“Step” was the most recent Kara single at the time I discovered Kara, and then it seemed to exemplify what I took to be their completely plastic, spastic aesthetic.
From a distance, it’s easier to see that “Step’ merely represented a certain logical conclusion to one stream in their aesthetic, which was then largely abandoned. “Step”, for what it is, is what it is: loud, obnoxious fun from a certain perspective. It’s probably preferable to the confused meanderings of “Pandora”, which tries to be classier but comes off a muddle, or “Damaged Lady” which in hindsight has its own amped up grandeur (Hara’s opening lines are masticated by the jaws of Sweetune’s production into a kind of Zeus-like grumble, which in itself is a sort of musical miracle), but it also represents a certain falling off from the equally emphatic but sparklier “Jumpin” or such classics as “Wanna”, “Honey”, or of course “Mister”.
It’s also of course inferior to the gloriously polished offerings of their late Youngji era, the classic “Mamma Mia” and “Cupid” and their accompanying albums, which gave Kara a sonic renaissance. And no more green laser confetti either!
Still, “Step” has its place– and I simply cannot go without commending Seungyeon’s so-cute look as she squats in the closing formation.