Typically in pop music, the worse your voice is the better your music is. Bad singers need good producers to craft inventive beats that can work around their limited vocals. Just look at Britney and Janet, or how much better the new Selena Gomez single is to Demi Lovato’s Katy Perry-meets-Kesha rehash.
That’s why I knew that the solo debut from KARA‘s Hara, an album hilariously titled ALOHARA, would be incredible.
The 24-year-old, famed for her ant waist and doll-like beauty, is literally the worst singer in K-pop, but she’s also one of the prettiest–there’s just no way that that this tone deaf diva could go solo without some of the best hitmakers in the biz to mask her shortcomings.
Her first solo single, “Choco Chip Cookies,” isn’t at all what I expected, but it turned out to be exactly what I wanted.
Produced by Park Woo Sang (MAMAMOO’s “Self Camera,” Miss A’s “Love Is U”), “Choco Chip Cookies” is an unexpected mix of electronic R&B, chic synths, and scattered piano tinkles.
By mainstream idol pop standards, “Choco Chip Cookies” is not a commercial song at all. When I first heard it, I thought of Ga-In’s cheeky “Apple” and the vintage beauty of Seo In Young’s “Thinking of You.” It’s loose and lovely and not at all concerned with being anything like the other glossy girl group solos that have come out over the past year.
The structure is unconventional –there’s barely even a proper chorus– while the ridiculous yet irresistible lyrics are nothing more than a baking recipe wrapped up in sexual metaphors.
“Tell me they’re good, choco chip cookies,” Hara coos. “With cookies in our mouths, let’s play a fun game / Taste them when they’re hot, before they’re dry.”
There’s been a lot of talk of GUHARA copying former DSP star (and undisputed K-pop royalty) Lee Hyori for her solo debut, but #CCC shows the exact opposite. She’s found her own lane with a song that captures all her charms, from her playful sense of humour to her feminine beauty. It’s all so Hara, right down to the live stage, which resembles a photoshoot with flattering poses rather than a performance with dance moves. She’s now Korea’s answer to Cassie, relying on her looks instead of her talent and putting out brilliant songs that the public won’t get but critics will love.
Sadly, “Choco Chip Cookies” has already left Melon’s top 100, but for me this summer is now officially all about ALOHARA.