The girls are coming back home
Girls’ Generation, Kara, Wonder Girls returning with local albums
By Lee Hyo-won
Girl groups that have been active abroad are returning one after another to the local music scene this fall.
Top acts such as Kara, Girls’ Generation, Tiara and the Wonder Girls, who have been mostly performing in Japan or the United States, will release new albums through November.
On Sept. 6, Kara released its third album “Step,” its first recording here in 10 months since last November’s mini album “Jumping.”
Kara made headlines earlier this year with the possibility of disbandment due to contract issues, but an agreement was reached with its agency DSP Media. The group began work for the new recording in April.
The title track “Step” is a pop number fusing rock and electronic beats. Written by Sweetune, a composing duo comprised of Han Jae-ho and Kim Seung-soo, the song has topped several local music charts.
T-ara, which gave its first showcase in Japan in July, is also planning to release a new mini album “Black Eyes” on Oct. 27.
Its agency Core Contents Media introduced the recording as “breaking away from the retro concept of (the group’s) latest hit song ‘Roly-Poly’ and featuring electronic sounds that will appeal to a wider age range.”
Girls’ Generation, another band that has done well in Japan, will have a new recording out next month.
This will mark a homecoming album following October 2010’s “Hoot.”
The nine-member group has been making waves on the Japanese Oricon Chart since making its debut in the neighboring Asian country in September 2010.
The release date has not yet been finalized, according to SM Entertainment.
“We are currently working on the new album with the goal of releasing it next month but the exact date has not been set yet,” the agency said. “We will bring new changes in the music, dance and fashion.”
The Wonder Girls will also return to Korea in November after a long stint in the U.S.
Ever since last year’s hit “2 Different Tears,” the band had been based in North America and was mostly seen on Chinese, Singaporean and other pan-Asian stages.
The group’s new album doubles as the soundtrack for “Wonder Girls at the Apollo,” a film featuring the members that is set to be broadcast on the U.S. TV channel Teen Nick.
“The members are currently recording the new album in Korea under the direction of producer Park Jin-young,” said the Wonder Girls’ agency JYP Entertainment. “Famous American songwriters and choreographers are taking part in the project.”
The members were supposed to have returned to the U.S. after wrapping up the production on Monday. The agency was not available for comment due to the Chuseok break.
Meanwhile, IU, a solo female vocalist who has been popular in the K-pop scene dominated by girl bands, is also preparing to launch her second full-length offering.
“We expect to release the second album sometime between the end of October and early November,” said IU’s agency Loen Entertainment. “Talented composers are taking part in the recording, which will also feature compositions and lyrics by IU herself.”
The agency added that IU is currently pursuing other musical studies.