On 7th EP, KARA grows out of trademark cuteness

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 27, 2015 - 20:46
  • Updated : May 27, 2015 - 20:46

At a press showcase for KARA’s seventh EP “In Love” at Blue Square in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, on Tuesday, the phrase repeated most by the members was “KARA-style music.”

The group, which celebrates its eighth anniversary this year, has had its ups and downs ― including significant member changes ― but has always maintained a particular image and style of music. According to the members, their goal with “In Love” was to show the evolution of the definition of being “KARA-style.”

“When our fans think of KARA, they usually associate us with a healthy, energetic image,” said Seungyeon. “We want to maintain that, but also hear that we’ve begun a new golden era with this album.”

KARA performs “Cupid” for the media at Blue Square in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. (Yonhap)

KARA’s efforts toward that goal are apparent in the performance of “In Love” title track “Cupid” ― a fun, flirtatious song about a girl wanting to capture the heart of her love interest. The beat and melody bounce along lightly as in KARA’s previous songs, but the stage performance is sexier, less bubbly than their other cute songs.

“To be honest, the members aren’t all that young anymore,” said Gyuri, laughing. “So even when we try a cute concept now, it comes off as being more charismatic. We wanted to make ‘Cupid’ an adorable, happy song, but when we tried out the choreography it came off a bit more mature than we intended. I think that’s a natural consequence of our experience.”

“It’s not that we don’t like cute concepts anymore,” Seungyeon chimed in. “We do. It’s just that it feels a bit embarrassing for us now to do an overly cute concept. ‘Cupid’ was our compromise. It’s sexy, but not too racy. It’s upbeat, energetic, but also a bit more confident and alluring.”

According to Hara, that compromise was reflected in their cowgirl stage costumes for “Cupid.”

“We didn’t want to go with something obvious because of the ‘Cupid’ motif,” she said. “We thought the cowgirl theme would let us be more charismatic, while fitting well with a shooting move (for the theme of Cupid’s arrow). It’s cute, but sexy.”

For KARA, this new EP is not about competing for chart rankings but for taking the group to the next level.

“I think the word ‘competition’ has lost a lot of its meaning for us,” said Seungyeon. “We love watching the newer girl groups doing their best, and we want to work hard in our place as well to show our fans an even more improved KARA.”

“We named our EP ‘In Love’ to fit this point in time for us, when we’ve brought in Youngji and reached eight years,” said Gyuri. “We wanted to thank our fans for standing by us all this time, and give them an album with love, in love.”

KARA’s seventh EP “In Love” was released on Tuesday, along with the music video for the title track, “Cupid.”

By Won Ho-jung (hjwon@heraldcorp.com)