I loved Nicole‘s underrated debut single “MAMA” more than a sasaeng loves their oppa’s dirty underwear, but I get why it didn’t win everybody over. It was a little dark and restrained without much of a chorus, so it was never going to connect with people the way KARA’s pop confections usually did.

Now Nicole’s leaving the inky sexuality of “MAMA” behind for her first Japanese single, another Sweetune collaboration called “Something Special” (which I’ve been obsessing over for months).

The sparkling synth-pop number has the kind of bright and bubbly sound that Sweetune hasn’t really done since the early days of KARA, back when the girls were still fresh-faced teens who had yet to cross over to the dark side with “Lupin.”

Listening to “Something Special” feels like listening to KARA if they’d never grown up, which is just the greatest thing EVER. Don’t get me wrong, I utterly adore post “Lupin” KARA too, but I’ve still got “Rock U,” “Honey,” and “Mister” on heavy rotation like they just dropped yesterday. I like the idea of hearing what KARA would sound like in 2015 if they were still pushing the irresistibly cute Sweetune thing. You can also hear how Sweetune’s tweaked Nicole’s sound a bit for the Japanese market without losing the K-pop glossiness, which is something KARA always excelled at.

Those cotton candy synths and disco guitars right after the chorus make me feel like I’ve just dived into a pink cloud made entirely of KARA 5 Jewel mist. Or should I say, Nicole’s own signature edition of Chanel’s Coco Noir perfume, since she rides a gigantic bottle of it in the amazing “Something Special” music video.

And as if I wasn’t already slayed enough, there’s this J-pop dance track b-side called “Fantasy” that I’m also living for.

First “Cupid,” then this, and next Hara’s solo debut. I must have been Mother Teresa in a previous life to deserve all these blessings.

[Via Our Nikori]

  • UncleFan

    It’s good, but it sounds so much like a KARA song that I’m like, “When are the other girls coming out?” Praise coordi, though, for covering up that bulging noggin!

    • KingBeaArthur

      Do. Not.

  • a_chan

    The songs classic KARA, which I love. But it really makes me want the other girls to song on the track.

    KARA’s new J-album drops in a week as well before Hara’s life changing solo debut, please anticipate the future slayage.

  • uhg i love it!

    and it’s so cute to know u also love kara’s “rock u”! it’s one of the best pop songs in the world in my opinion

    • IKR, Rock U is a fucking masterpiece

  • MIKEE

    Um….I’m not really feeling it tbh. I prefer Fantasy but neither are on the level of Mama. To go from Mama to this feels like a step backward, I don’t want KARA album filler from 6 years ago thanks. Nicole is my bitch and as the most talented member of KARA that has ever lived I expect more and we already know she can deliver.

  • KingBeaArthur

    I really like this but “Fantasy” is a tiny bit better.

  • snailsong

    i love this song but she needs a better dye job lol

  • Excuse me but it sounds a lot like SPICA’s I’ll be there, especially the chorus… ‘same producer and all right :(