So, I think I’ve made my stance on T-ara and what I think about their career very clear in the past. Essentially, what I have with them is a very complicated and profound love/hate relationship. Where I love Hyomin (mostly), Soyeon, Eunjung, and the T-ara which gave me “TTL” (Time to Love) and “Lies.” But I hate everything they stand for. Seriously– everything that could have gone wrong with a mainstream K-pop girl group, has gone wrong with them.

  • Descent from engaging electro-pop ballads to shiteous babble in order to gain attention. Check.
  • Adding unnecessary members who serve no purpose other than to troll the group with stupid raps and increase their cases of IRS (Inappropriate Rap Syndrome). Check.
  • Allocate lines away from the lead vocalists who can actually sing and give them to the ‘extra baggage’. Check.
  • Adding unnecessary members who serve no purpose other than to–wait. Check.

T-ara was one of those groups that I had been following since debut, they were meant to be my ‘babies’. And they were meant to succeed and completely annihilate every other newbie girl group in their path so I could stand up proudly and proclaim ‘I LIKED THEM FIRST!’. Their Absolute First Album is one of the few K-pop albums I actually went out and paid money for. They started out so stellar– but up until now, all following their promotions has done is make me think about what I’m doing with my life. I think I reached my tolerance after they released “YaYaYa” and I very much spontaneously combusted at how hideous it was. However, if the teaser for their new song “Cry Cry” has any semblance of truth, T-ara could finally be saving themselves from the pools of mediocrity.

From the snatches of the song I can hear it sounds reminiscent of some of T-ara’s older stuff, at least in terms of vocal usage. Which is great because even though “Lies” is far from being a perfect song, the reason I love it so much is because when I first heard it, I genuinely thought all of them could sing really well. Which, you know, isn’t actually the case, but what it does mean is that the song knew how to manipulate and make the best out of the group’s vocals. It’s one of the things a great song should be able to do.

I’m hoping the requirement of actual singing ability also means we might actually hear Hwayoung sing, just to see if she does have some sort of bankable voice. Though they’ll probably just insert an awkward rap break in to accommodate her. And speaking of rap, another thing I’m holding out on is Eunjung and Hyomin getting actual singing lines instead of rapping. Not that I had any problem with their rapping during “TTL” and “Lies,” but I feel they both make much better singers instead. Hyomin especially, has my second favourite voice in the band, and although her rap generally has good flow and rhythm, I just… do not like her rapping voice. It sounds squeaky. Much like CL of 2NE1, although I adore her as a singer, I can not handle her kind of rapping.

As for the music video itself– it can either be really good, or really tedious. The problem with long music videos is that unless it’s really engaging, the average person is going to be very bored. I’ll probably watch it just because I’m a fan of the girls, but who else would be bothered? Guns are really hot to look at, but I can’t handle thirty minutes of them. Overall, long music videos are super unnecessary, better stories can be told in five minutes than can be told in thirty minutes. And I’m sure here at Seoulbeats we all love our K-dramas, but we also know how slow they can be if not done right.

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure exactly how I feel about Jiyeon— and of all people, Qri– seemingly playing the leads during what looks like it’s going to be an epic thirty minute K-drama-special. Nothing against them, but I just do not see the logic. Especially since they have the likes of Eunjung in their group, who I consider to be one of the best of the bunch when it comes to idol/actresses. And now that I mention it, Hyomin isn’t too shabby of an actress either. Can I really blame those two for straying away from T-ara and pursuing individual activities? Not really. They both have got to be the most talented members of the group (with Soyeon), and it’s kind of sad that recently they’ve been shafted in terms of getting actual singing lines (especially Eunjung). Unless they’ve suddenly begun sounding like dying cats, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t just sing 1/3 of the song. Actually, I don’t see any reason why Soyeon, Hyomin, and Eunjung shouldn’t just make a brand new subgroup called T-ara- S.H.E

Other than that, what I do love is the styling for the ladies. They all look very bad-ass, and I really love that short hair on Hwayoung and Hyomin! Jiyeon looks a bit awkward in the MV, but looks stunning on the album cover and concept pictures. Soyeon looks gorgeous as per usual, and very slowly my attention is being drawn away from the mole on Qri‘s nose. And Boram looks fantastic on the album cover.  However, my favourite lady in terms of style has to be the beautiful Eunjung. That tangled look really works well with her, and I’m beginning to think she’s one of those idols who simply look good in anything. The colour palette they’re using, cool colours, emphasis on blue, is also really aesthetically appealing to me. And I think it does well in setting the mood for the MV.

I’ve never really understood why T-ara had to go and fall into the much cliched root of aegyo, one-note melodies, and autotune. Apart from the fact none of them can pull their more substance-less songs off live (yes, not even Soyeon), it’s not as if producing valuable music didn’t bring them success. Isn’t “TTL” what partly shot them into the limelight? Why could they not have followed that path? Either way, it looks like we might be getting the old T-ara back. And even if “Cry Cry” doesn’t turn out to be amazing, I’ll be content knowing it could be a sign they’re slowly putting down the paw gloves and embracing what they once were.

So who’s excited for the full release on November 9th? Share your thoughts!