Listening to KARA has become a strange sort of Sunday morning ritual around these parts these last few months. The 4ARA records have a delightful halcyon quality about them– no offense to the Sweetune, Nicole/Jiyoung-era KARA that made the band’s name immortal, but these last two albums tend to smooth down the epicene disco girlgasm qualities of KARA’s J-pop sensibility enough to make the music a bit more timeless, in a smooth, retro disco sort of way. That is, the fast songs are more like polished disco than squealy electro, and the ballads are more hushed and acoustical. There’s a generous patina of tinkling arrangements in pretty much everything, and the overall combination is highly winsome from a pure pop enthusiast’s perspective.
Of course, the KARA girls are legendary living dools too, so it’s fitting to offer up this fanmade Eng Sub version of In Love ballad “In Those Days”:
–There’s a brief moment of ambient techno noise from Youngji’s photo shoot at the beginning, but no more after that.
I have to admit, Gyuri looks to have hit a bit of a wall here. Not “The Wall”, surely: she’s still attractive in a kind of haughty Hollywood way– but the girlish bloom looks to be off. Maybe it’s her always-sharp and somewhat androgynous features, or her severe dieting, or maybe it’s just Work. Whatever the explanation, she’s starting to look like a hot version of my sister-in-law, which is saying–[Ed.: I can’t believe you would say something like that.]– okay Gyuri, I’m really sorry I went there. And of course you know it’s not true— I can’t even imagine what a “hot” version of my sister-in-law would look like. But anyhoo, well . . . so sorry!
But seriously: yeah, Gyuri’s still an attractive woman, but Hara and Youngji just blow that away. Hara still has IT, which is the bloom of youth (even if she’s in her mid-20s) with supernally good features. And even Seungyeon, oddball looker that she is, is, in my opinion, more attractive than Gyuri. She’s filthy rich now, and an investor/developer to boot (somehow I’ve just been dying to mention here that she just unloaded $4million USD to buy a four-story commercial property in Seoul this summer); but she maintains a certain accessible girl-next-door quality. She’s talented, lovely, and just a bit homely, and I find that whole package very appealing.
Youngji, of course– lol–oh, what a little stunner! It’s hard to believe she’s twenty-one— I was scandalized, I thought she was still nineteen.
But as long as she looks nineteen,–ah, sweet mischievous mystery, darling Youngji, you!–I’ll print the legend . . . .