!

Did you like the video?
Yup! I love super-colorful videos where the focus is on the dance. This one wasn’t quite as colorful as Miss A’s Breathe, but it will still work for you when testing your monitor’s color functions. And the contrast from the colorful-flashing-lights background to the ethereal, clean…alien pod (?) background was pretty.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
Are they in Vegas? Is there a party? Are KARA legally allowed to gamble? Who are those people randomly standing behind them on bleachers glumly clapping and pretending to have fun? Why are they holding random boom boxes? (Do they still make those?) Did anyone else notice that there were signs from KARA’s other MVs that spelled “Mr. Lupin STEP Jumping”?

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
I really love that backbending mic dance.

KARA mic dance

Work it, ladies!

Also, the main “step it up, step it up” dance just reaffirms that KARA can move their hips like whoa.

Do the members look good?
Don’t they always? They do, their costumes are pretty, and the way the light reflects in their eyes in the close-ups was nice.

Kara Jiyoung eyes pretty

Reflections in Jiyoung’s eyes

Which member stood out the most?
It’s hard not to pick leader Gyuri for this; she has such a distinctive look here.



But I thought Hara with her huge crimped-hair ponytail was really sexy and took the limelight for me.



Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Yes, I do! Good job, KARA.

Any ending thoughts?
Despite the legal battles the group faced earlier this year, I believe they have come out stronger with this song.

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“I like the black and yellow X-Men-style costumes.”

KARA STEP members yellow

KARA, do you have a secret identity?

X-Men First Class


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