K-Pop Girl Group KARA Release New Album Celebrating 15th Anniversary & The Late Goo Hara

One of the biggest girl groups in K-pop history has returned to celebrate their milestone 15th anniversary while also including a touching tribute to their late member.

KARA made their comeback with a new, four-song EP titled Move Again with members Gyuri, Seungyeon, Nicole, Jiyoung and Youngji taking part. The release is centered on the new single “When I Move,” which sees the girl group step right back into their signature mix of modern and vintage dance sounds heard in some of their biggest singles like “Honey,” “Step” and “Pandora.”

While KARA went through some lineup changes during their time, the outfit’s return to music after seven-a-half-years marks the first release where newest member Youngji (who joined the group in 2014) is performing alongside Nicole and Jiyoung (who both exited the group that same year). Notably, it is also the first KARA release not to include Goo Hara, who was found dead in her Seoul home in 2019 at age 28.

But the memory of Hara lives on in KARA with the accompanying music video for “When I Move.” Tributes to the late singer appear throughout the visual, like the sixth table setting during a scene where the members celebrate the 15th anniversary with cake and champagne. At the end of the video credits, six microphone stands are shown onstage, symbolizing Hara as an eternal group member.

KARA returned to the stage this week at the 2022 MAMA Awards held in Japan, a suitable place for their comeback performance as the group was a pioneer in helping K-pop cross over into the lucrative Japanese market during the ’10s.

Gyuri, Seungyeon, Nicole, Jiyoung and Youngji performed a medley of classic KARA hits including “Lupin,” “Step” and “Mister” (that had K-pop stars in attendance like TREASURE, Kep1er and NMIXX singing and dancing along) before giving the live debut of “When I Move.” Montage videos detailing the group’s history from debut to today with personal photos, classic TV clips, and reflections from the group on their worries and excitement about returning to the stage introduced both performances.

While next week will determine where KARA return on the Billboard charts, the group’s chart legacy includes three hits on World Digital Song Sales (peaking with 2015’s “Cupid” that reached No. 12) and multiple entries on the K-Pop Hot 100 and Japan Hot 100 (including two No. 1s on the latter with 2012’s “Electric Boy” and 2013’s “Thank You Summer Love”).

Jeff Benjamin