Song Review: Kara – When I Move

Kara - When I MoveKara are on a very short list of “holy grail” comebacks: K-pop legends whose reunion would send shockwaves through second-gen fans like myself. When I Move celebrates their fifteenth anniversary and is their first new music in over seven years, performed by a combination of members from the group’s various line-ups. All that’s missing are longtime collaborators Sweetune. I mean… you had one job RBW. Come on! Understand the brief!

When it comes to hyped-up reunions like this, an artist must thread the needle between honoring their past legacy and existing comfortably in a new sonic landscape. Tilt too much in either direction and you risk underwhelming a segment of your audience. When I Move attempts to please both tastes and is most successful when it caters toward the classic Kara sound.

Thankfully, the group has opted for a big dance track to celebrate this milestone. When I Move’s explosive chorus slots nicely alongside other Kara hits. Much of the song plays as an extended build toward this centerpiece, giving it the emphasis it needs. The melody is simple but sharp, underlined by a thumping electro beat that keeps the energy high. It’s all delivered with that effortless, gimmick-free vocal confidence that was emblematic of K-pop’s second generation.

My biggest issue with the song occurs during the extended bridge. I hate how the track slows here, especially as the ladies are telling us to “shake your body.” An electric guitar solo is wasted on this murky arrangement, which fails to build the climactic energy that would shoot When I Move to the stratosphere. I mean, Sweetune would never!

Even so, When I Move is a successful comeback from K-pop royalty. I’m curious to see how it holds up in the long run, as Kara singles often have great staying power.

Hooks 9
 Production 8
 Longevity 9
 Bias 9
 RATING 8.75

Grade: B+


21 thoughts on “Song Review: Kara – When I Move

  1. As someone who wasn’t into kpop but kept up with it since 2010, comebacks from 2nd generation artists really give me nostalgic vibes.

    It’s really missing just that tiny oomph to bring it to the next level perfection, but either way I love the dance groove and the slinky yet strong chorus. Sometimes, a straightforward approach and atmosphere works wonders.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s really great. Maybe at some parts it could have sparkled a bit more to make it perfect (kinda like you mentioned with the song slowing down) but I loved it from the first listen. I love how they didn’t forget Goo Hara (6 seats at the start of the MV and 6 microphones at the end).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed the video and mostly the song itself, but the instrumental holds it back for me. Particularly, I really hate the bass in the chorus, it’s distracting feels trendy and doesn’t feel like Kara to me. If it was more recently debuted group, I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it. The electric guitar didn’t have any impact and I wish an interesting synth was used throughout the song.

    Granted, I’m being pretty greedy. SNSD released a song that really felt like them and got me hype, I really expected to be overjoyed with this. It’s not a bad song though, my expectations were sky high. I really enjoyed the vocals; they make the affectations of other groups feel rather annoying when comparing them in my head. The chorus melody is a winner, and it got me the first time around.

    I’m gonna be grateful to have this and listen to the EP. It’s still better than a big chunk of songs released this year

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I cried when I watched the forever 1 music video for the third time. This made me cry when I saw the six microphone stands at the end


  5. Writing a whole bunch on this post lol, but I can’t help but think about Sunghee. She was only with the group for one album but she keeps popping up in my mind (maybe because I feel bad for her). It’s not as severe as thinking about Jessica with SNSD (I know we’ll never learn the details of that situation, but I would sure love that to be revealed) but she keeps popping up in my mind


  6. The chorus and house beat really got me in the teasers, and the chorus didn’t disappoint! I do feel like the verses could have been stronger but that’s just a personal nitpick. I like that they saved the rap break for the bridge (often how most 2nd gen songs were structured vs. the common verse 2 rap break now, made me feel nostalgic) but yeah, it could have carried the same energy as the chorus. How I’ve missed Kara.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As I’ve said before I’m new to k-pop meaning I don’t know the history or backstory of bands/groups. I enjoy/appreciate the more mature sound of 2nd gen k-pop. It’s a real shame it’s taken so long for KARA to release new music. The new track may have insignificant flaws but for me it’s a welcome breath of freshness.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Omg omg omg Kara is back. This is good. I love it. I do wish the song sounded more exciting though. The final chorus sounded the same as the previous 2 and I wish they amped it up a bit. Otherwise, KARAAA !!!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. This doesn’t sound like classic Kara to me—I’m used to more rock rhythms blended with synth pop for them. It sounds more like Kwon Eunbi or WJSN might release. I like it more than most of those songs because the instrumental is just *pretty*—it gave me the reeling feeling I get when I see a beautiful stranger on the street.

    Is it just me or is kpop not especially good at styling older performers? (At least compared to say, Netflix.) The person on the swing with the blue robe is stunning, though. Seungyeon?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Definitely not the best of their discography, but this mixed line-up is totally iconic and the chorus is really catchy. I liked this sophisticated sound that they have chosen to honor their fifteenth anniversary.
    *I leave this here for the poor souls who have not yet experienced the delight of seeing it:

    Liked by 2 people

  11. The prospect of a Kara comeback is so monumental that I just can’t get over it. I only got into them a couple of years ago but this still feels very nostalgic. I agree with you about the bridge though. Overall one of this year’s better girl group songs.


  12. I could nitpick things but this song makes me so happy they just don’t matter. I’m going to make myself sick of this and Happy Hour. They’re so good.


  13. Nicole looks so good.

    Comeback’s much better than I feared, but not quite as grand as I had dreamed.

    At any rate it made it onto the 2022 playlist.


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