A K-pop act’s title track isn’t always the best song on their album, even if it’s the one most people will hear. Sometimes, b-sides deserve recognition too. In the singles-oriented world of K-pop, I want to spotlight some of these buried treasures and give them the props they deserve.
I’m so thrilled that Kara have made a return to music, and that excitement probably colored my thoughts on comeback track When I Move. After the initial rush, I’m not as convinced by the song. The production really lets it down, stalling when it should soar. Played alongside the group’s past classics, this issue becomes even more obvious. But, the fact that we have new material at all is worth celebrating and it’s just lovely to see the ladies back in action.
B-side Shout It Out doesn’t rank among Kara’s best either, but its upbeat energy is quite welcome. Co-written by the always-great Steven Lee, the song has a timeless sheen to it, bounding forward with a giddy verve. It’s generic in the most satisfying way, hitting all the notes you’d hope for in a breezy dance track of this style. And as with everything on the album, Kara’s performance elevates the material. Their trademark vocal layering is a real treat during the chorus, but the entire song has a glossy polish.
Beyond these new songs, it’s been wonderful to see Kara reintroduce the K-pop public to their classics through special performance medleys. I’ve written about the almighty Lupin and the legendary Step (in excruciating detail!) already on this blog, but Mister is another undisputed classic that is simply begging for a revival. Rookie groups, listen and learn. Kara are the blueprint. If nothing else, I hope this fifteenth anniversary celebration reminds them how much they’re loved.
i think kara’s resurgence + will encourage kpop companies to emulate their example (i.e. high-energy songs with fully developed choruses), things are looking for good for kpop’s future!
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From your lips to the K-pop gods’ ears!
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To me, When I Move appeared to be a real letdown. I hated how the production surrendered and pulled itself back during the bridge, and for the legendary group like Kara, this step is unforgivable, in my opinion. As a result, I decided to rate it 7.75, but due to Kara’s legendary status, rating like this means I genuinely hated the title.
As for this one, it is slightly better. But I still dislike it quite much and consider the song to be a spit into the ladies’ face. All in all, giving the track a flat 8.
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I love Kara, but whenever I hear their best songs like Step, I can’t help it, I always fervently wish Infinite had recorded it. That’s not fair to Kara or to Sweetune, but it’s just that his sound his so bound up with Infinite’s sound in my mind… (RoaD-B’s two tunes are surely my two favorites of the year at this point, they sound *more* Infinite than Infinite themselves! – I’ll be interested in where they land on your Top 100 Songs this month!:)
“his sound” – typo – *their* sound
I love this song so much. Any of the other 3 could’ve been the pick for buried treasure. They did so well with this comeback
Yep definitely the best b side. I think it being right after when I move elevates both songs
Honestly at this point, I like anything Kara is putting out. I’m just happy they’re back. This B-side is great. It’s got great energy and a great chorus.
My only criticize is that it has the same problem with their Title Track. I wish it had more of a climax at the end. I mean, the chorus is already extremely energetic but amping it up more for the outro would have elevated this song immensely. Still a 9/10 for me though. I love it
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Personally I prefer the single over the b-sides, but more than anything, I am just glad KARA are back!
Kill me but among the B-sides I prefer Happy Hour and Oxygen, it’s that they moved me more than this track that was somewhat predictable to me, but it is true that the voices of the members raised the material a lot.