K.A.R.D - K.A.R.D PROJECT VOL.1 OH NANA
KARD has put their chips on the table with the 'K.A.R.D Project Vol.1 Oh NaNa.' The co-ed group consists of B.M (King), J.seph (Ace), April alum Somin (BlackJokeR), and Jiwoo (ColorJokeR). KARD will include a rotating "hiDDen" member to lend their talents. The hidden member on this single is KARA's Youngji. The song itself is doing quite well, sitting at #4, just behind Big Bang's new releases. Members B.M and J.seph had a hand in the lyrics.
They couldn't have picked a catchier tune to debut with. It's at the upper end of mid-tempo and has not one but two rap lines. Somin and Jiwoo's vocals complement each other perfectly. The voices are also very soothing and smooth, in a lower register, absent of the high, girly tones that we hear so often (but I still love). The rapping is sick as well -- entirely on point, never degenerating into singsong or awkward. Youngji's distinct style is evident in the last part. The hook is the pretty solid "oh na na na." In short, this song is awesome.
And I wanted to take a little time out to comment on the album concept and the art. In a word...WOW! The color schemes with the black background, the playing cards, and the presentation of the group teaser was simply incredible and very striking. It had high potential to be campy, too (imagine them in playing card outfits with crowns), so kudos have to be given here.
Co-ed bands don't seem to have an easy time of it, at least where mainstream K-pop is concerned. Sunny Hill lost their lone male member, and Co-ed School split along gender lines and became 5dolls and SPEED. However, KARD seems to be on the right track. DSP has dealt them a winning hand, and I can't see them folding anytime soon.
So if the song was great, what about the MV?
The MV probably wasn't all that expensive, but it really didn't show at first glance. There are some great shots in here, in part due to lighting, and nice backgrounds for another. Youngji's part, in particular, was high up on a rooftop at night, the lights of the city sparkling like stars.
The rest were variously riding in a car or dancing inside a garage. Everyone was bathed in colored light, and the scenes were quite dynamic. It made it seem interesting even when there was very little going on. Of course, the song helped a lot there.
The dancing was absolutely stunning, what there was of it. They kill every move, moving in tandem, and it's obvious they trained a ton. This is pretty good choreo. It's not over-the-top amazing or daring, but it is engaging.
On the whole, it's well put together. Tearing it apart there's not that much there, and that does the video a disservice -- it's really enjoyable overall. They may not have had that much to work with, but what they had they used extremely well. And the silhouetting, interplay between light and shadow, the color scheme and dancing sequences all rock. I have to give this one a thumbs up.