Finally disbanded after a countless rumors of a turbulent relationship between their company, DSP Media, and almost surviving the loss of two very popular members, Kara had a unique sound that was a kind of loud, unapologetically overproduced eurodisco mixed with elements of rock and roll. Kara was one of those groups that you either loved or hated. Their vocal harmonies were distinctive mostly due to the distinctive (but not particularly powerful or agile) light soprano voice of their leader Park Gyuri (known as "The Goddess") and main vocalist Seungyeon. The lovely Goddess, along with the cherubic Gu Hara, also gave them a distinctive look. The group never really rebounded from the confusing and bitter departures of the wildly popular American Nicole Jung (no relation to the American Jung sisters Krystal and Jessica) and the adorable Kang Ji-young.
Kara's charm and relentless energy gave them a tremendous following in Japan in particular and they recorded quite a few Japanese songs that were considerably different than their Korean repertoire, mostly cuter and brighter. Their bossy Korean sound is reminiscent of their American counterparts En Vogue, particularly songs like "Damaged Lady" and "Pandora."
But it's two songs in particular that belong in every collection of quintessential K-Pop classics. "Mister Mister" (Not to be confused with the SNSD song of the same name, or the troubled KPop boyband or 80's one-hit-wonder also of the same name) with its adorably swirling "butt dance" and the loud almost circus-like call-to-the-dancefloor "Step." "Step" with its over-the-top relentless driving rhythm and playful vocals should be a go-to song for anyone needing a boost in their mood or energy. Check it out: