Attempted Kara's Revolution this week, and wow, I am rather harsh with what I consider to be mediocre for SNSD, because this was bad. Very very bad. So bad. The only song worth anything was Mister, which just gets better the more I hear it. (in full quality, hearing all of the depth of the master)
Then, you have Wanna, which is middle of the road mediocre by SNSD standards. Then you have two back-to-back shameless textbook-Frankie-Valli Royal Road songs. Then you have a fucking triplet song. Blarg. Then you have Take a Bow, which has some seriously eyebrow-raising composition. (Using that upwards-heading-melody hook to pull double duty as a chorus was big mistake. It means that the core of the song just keeps leaving the listener with an unresolved, laborious, unsatisfied, feeling. Learn from Tchaikovsky
, people. Resolving downwards feels good, feels right.)
Take a Bow also just has a plodding rhythm and tempo, which AHA then also falls prey to. AHA starts off promising, with a skippy arrangement in that "Pop R&B lite" style perfected on the GG album (ITNW, Baby Baby, Hwang Sunjae's First Kiss, and on the rhythm side, Nana Mizuki's Mr. Bunny
. That's a New Jack Swing pattern, right?) Except along the way, the melody discards that skipping beat for basic 4-downbeat plodding. Maybe they were going for a disco vibe. Maybe not. Maybe they were going for that cheesy 80s exercise video style. At any rate, by the bridge, the song's potential is thoroughly wasted.
And then you have Same Heart, which...what? What is this? What on earth is this? What is that AKB48-like shitty brass synth? Are you serious? ("Maji dayo.") This is like, I dunno, Jpop by way of trot? I guess if I were more emotionally invested in Kara, it would become an unjustifiable guilty pleasure of mine, like this Berryz song
, but sorry, Kara, SNSD got there first.
On the other hand, this song shows how upwards-melody hooks SHOULD be used, unlike how terribly it turned out in Take a Bow.
(....yeah okay this is growing on me even as we speak. I am bubblegum trash. After all, Umbrella is one of my favorite Kara tracks, and Same Heart employs many of the same tricks.)
On the other hand, this is still a better album than Bonamana. Only two down-tempo songs, and both of them cheating my dislike-of-ballads meter by using Royal Road. (and not using The K-Ballad arrangement) And Mister goes a loooooooong way to make things worth it.