[Album Review] MOVE AGAIN (15th Anniversary Special Mini Album) – KARA

KARA definitely made a splash with their reunion at the end of last year with group promotions to celebrate their 15th anniversary. MOVE AGAIN was the mini-album released at the end of November to celebrate the milestone, which features the title track WHEN I MOVE. It is also the first KARA release since 2016, following the group’s departure from DSP Media, their company at the time. In addition to the title track, the mini-album featured an additional 3 sidetracks. As KARA used to have a strong hold in the JPOP market as well, a Japanese version of the title track was also released, alongside with an additional side track that I have included in this album review, as well to celebrate KARA’s latest mini-album. Keep on reading to find out my thoughts on MOVE AGAIN and co.

MOVE AGAIN Album Cover

1. Happy Hour – Easing us into their grand return is Happy Hour. And this is a stunning mid-tempo pop track. There is a very comforting and warm feeling to Happy Hour that paints a smile on my face every time I listen to the song. This is, without any doubt, an effect of KARA’s vocals, who makes the song sound nostalgic for old fans and so so inviting for new fans. If anything, more harmonies would have strengthened this track. But as it is, it is already too good. (10/10)

2. WHEN I MOVE (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for WHEN I MOVE. (8/10)

3. Shout It Out – As you would expect from the title of Shout It Out, the song brings a celebratory anthem to the mini-album that keeps the energy at an incline. And this attracts me to the track. The instrumental features dance pop vibe that feels unapologetic KARA. And just like the first song on this mini-album, Shout It Out brings a smile to my face – though this is slightly different smile as I enjoy the energy and upbeatness to the track. The instrumental also keeps the song from slipping into cringy territory (which the vocals were heading in) and brings certain elements (i.e. cymbals) in at just the right times to heighten the song further. (9.5/10).

4. Oxygen – Emotions take over the mini-album through the sidetrack Oxygen. It is a ballad that you really need to stop and listen to take it all in. And I cannot help myself but do that each time I hear it. So, my thoughts will be very short. The vocals in this song are stunning and you can hear the emotional heft behind their vocals. The members are backed up with the dominant presence of acoustic guitar that I found to be soothing and captivating alongside the vocals. (9/10)

5. Queens (Japanese Album Only) – As mentioned in the introduction to this album review, Queens is featured only on the Japanese single album which WHEN I MOVE (the Japanese version) was also released on. Queens has a bit of a quirky yet fun instrumental to it. For the most part, the instrumental keeps the playful track alive alongside the presence of the subdued vocals that didn’t offer much to the song in terms of memorability. But following the second and final choruses, there are these shoutier moments that really helped liven up the track and insert some much needed energy to make Queens appealing. (7/10)

Overall Album Review – 8.7/10

MOVE AGAIN Teaser Image

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