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Kpop Music Monday: Orange Caramel “Catallena”

March 19, 2014

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We love Orange Caramel. It’s no secret. They’re great. This video’s great. Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet:

So, we talked a bit more seriously about Kpop as a whole in this Kpop Music Monday. Sorry! We love Orange Caramel’s stuff and want to talk about their importance and why we like them, rather than just for qualities they have on their own, but more for their place within our scope of Kpop’s landscape and its emerging trends.

Kpop’s becoming too heavily dependent on sexiness and fan service, rather than making videos that are accessible to the general public. Some might argue that’s a good thing. It’s better to get 10 diehard fans than 1000 casual ones. The diehard fans will buy 20 copies of your CDs and go to all of your events, while 1000 casual fans will just watch you from time to time. Kpop knows this, and they’re making good bank off of really dedicated fans.

Our problem is that we’re not really dedicated fans of anyone. We’re not part of any fan club. We just like songs from some groups and artists from time to time. We don’t watch their TV appearances or care about their personal lives. We don’t think about how hard someone’s worked on an album, because everyone works hard. We don’t know the names of every artist from every video we talk about. We just like music and music videos, and we like making videos talking about our thoughts on Kpop.

In our position, we don’t really care for videos that are catered more to the dedicated fans than the general crowd. I want to see a video that has qualities outside of how attractive the artists are. SM for a long run, especially with Super Junior videos, made very formulaic videos: flashy box room. Wide shot of group dancing. Closeup shots of single artist’s face. Back and forth, back and forth.

Kpop videos oftentimes look like videos of a model’s photoshoot. At first it’s cool, but see that enough times and you get a little bored. The two of us here at the point now, after watching Kpop videos for so long, that we need something different. Give me something crazy from Psy that totally breaks the norms. Give me something like Ponponpon. I don’t care! Just make it different!

Orange Caramel gives me something different. “Lipstick” was hilarious. “Catallena” wasn’t as funny, but it was still funny. People who aren’t attracted to Orange Caramel get something more out of this video than just a photoshoot. But they don’t forsake that altogether. If you have a crush on them you still see how pretty they are. It has a great balance of appealing to both diehard fans and casual fans. See Kpop! That wasn’t too hard!

And look at its attention to detail. Pay attention to the price stickers. It says Mermaid both in English AND Korean. It even has a little “Pledis” in code to the left of the barcode. That’s not something you can rush. It’s not a freaking meaningless giant chess piece in the middle of the room that everyone uses. That piece will be used again and again, but how many Kpop Groups are going to reuse Orange Caramel’s price stickers? No one, because it’s made specifically for them and serves the meaning of the video. And they’re not wearing random outfits that were just slapped together with no oversight. No random Welcome Motherf*ckers hat like in Girls’ Generation’s “I Got a Boy”.

Ok I’ll stop. TL;DR – Catallena is a very well thought out video that caters both to hardcore and not hardcore fans. We like Orange Caramel for that. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that the song’s freaking awesome as well.

Side note: I’m not sure if this is sacrilege in the Kpop world, but is it ok that I like Orange Caramel more than After School? They’re a subunit of After School, right? I’ve never liked any After School song as much as I’ve liked Orange Caramel’s stuff. And, let’s be real here, subunits usually don’t offer things that are much different from their parent group, but I barely associate Orange Caramel with After School. I can’t be the only one here, right? Guise? Guise?

On to the poll, let us know what Orange Caramel video you preferred:

On a less serious note, we’ve got some bloopers. Whoa: accents are not my strong point. Forgive me for that gobbledygook of nonsense at the end. I’m not an actor!

And lastly, click on this pretty button below! It’ll protect you from the Yellow Dust storm coming your way! Seriously guise: Yellow Dust is super sucky!

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