Kurayami Monogatari

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KARA – Girl’s Story August 18, 2015

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 5:06 am

girlsstory

Track Listing

  1. Mamma Mia!
  2. Summer☆gic
  3. Sunshine Miracle
  4. Love Click
  5. N.E.V.E.R.L.A.N.D.
  6. So Good
  7. Kiss Kiss Kiss
  8. Last Summer
  9. SUNNY DAYS
  10. Fanfare
  11. Forever Love

1. Mamma Mia!

I am definitely not surprised that the album would open with the first A-side released for the album (which was also the first single with their new member Young Ji after Nicole and Ji Young had left).  Honestly, with their string of awesome dance tracks, Mamma Mia! really suited their sound and I personally prefer the JPN version of the KOR just because the lyrics have a LOT more snap to it!  It’s just a happy and dance-friendly song and just kept me dancing all year!  Awesome song!

2. Summer☆gic

Then came the other single after “Mamma Mia!” and I wasn’t sure what to think because KARA and summer singles are just a given at this point.  I still think of all of them, it is the weak link of them, but it’s mostly because the chorus is kind of forgettable and cute KARA isn’t a style I’m too into so it just kind of fell to the wayside.

3. Sunshine Miracle

I just wished the summer songs would have split apart more because we get Sunshine Miracle once again after “Summer☆gic” and it still kind of falls flat too. On the single, this song was pretty decent and has a cute beach vibe going for it, but maybe it’s a little too formulaic for me so it just kind of goes by with not much of a strong opinion.

4. Love Click

At least we get a new song right?  Love Click moves the group away from the summer vibes and gives us another dance track to jam to.  I actually was surprised it didn’t come after “Mamma Mia!” because it would’ve just made sense.  Funny enough, I can get behind the cuteness here and the arrangement has just a cool vibe to it (especially the verses).  Fun song!

5. N.E.V.E.R.L.A.N.D.

As the album’s shortest song (not even making 3 minutes), this one begins with an interesting string/piano intro, but turns quickly into another quirky pop track from the group and they included a catchy phrase with ~let’s go to neverland~ and keeps up this girly and flirty vibe which is pretty awesome!  I still am a little confused by the classical motif in the beginning and end, but for how short it is, it’s quite good!

6. So Good

I had totally forgot this was the B-side for “Mamma Mia!” (and also a self-cover).  I think things were changing up for the group because this had more of a jazzy vibe to it with the brass and throwback kind of vibe which slightly reminded me of Girls’ Generation’s music half the time.  It’s a decent song and sticks out because of it’s heavy jazz style.

7. Kiss Kiss Kiss

I guess it makes sense that :So Good” came before because this song elans more towards funk music with the guitar licks and smokier vocals coming from the quartet.  Actually it really has this cool throwback style that a lot of K-pop groups are delving in.  It’s pretty catchy, maybe not quite as much as “So Good, but it’s rather decent for a funk tune.

8. Last Summer

Then we get Last Summer and I’m rather cringing that we have 4 summer-themed songs involved on the album.  Though like “SUNNY DAYS” it sets itself on this mid-tempo sot song which really bums me because Last Summer is just a carbon copy of it.  The vocals are still quite pleasant though, but the tune just really doesn’t go anywhere (actually it makes the aforementioned track stand out better because of how stripped yet similar of a song this is).  Meh song.

9. SUNNY DAYS

That being said this song coming right after just made it that more obvious that this was the better song and ironically was the best A-side of the single it came from.  It still is a pretty decent summer song though and it has a lot of interesting elements to it.  I only compare it to “Last Summer” because it does have lighter moments, but it has a bit more oomph to it (plus that descending sparkly sound is cool~).  Decent song!

10. Fanfare

Seems like the album was supposed to end with Fanfare so I was just expecting something grand.  I suppose it does feel like an ending track, but the tune kind of just seems weird to close the album because there’s guitars and some piano too.  As time moves on I’m just plain bored of the song and nothing really stands out, not even the girls can keep this song afloat.

11. Forever Love

Though what actually ends the album is a cover of an older K-pop group’s track.  While I never heard of Fin.K.L, I was curious to see how KARA was doing this song justice.  With a timpani opening the song, this definitely felt more like a fanfare-like ending.  Then it becomes a heavily-synthed up dance track.  Forever Love is quite nice and sounds like something from their debut album (in Japan).  Overall, good song and a better track to end the album with.

Tracks Recommended

  • Mamma Mia!
  • Forever Love
  • N.E.V.E.R.L.A.N.D.
  • Love Click
  • So Good

Song of Avoidance

  • Fanfare

Boy has KARA had a difficult year.  I mean it’s hard to lose 2 members after such a long run together and then having to deal with a new member who won through an audition.  Girl’s Story is the first with this 4-nin and it was decent.  I kind of wish they had an album where it was nothing but hard dance songs, but that’s just me.  There were a couple disappointing songs but for the most part it’s a solid release!

 

KARA – Summer☆gic/Sunshine Miracle/SUNNY DAYS June 4, 2015

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 9:07 pm

summergic

Track Listing

  1. Summer☆gic
  2. Sunshine Miracle
  3. SUNNY DAYS
  4. Summer☆gic (Instrumental)
  5. Sunshine Miracle (Instrumental)
  6. SUNNY DAYS (Instrumental)

1. Summer☆gic

Being the lead song (and the only one to get a PV), Summer☆gic brings us back to the cutesy style of KARA which is something I’m not terribly fond of.  It’s pretty lighthearted and while I do love the bounce of the arrangement and flow of the chorus, it’s a bit forgetful and somewhat lacking in some areas.  Compared to their other summer-themed A-sides, I feel like this one just missed the mark.

2. Sunshine Miracle

The next track focuses a bit more with the pop/rock beachside kind of track but still remaining as a cute song overall.  I actually kind of enjoyed this one slightly more than “Summer☆gic” even if the song utilizes a lot of the same stuff throughout.  That might not be enough to impress other people I don’t think.

3. SUNNY DAYS

Somehow, I feel like the opening of SUNNY DAYS was going to lead into a powerful track (like “GO GO Summer!”), but I was rather fooled as the song just kept on with the slower tempo.  This one does separate itself from the other two because of it’s slower groove and slight R&B dabs in the arrangement.  Add on the silky smooth vocals from the quartet and this is probably my favorite of the three.  I mean it still won’t beat out older songs, but it’s a pleasant tune overall.

As the 2nd and final single before the group’s 5th album is released, this summer single for the most part just kind of went by with not too much of an impression.  I think they got into this idea that they HAVE to do a summer-themed single every year and with each one they do, it gets more and more forgettable.  The only exception is SUNNY DAYS as it’s a nicer slow song that really shows off the group’s soothing vocals.  Still, Summer☆gic and Sunshine Miracle were just meh!

 

KARA – Mamma Mia! August 26, 2014

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 8:55 pm

mammamia

Track Listing

  1. Mamma Mia!
  2. So Good
  3. Mamma Mia! (Instrumental)
  4. So Good (Instrumental)
  5. Don’t Hurry (Limited C only)

1. Mamma Mia!

It’s been a while since KARA actually used a Korean song and translated to Japanese and used it as a leading A-side (probably not since “Jumping”).  Even though the Korean version was just released last week, the Japanese version didn’t have much to live up to as I knew I’d love the song regardless of language.  It’s a very cool track and I love the 80’s trip of nostalgia I had and all the ladies sound really good!  I actually enjoyed the Japanese version even slightly better than the Korean so that’s a surprise.

2. So Good

So the B-side is actually also another language self-cover from the same release as “Mamma Mia!”.  Like in the review, I said So Good had a lot of character and the funky jazzy vibes are just so nice to hear and the Japanese is actually quite decent likewise.  Nothing else much to be said really.

3. Don’t Hurry

Ironically, the 3rd song only found on one edition of the single is the only new track and even then, it’s a Korean track (makes me think it was leftoff of “DAY & NIGHT” for some off-hand reason).  Also it’s pretty much the ballad of the single and funyn enough this sounds like a song from their Korean album, “Full Bloom” with the R&B all over.  It’s OK, but nothing all that great.

 

 

So KARA’s first single in Japan after the lineup change and I was kind of stretched.  Like I love Mamma Mia! and So Good which is great, but this release felt lazy because both songs were just simply Korean songs turned Japanese which is a pet peeve of mine (especially making them A-sides in this day and time and with KARA having moved on from that).  Also, it wasn’t worth it for Don’t Hurry which was kind of boring.  I hope this was a lil setback.

 

KARA – DAY & NIGHT August 23, 2014

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 3:01 am

daynight

Track Listing

  1. Live
  2. Mamma Mia
  3. So Good
  4. Melancholy (24/7)
  5. Ppalganbul
  6. Iyagi

1. Live

KARA opens their mini with an acappella opening for Live.  Then it gets a little more groovy and full of bossa nova which is a surprising twist on a style they don’t get to sing in much and they sound really pleasant (especially since it’s only 4 of them nowadays).  It’s a fun song to listen to and we got solo lines all over the place which is great (even more for Seongyeon fans).  It’s a lively track and a nice way to start this mini-album off.

2. Mamma Mia

Then we get into the promotional track that was also the first taste of new member, Young Ji.  I didn’t think KARA would take a page from INFINITE’s 80’s sound with Mamma Mia but I’m loving it because it’s just upbeat and has that pizzaz that their lead-in songs usually have.  Though we didn’t get many Young Ji lines in comparison to “Live”, but it’s still overall a pretty damn cool song and it’s getting a Japanese translation!!!

3. So Good

Welp, KARA has decided to hit that funky vibe again for the next track, but I already could tell that the group sounds more upbeat and peppy when compared to the songs from “Full Bloom”.  It’s bouncy and just has a lot of character to it which I love a lot!  Definitely a good track here!

4. Melancholy (24/7)

A drum count-in for Melancholy?  I was wondering if this was going to be a rock track, but it turns out to something like “In The Game”, but once again the group actually sounds alive and is adding personality into this track which is great to hear!  The tune is just fun to listen to and puts a smile on my face when it comes on that’s for sure!

5. Ppalganbul

Of course it wouldn’t be a KARA release without one of the tracks exhibiting their R&B flavors.  Ppalganbul tones things down a bit with its chilled beat and overall slow jam kind of style.  Oh yeah it also keeps the funky areas around as well.  It’s a pretty cool song for them and the group just sounds really pretty together.  I enjoyed it quite a bit…not as much as the other songs on this mini, but it’s up there.

6. Iyagi

The mini of course has to end with a ballad though I felt like it’s just “Ppalganbul” but without the funky beats.  I mean it’s a K-pop ballad, it meets the expectations but I feel like it’s nothing totally unique to KARA so it kind of just comes off as OK at best.

 

 

With how disappointed I was with KARA’s “Full Bloom”, I was a bit skeptical coming into DAY & NIGHT especially with the lineup changes and honestly, this mini definitely picked them back up even with new member Young Ji.  Really, only one song disappointed me and it was the ubiquitous ballad from the group so that’s saying a lot!  Overall they’ve popped back on my radar for the time being…let’s hope this energy carries over to their Japanese releases!

 

KARA – Full Bloom

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 2:20 am

fullbloom

Track Listing

  1. Dul Junge Hana (Runaway)
  2. Suknyeoga Mos Dwae (Damaged Lady)
  3. 1+1
  4. In The Game
  5. Follow Me
  6. Smoothie
  7. 2Night
  8. Dul Junge Hana (Runaway) (Inst.)
  9. Suknyeoga Mos Dwae (Damaged Lady) (Inst.)

1. Dul Junge Hana (Runaway)

Used as the 2nd lead-in song for the album, Runaway kicks things off on a lighter note and not as hard as some of the previous lead-in tracks from KARA.  I do like the softer arrangement with acoustic guitar and just works up to this mid-tempo track.  I really do love the opening lines from Ji Young and Nicole though…it was very relaxing and pleasant and really stays at the same feeling throughout.  I don’t know if it works as the opening track though…seems very…flatline to get into the album (especially with “STEP” kicking too many ass).

2. Suknyeoga Mos Dwae (Damaged Lady)

So the actual promotional track was Damaged Lady and I was hoping they would release a banger (especially with how fond I have been with the lead-in songs.  I will say that it did sound a bit edgy than “Runaway” with the electric guitar riffs mixed with their already established R&B style.  I mean saying that, it definitely doesn’t hold a candle to stuff like “STEP” and “Pandora”, but it definitely was a solid choice to promote.  Different direction for the group but I liked it.

3. 1+1

Moving onto the new songs, 1+1 seems to kind of cater to their past style which is kind of cool!  This track is kind of glossy pop, but it does have some surprises like SeongYeon’s solo part that had a pretty cool sound to it.  Otherwise, this song really didn’t click for me much.  It’s their cute song and I usually don’t enjoy them too much.

4. In The Game

It seems that K-pop recently has been interested in releasing funky/jazz tracks and that’s what KARA gave us with In The Game.  It’s not to say that it isn’t bad because I found it to be fun and full of good vocals.  It’s a good track overall and wasn’t disappointed with it..give it a listen!

5. Follow Me

Man the beat is pretty forward in our next track, Follow Me.  When I first heard it, it was like they took the previous track and “Damaged Lady” and fused the ideas together to get this track.  Nothing to bad to comment upon it, but it just sounds a little forgettable.

6. Smoothie

I was expecting this song to be the group’s overly cute song but it’s actually a chilled out R&B track that took some ideas from “Follow Me” and swung with it.  I will say that I pretty much enjoyed the soft and relaxing nature of the ladies singing here.  Definitely put me into a state of lull.  It’s probably my favorite off this album that’s for sure!

7. 2Night

As the last song of the album, 2Night closes things out with a pretty upbeat pop track.  After the more slower ditties, 2Night does manage to wake my ass up, but not entirely because there’s something oddly familiar about it that I feel like the group has done before.  Maybe this should’ve been the opening song and “Runaway” could’ve ended it.  I don’t know this track is nice but likewise with the others, it felt lacking.

 

 

Honestly, I kind of felt like KARA with Full Bloom is such a farce for a title especially for a full bloom that ended with Nicole and Ji Young leaving the group after this album.  I do love the vocals which is normal with KARA but I felt like they lacked the energy and/or interest with this release.  The leading songs didn’t feel unique to me and the rest of the album just kind of paled when compared to their previous releases in Korea.  I just wasn’t into this one.

 

KARA – French Kiss December 16, 2013

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 4:24 am

frenchkiss

Track Listing

  1. French Kiss
  2. Girlfriend
  3. French Kiss (Instrumental)
  4. Girlfriend (Instrumental)

1. French Kiss

Seems strange that we’re getting ANOTHER winter song (because “Winter Magic” wasn’t enough).  French Kiss does seem a bit more lively of a song as stands as this kind of cute, poppy track.  Amongst their other songs they have out though, this felt slightly weaker than normal, almost more generic than anything in the “FANTASTIC GIRLS” era…so it really didn’t leave an impression on me.

2. Girlfriend

At least the B-side has a little more oomph to it.  Girlfriend kind of has this R&B sound to it that the group doesn’t do too much and I quite enjoy that a lot about the song.  The ladies sound really nice and kind of sound like they’re just having fun in the tune.

 

 

KARA releases a single to coincide with their best album, “BEST GIRLS” and French Kiss is kind of a weaker single.  I really didn’t think much of the leading track and doesn’t scream A-side unlike Girlfriend which sounded different.  With the group shifting with Nicole leaving and Ji Young contemplating to stay, it’ll be interesting how the group’s dynamic will be IF they continue to release in Japan.

 

KARA – FANTASTIC GIRLS December 4, 2013

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 2:45 pm

fantasticgirls

Track Listing

  1. Thank You Summer Love
  2. Burn! Burn! Heartbeat
  3. Bye Bye Happy Days!
  4. Rescue Me
  5. POP STAR
  6. Promise
  7. Endless Night
  8. Ichiban ni Watashi wo Dakishimete
  9. HANABI
  10. My Boy
  11. Happy Happy Love (Limited C only)

1. Thank You Summer Love

Opening the album is the group’s 2nd and final single released before the album.  As a summer song, I was already throwing my hands up in the air because they’ve done this sort of song of succeeded with “GO GO Summer!”.  Sadly, the other A-side had already done this as well and it just seems like it’s another clone and I just couldn’t really get it, but as it’s the opening track, I will say that it did well opening it up ^^.

2. Burn! Burn! Heartbeat

Moving into our first new track, Burn! Burn! Heartbeat has the cuter KARA sound mixed with their K-pop sound and I kind of dig it in this case because I’m just loving the beat and flow and of course the group sounds really nice together!  It’s definitely fitting to their image and definitely a strong album, but let’s see if they have more surprises xD.

3. Bye Bye Happy Days!

We move into the first A-side and it’s even synthier than the previous two tracks and this was represented as a summer song alongside the other A-side.  This actually reminds me more of “GO GO Summer!” which is kind of nice but like I said before, has a bit of unoriginality running through it.  For this album, it’s alright, but I can’t remember how it goes after a while.

4. Rescue Me

Getting into a stretch of new songs, we start with Rescue Me and it’s got a lof of groove to it and I have to say I quite like the sound of this one.  It’s a pretty cool dance track for the group and they still sound great still!  It isn’t as exciting like “Burn! Burn! Heartbeat” was but this is a pretty solid track from the group.

5. POP STAR

What a weird intro to our next track with the bloop/bleeps xD.  I can tell this album is going to be filled with this glossy pop tracks.  POP STAR sounds like a clone of “Rescue Me” for some reason but this has a little more speed and oomph to it so it definitely surpasses it.  Just a fun, bouncy pop track and I quite liked it

6. Promise

Promise comes in to tone things down a little bit by being more of a mid-tempo track.  At first I thought they were going to utilize dubstep with that intro but luckily it didn’t turn out that way.  The song is quite chill and very smooth all the way through and I just enjoyed it all the way through…the ladies sound so pretty (I wish I knew their names by their voices).  Definitely my favorite track so far now.

7. Endless Night

Then comes the goofy sounding ditty, Endless Night and I’m noticing their reusing synth sounds which kind of turns me off and adding that this is more of a cuter song coming from KARA, I was kind of put off slightly.  I don’t know why these kind of songs just turn me off, but they don’t seem to really work for KARA.  Meh….

8. Ichiban ni Watashi wo Dakishimete

Unfortunately we get 3 meh songs and I’m already dreading it.  Though this is an actual ballad here.  I’m loving whoever is leading the track in the first verse though because she sounds beautiful and suited the arrangement.  The chorus though is a bit of a bore however and after a while it does kind of drag itself…it was OK at first bit now it’s slightly forgettable.

9. HANABI

So both main B-sides make the album cut and I can’t really care about either of them.  HANABI was the better of the two since it wasn’t a re-tread song.  I do love that the song tried to be a lot more louder and broader than “Ichiban ni Watashi wo Dakishimete” but the song drags as well and I don’t think I remember the vocals much here and well yeah…just not much else to say here.

10. My Boy

The last song on most editions of the album, My Boy is the other B-side and is a Japanese self-cover of their Korean song “Date”.  I did say that in comparison to the Korean take, it’s actually not as lifeless and boring, but comparing to the other tracks on the album, it’s not as memorable either and sounds like ANOTHER summer song hahah.  Overall meh xD

11. Happy Happy Love

On Limited C onlys, you get a bonus track in Happy Happy Love and it’s a 3 minute track…hm.  As a bonus track, I was surprised this wasn’t just added because in comparison, it actually has a sense of class and sexiness and I enjoyed that sound because nothing on this album came off that way to me.  It definitely has a bit of a quirky side to it and even though it’s a bit short it stuck out to me!

Tracks Recommended

  • Promise
  • Burn! Burn! Heartbeat
  • POP STAR
  • Happy Happy Love
  • Rescue Me

Song of Avoidance

  • Endless Night

It seems like with KARA, their 4th album, FANTASTIC GIRLS felt like maybe the group is losing their effort and interest because even though the first half was ok and not terrible, the 2nd half was actually more boring and lifeless.  Unfortunately, this is the last album with the current line-up since Nicole is leaving the group at the end of the month (plus I have one more single to review “French Kiss”).  FANTASTIC GIRLS definitely a step down from “Girls Forever” IMO.

 

KARA – Thank You Summer Love July 29, 2013

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 7:59 pm

thankyousummerlove

Track Listing

  1. Thank You Summer Love
  2. HANABI
  3. Thank You Summer Love (Instrumental)
  4. HANABI (Instrumental)
  5. Love Letter (CD only first press only)

1. Thank You Summer Love

I kind of thought we already got our summer ditty from KARA with their last single, but it seems we get our second does of the seasonal riff with Thank You Summer Love.  However, I felt the same way I did with “Bye Bye Happy Days!” with the synth overload and overall cutesy arrangement.  I can’t say that it’s a totally bad thing because it does strangely work for KARA, but this is seriously kin of cloning out.

2. HANABI

On the flipside of the coin, HANABI is the more relaxed and chilled out track.  As we are still comparing, this track sounds like a track that probably would’ve fit on “Pandora” or “STEP” because of it’s synth usage, but keeping it at a mid-tempo pace.  The song isn’t totally worthless, but it didn’t really leave much of an impression on me.

3. Love Letter

Just like their song from their last single, “Beautiful Night”, we get another track that was tied to their animated series, Love Letter.  However, unlike the amazing track from before, Love Letter is the slowest track on the single!  A very light track that brings more of the smoother and light vocals from the 5.  It’s prettier and I tend to remember it a lot more than I do with “HANABI” which is strange but ok and add that it’s Korean!

As their 2nd and final single for the “Fantasic Girls” era, Thank You Summer Love feels a lot like their last single with a summery A-side, slow ballad-y B-side and a strangely good first press track.  The leading track isn’t terrible, but it really does feel like a clone of “Bye Bye Happy Days!”.  HANABI just crawled along the way and I’m kind of disliking this (and “My Boy”) being on their upcoming album.  I’m slightly curious to why they’re putting the KARA anime songs on the Japanese singles (since they’re Korean tracks).  Mainly, this was kind of a downgrade single…hopefully the album impresses me!

 

KARA – Bye Bye Happy Days! May 7, 2013

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 12:08 am

byebyehappydays

Track Listing

  1. Bye Bye Happy Days!
  2. My Boy
  3. Bye Bye Happy Days! (Instrumental)
  4. My Boy (Instrumental)
  5. Beautiful Night (CD only First Press)

1. Bye Bye Happy Days!

I guess they must’ve heard I really liked “GO GO Summer!” so much that they had to replicate it once again for their A-side here.  That being said, the song is totally sparkly cute J-pop, but there’s something about the song that also kind of reminds me of Weather Girls for some reason!  The song isn’t totally bad, but there’s just something missing here this time around.  It just didn’t have that hook!

2. My Boy

So the main B-side is actually a Japanese version of “Date (My Boy)” which was originally from their Korean album, “STEP”.  Back on the album, it was my least favorite of them…so seeing it return and being sung in Japanese made me worried.  Honestly, compared to “Bye Bye Happy Days!”, this is actually kind of better LOL.  It still is a song that I’m not too fond of and doesn’t really stick to me, but at least I can say this is better than the A-side (not by much though).

3. Beautiful Night

So on first presses of the CD only, we get an extra track sung in Korean and Beautiful Night is actually quite catchy to listen to.  It’s got a solid beat and the guitar licks in the back gave the song a really cool KARA sound!  Plus, I was surprised at the amount of English in the song (simply because this song is tied to their anime series).  Actually I think the song is a bit of that and Korean…either way this song definitely trumps the other two!

After “Girls Forever”, they took a short break before returning with Bye Bye Happy Days! and this single was a bit disappointing.  The leading track felt so overly placid and gross idol stuff and it just didn’t sound like KARA.  Then making matters worse, they brought back My Boy which even though was slightly better than the A-side…it still was kind of meh…and then Beautiful Night came along and it’s the best thing on the disc (unfortunately, it’s a first press bonus >.>).  Meh at this single!

 

KARA – Girls Forever November 22, 2012

Filed under: KARA — solarblade @ 5:46 pm

Track Listing

  1. Speed Up
  2. Electric Boy
  3. Gimme Gimme
  4. Shake It Up
  5. Kiss Me Tonight
  6. Orion
  7. Oops!
  8. Rock On
  9. Innocent Girl
  10. Girls Power
  11. Jet Coaster Love 2012 (bonus track)
  12. GO GO Summer! 2012 (bonus track)
  13. Winter Magic 2012 (bonus track)
  14. Jumping (Remastering) (bonus track)
  15. Mister (Remastering) (bonus track)

1. Speed Up

Pretty good that KARA begins their album with the first A-side released for the era and it works especially with the intro counting down into the song.  The song is true to KARA’s upbeat nature, but the only downfall about the song I really have is the ladies being dunked in auto-tune.  I personally think this song would sound so much better if it wasn’t there to behin with.  I have grown into enjoying the song and makes for a good opening song.

2. Electric Boy

I do like how “Speed Up” moves into Electric Boy because this is probably my favorite A-side between the three.  It’s jsut energetic and really upbeat and has a certain charm to it that I can’t help but shaking my ass to lol.  There’s just something really epic here and it just brought KARA back up to awesomeness with this.

3. Gimme Gimme

Onto some new tracks, Gimme Gimme also seems to follow along the lines of “Electric Boy” without being all edgy and K-pop heavy.  There’s something 80’s about the song’s arrangement, which I’m a total sucker for and it really works here since it’s slick, yet cool.  This is a pretty awesome track overall!

4. Shake It Up

The group is just throwing dance tracks left and right aren’t they?  Shake It Up is pretty interesting because they seem to be singing less than in the the previous tracks.  I mean most of the time they’re kind of speak-singing and shouting/chanting some of the lyrics (especially in the chorus).  It does reminds me of a 4minute song, but this is okay for the most part, not their best but not bad.

5. Kiss Me Tonight

Things seem to slightly slow down with Kiss Me Tonight since it;s a bit more catered to their R&B fans out there lol.  I like the bounce of the song and it’s quite soothing to listen to, but I feel like it would’ve fit more snuggly on “Super Girl” because it really does remind me of some of the songs from that album.  Still, it’s a pretty good song and fits KARA well.

6. Orion

So the only original B-side released during the era, Orion is the slowest song off the album and to be honest while it didn’t stand out in the single it came from, on the album, it’s does slightly better since it really was the only ballad (minus “Winter Magic”, but that’s a stretch to say).  I still say it sounds weird and sounds kind of old too.  I’m just unsure how I feel about the song.  The group sounds great though, that I will admit…but ehhhh….

7. Oops!

Bouncing back up to dance tracks, Oops! is also another welcome addition to the group’s discography since it’s a bit different from their other dance tracks they have.  It kind of sexy glow but it also seems it wants to be hard song but doesn’t make it, but I’m also fine with it.  It might be a little cheesy in lyrics, but this was a cool song.

8. Rock On

For a song titled as such, I was kind of expecting something a bit more brazen with guitars and such, but this song kind of fell flat for me since it sounds more like most of their Korean songs.  I don’t know…I feel like they’ve done this sort of song before (and many times at that) and it just came off as bland.  If not for the bonus tracks ahead, this would be my least favorite track off the album.

9. Innocent Girl

As the shortest of the new songs, Innocent Girl tries to make up for the boring “Rock On” but it also kind of is in the same place, but the arrangement is quite cute and the ladies sound rather good in a much sugary setting.  It still really isn’t up at the top, but I do like this much more than the previous song. 

10. Girls Power

Ending the album (like “Super Girl”, it’s a short album), The secondary A-side from the first single is the finale here and it was pretty appropriate as well.  I really like when they do cute right and this would be one of those times because it’s bright and full of charm.  Plus the girls sound amazing which was a blessing since it shared its spot with “Speed Up” on the single.  This was a great way to end the album…however it’s not over yet…

11. Jet Coaster Love 2012

All of the “Super Girl” A-sides get rearranged for the first batch of bonus tracks starting with chronologically with Jet Coaster Love.  The song like the other two was given a touch-up and it’s now more of a dance track, taking out the brass elements and adds more beats and synths which actually help the song stick to me even better (which means this updated version is BETTER than the original!).

12. GO GO Summer! 2012

Unfortunately I can’t say the same for GO GO Summer! because I’ve already reviewed this back on “KARA Collection” and that wasn’t a long time ago since I’ve reviewed it.  I just didn’t enjoy any of the changes that happened since I love the original so much that changing any of it was sacriligious.  It just did nothing for me so it just kind of blurred its way.

13. Winter Magic 2012

I was never really into Winter Magic originally so I kind of forgot how it went.  The updated version does sounds a bit more festive in a way since there’s a bit more going on in the arrangement.  I still don’t care for it much otherwise for some reason since it didn’t really make much a difference.

14. Jumping (Remastering)

Isn’t it time to retire the damn songs coming up?  I mean both this and “Mister” have appeared on all their studio albums so far and I’m starting to get tired of it.  Granted, both have been remasterd (which is a bit gipped, since they could’ve been updated like the previous three tracks).  The arrangement for Jumping hasn’t really been changed but some of the background nuances have been pushed forward.  It’s not a bad change…but seriously…this was kind of pointless.

15. Mister (Remastering)

Same thing applies with Mister which is more or less the on the same thought pattern.  The changes are minor but some of the background has come forward.  Still a good song overall and well nothing else can really be said about from the last 3 times I’ve reviewed it.

Tracks Recommended

  • Electric Boy
  • Girls Power
  • Jet Coaster Love 2012
  • Gimme Gimme
  • Kiss Me Tonight

Song of Avoidance

  • GO GO Summer! 2012

So we get another short album from KARA with Girls Forever, but it seems this album actually did better than their last album, “Super Girl” by a big margin.  The album kind felt like more effort was put into it (plus 6 new songs is better than just 4).  Minus the new version of Jet Coaster Love, the bonus tracks are merely useless here, even though they are bonuses…still not very worthy otherwise (and seriously retire Jumping and Mister…it’s getting very stupid rehashing shit like that).  Otherwise, good album!