Kara have just released 2 new albums and single: Full Bloom in Korea and Fantastic Girls in Japan, and a new music video for Damaged Lady within two weeks time, and it’s a huge pile of doodoo. When I reviewed their teaser photos and videos, I was pretty excited for this comeback. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my personal hype. I’ve always been greatly confused by Kara’s success, as I find them to be beyond basic, (sure, Jumping and Step are my jams, but that’s about it for em’). I theorize their success stems from them rising from the ashes after that contract scandal a few years back, and not because they are particularly good at making awesome music.
Fantastic Girls is their safest Japanese release yet, probably due to the fact that their sales aren’t as strong as they used to be in Japan. It’s full of the basic J-pop fluff one would find on any number of kawaii J-idol groups LPs. It is pretty similar to to the sound that they hold on Full Bloom, with a strong crisp J-pop sound throughout the SEVEN track album, (serious!? Only 7 songs!?), with the generic as hell title track being Damaged Lady. Damaged Lady is a total by-the-numbers Sweettune track. It basically sounds like every song they have produced in the last 3 years.
The only real bright spot here is is the Damaged Lady video. It is one of their better video, and features a fun, if completely ludicrous plot line about how they go on a date with a dude who is apparently a jerk, (those scenes must’ve been seen off-screen), so they go to the bathroom and turn into men and throw drinks on him while he’s on a date with another girl at the same restaurant he was with the previous girl. Okay then. Scorned women in menswear concepts never get old to be honest. There are some scenes where they are dressed like the Queen of Spain, and some dance scenes with light choreography. The video practically looks like a cross between Orange Caramel’s Shanghai Romance and Nine Muses Dolls.