T-ara Target Artwork

T-ara’s been kind of M.I.A. in Korea ever since their scandal, with the group focusing most of its energy into overseas markets instead. They revolutionized the Japanese music industry in March when they released ten different versions of their “Bunny Style!” single, and then took over America with their legendary pool party performance in Vegas. Now that they’ve reached the absolute pinnacle of Stateside stardom and have nothing left to achieve there, Slay-ara’s back in Japan with a brand new J-pop single called “Target.”

Like KARA, T-ara’s always been pretty good at adapting to the Japanese market, and “Target” is no exception. The high-octane single borrows a lot from gaudy euro-house, and then jacks it up by throwing a tonne of gamey synths and noise on top. It’s got all the erratic energy of any cheap Japanese idol pop song, but with the vapid commercial sheen of K-pop. Not quite sure if that’s a good thing or not, but as a hardcore T-ara stan I obviously love it and will be campaigning for it to win “Song of the Year” at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

However, the music video is probably the best part about the whole thing. The animated clip sees the T-ara members playing as themselves in a cellphone game: The aim is to capture a lover by targeting his heart, but T-ara loses and the clip ends with them looking battered and broken as a giant “GAME OVER” flashes across the screen. The only thing that would’ve made it better is if T-ara won, and instead of targeting a big flying heart they were targeting Chris Brown and all the pressed ugly netizens that have jealously shaded them over the past year.

T-ara’s also got another J-pop song out right now called “Like a Wind,” which was released by their unknown subunit, QBS. The unit was thrown together to give Qri, Boram, and Soyeon something to do while the rest of T-ara promoted as T-ara N4, and “Like a Wind” sounds like a leftover from the “Bunny Style!” recording sessions, but it’s actually my favorite original Japanese song that’s ever come out of the group (besides Eunjung’s life-changing “Two as One,” of course). It’s so sweet and charming, and vocally it works surprisingly well considering that Soyeon is a fantastic singer while Qri and Boram can barely muster anything beyond a flawless whisper.

The official music video is just QBS running along the beach like heavenly springtime goddesses, and in true T-ara fashion, it caused a small scandal after netizens noticed weird new dimples in the side of Soyeon’s nose and realized that she’d had another face lift or some shit.

Anyway, QBS is perfect. I like to think of them as the classy plastic surgery unnies version of Orange Caramel.

When will your fave?