Release Date: August 28, 2013
- Thank You Summer Love
- Burn! Burn! Heartbeat
- Bye Bye Happy Days!
- Rescue Me
- Pop Star
- Endless Night
- Ichiban ni Watashi wo Dakishimete
- My Boy
- Happy Happy Love
KARA’s fourth Japanese album is the last for the five-member version of the group and features the singles Thank You Summer Love and Bye Bye Happy Days.
There have been many South Korean pop groups who have tried to crossover to Japan with varying degrees of success. KARA are one of the few acts out of the current wave of Hallyu acts to truly cater to the Japanese market and make a lasting impact because of it.
When looking at their Japanese discography one could say that they are pulling an AC/DC and releasing the same material over and over in shinier new packages each time out. And if you listen to all their songs to date, a case can probably be made for that point.
But that’s rather cynical isn’t it?
What you do get on Fantastic Girls is exactly what is expected of KARA. Bubbly and easily consumable pop music. As stated above, they’re not exactly breaking new ground but if the formula for Japan is working why tinker with it?
The majority of the songs on this album are new and there is no borrowing from their Korean catalog. Although I do think Idiot from Pandora would have been a good fit on this, but that’s neither here nor there.
The album cuts do offer quite bit to take in. Immediate recommended listening includes Burn! Burn! Heartbeat, Endless Night and Ichiban ni Watashi wo Dakishimete. If you pick up version C of this album you also get a bonus track called Happy Happy Love. This review is of the 10-track version so there’s no comment on that particular song here.
Overall it’s business as usual for KARA in Japan. Whether that suits your tastes or you expect more will determine if you buy this.
Fantastic Girls (Regular Edition)
Fantastic Girls (Limited B)
Fantastic Girls (Limited C)