Song Review: Nicole (Kara) – YOU.F.O

Entertaiment, News

I’m digging into the sudden influx of second-generation artists making their long-awaited solo comeback. In Nicole’s case, the situation is even more interesting as it may predate Kara’s actual reunion. Although Kara was huge during its heyday, their legacy is not as familiar to this newer generation of K-pop fans. In addition to her group’s epic discography, Nicole released a very strong 2016 Japanese album – mostly produced by longtime partner Sweetune. Seriously, check out Lunar. You will thank me later.

No Sweetune in sight for the new single YOU.F.O, and that’s a shame. Obviously, every artist deserves the opportunity to spread their wings and try new things. On the other hand, YOU.F.O is a fun, generic dance pop. You could certainly do a lot worse, but an artist as basic as Nicole deserves more.

YOU.F.O has a faint retro sound like we’re used to, following a continuous beat and filtered electronics. It’s a very pleasing song with an uplifting energy that is hard to resist. Nicole’s vocals float over the top effortlessly and she throws in some impressive hooks. But, the song just passed without taking a big hit. It’s very ‘middle of the road’ – neither good nor bad. It would fit nicely on a summer playlist alongside songs like Twice’s Celebrate and I’m excited to hear Nicole make music that speaks to this new act. By playing things relatively safe, YOU.F.O is rekindling interest in its back catalog while hoping to set the stage for the epic (Sweetune produced?) Kara reunion that many of us have been begging for.