Throwback Thursday: Best of KARA
Many veteran K-Pop fans will know the well-known and beloved girl group, KARA. KARA is an iconic girl group in K-Pop and for those who were able to see this girl group during their time promoting together, you simply cannot deny the catchy power of their music. KARA debuted in 2007 with members Gyuri, Seungyeon, Sunghee, and Nicole as the original lineup. Sunghee departed from the group not long after their debut, which led to the addition of Hara and Jiyoung. For quite some time, KARA promoted as a five-member group until Jiyoung and Nicole left to pursue their solo careers. After their departure, Heo Youngji became part of the group and was the final addition to KARA before they disbanded in 2016. Although KARA no longer remains a group in the industry, they have left a legacy and imprint on the Hallyu Wave during their time as a group. Their music continues to live on, and fans will never forget the greatness that is KARA.
Just a year after their debut, KARA’s “Pretty Girl” is one of their songs that fans cannot forget. This was around the era of eclectic, clashing fashion trends filled with colors and bright makeup. “Pretty Girl” is a cute and happy song that once put on, you can’t help but smile. At the time, girl groups were focusing on the cute, girl-next-door concept and KARA was no stranger to this particular trend. As this was during their rookie days, “Pretty Girl” showcases the younger, innocent, and girly side of KARA. It’s definitely refreshing how cute concepts were interpreted through the years in K-Pop, and KARA’s “Pretty Girl” leaves a lasting impression.
Moving away from their cute and innocent girl concept, KARA takes on a darker and mature concept with “루팡(Lupin).” As KARA grew with experience and really earned a name for themselves in the industry, they were not afraid to also grow up with their style and looks as well. No longer wearing cute and eclectic outfits, they traded up for sleek and sexy outfits in black and a much bolder look with their makeup. “루팡(Lupin)” still maintains the group’s catchy and upbeat rhythm and tone that fans know and enjoy, but it’s great to see this girl group show off that they can conquer other concepts.
Stepping away from the dark look, “Step” is another bright and colorful music video that’s fit for either summer parties or those nights when you want to go out dancing. This electro-pop song will get you pumped up and ready to conquer anything. While the music video is bright and fun, this is much different from their earlier release of “Pretty Girl.” The style is less eclectic and more structured, focusing on patterns and matching outfits amongst members, which was a reflection of the fashion trends happening in the early 2010s. Listen to “Step” if you’re looking for a song that will instantaneously lift up your spirits.
Closing out this week is “Mamma Mia.” This track was released after the departure of Nicole and Jiyoung and introduced Youngji to the group. This was unfortunately the group’s last full comeback as KARA, as well. It’s a shame that we did not get to see more of Youngji’s career blossom as a KARA member but, regardless, she still shines bright with the other members in “Mamma Mia.” This is another electro-pop song that takes on a retro feel with its disco influence. If you’re looking for another song that will get you moving, “Mamma Mia” is one to add to your playlist (but honestly, all their songs are so catchy and fun, I recommend adding all of them). Despite having quite a number of member changes throughout the years as a group, KARA remains true to their colors in terms of sound and style and always delivers a great album and title track that will make you want to move.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out KARA, please do give this iconic girl group a listen. You will not be disappointed! Hopefully we shall see the members return for a reunion as a group and take the stage once more