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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!

ToFebruary
  1. I agree with the sentiment that Orange Caramel are more entertaining than After School =) Can’t wait for something new from them.

  2. Thank you guys for introducing me to the awesome sauce that is Orange Caramel, although my family might disagree since I’ve only been singing their songs in nasally tones for the past two weeks.

  3. Oh thank you for this!!! I was so sure I heard something that sounded like Punjabi in there! I kept wondering if they had reused some 80s Bollywood or something :P

  4. Hey guise, did you erase the review??? :’c

  5. I voted for Lipstick, but I really love Shanghai Romance and Bangkok City.

  6. Here’s the quote from Soompi:

    [On March 22 KBS announced that the “Catellena” music video was not appropriate for broadcasting because of a scene that depicts a disregard for human life. In the music video, Orange Caramel dress up as mermaids being trapped in wrapping and then also as pieces of sushi on rice.]

    There’s so much BS (or ‘ultra-conservatism’) at Music Bank that after they banned PSY’s ‘Gentlemen’ from the show, citing ‘damaging city property’, I couldn’t bring myself to watch the show anymore. However, KBS do make good variety shows.

  7. I heard the oi oi oi part is supposed to be a spell.

  8. I’d definitely go for Catallena if it weren’t for the very beginning and the very end… those parts seem out of place to me so as a whole I have to go with Lipstick.

  9. i like Lipstick’s music better but i prefer the video of Catallena ^^
    and i also love Orange Caramel more than AS, and i think that Kahi is better alone… Sorry Playboyz and Playgirlz

  10. There’s that, and there’s also a “lesbians in the fish market” thing going on… since the song is about cunnilingus lol.

  11. I love hearing you guise quote homestar runner! You remind me of me and that makes me love you…great jorb. ^-^
    http://www.homestarrunner.com/cantsayjob.html

  12. I don’t think they are writing off Kpop, but are simply saying that they are not part of fandoms and thus the fan service and over sexy concepts don’t attract them. If you watch their indie segments you would see that they show how much they love Korean bands and music. Remember Kpop is not the only music in Korea, neither is it the most popular music in Korea. Also you don’t have to love something just because you review it. Most real music reviewers( which S&M are not) actually can completely bash music and hate artists that they review and have it be their career.

    Actually, since I am the one that updates the charts I noticed that the majority of the music on the chart isn’t even from idols. It’s mostly music that just happens to be Korean.

    • But, they don’t want to and thus they probably will not. They do it because they like it and to tell the truth, if they stopped doing Kpop music Mondays, I think they would survive. For all we know they could shut down the studio when their rental contract runs out and move to Sweden ( I think they are looking at a sweet house in Old Town at the moment.

      Ok all joking around aside. Yes EYK is a brand that built itself on talking about Korea but it is also built on what Simon and Martina like to do. They are old hippies at heart and many people support them because they like -them- as a couple and not because of Kpop. The reason they started EYK was to share things about Korea that not many people were talking about. At the time Kpop was one of those things but now, Kpop has a huge Internet industry pushing it. If by the by, they move on from Kpop and focus on something else, then we would just have to deal with it. Also, to tell the truth, Kpop music Mondays are no longer the biggest draw to the website, the Korean information and TLDRs get far more interest now. They are also trying to help promote the Korean Indie music side of things.

      I do see your points as valid, but not everyone has that view. And regardless of what they do, there will be criticism and some people will not like what they choose to do simply because they are public figures. However, I don’t think they ‘owe’ us anything or it is their ‘duty’ to do what someone asks them to do.

  13. I totally didn’t get that! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Thanks for the great review! I like it when you get serious sometimes, when there’s a lot to talk about.
    Stay safe from the dust! It sounds like it would make for a good horror movie.

  15. Yeah i agree lipstick was unforgettably awesome! So different to anything else, and yet it still made perfect sense, with an awesome plot, awesome acting and awesome costumes, and it was hilarious! I didn’t like Catallena AS much when I first watched the MV, but it is definitely growing on me!

  16. Ahahaha! The Aussie Aussie Aussie thing from the livechat made it in! :D

  17. Much agreed. Whoever is the creative director (if Kpop groups have them) of Orange Caramel is brilliant. I think Orange Caramel (and After School) are really good at coming up with different concepts and ideas. I include After School because they had some cool costume ideas for different single. I mean the marching band for Bang! and the pole dancing for First Love were pretty and different. But Orange Caramel takes these ideas to a new level and executes them best. Maybe it is because the focus of the video isn’t JUST about their hot bodies? Maybe not.

  18. I totally agree with your statement on why some people would even bother to learn the names of all band members . I really like B1A4, but only for their music and their ‘fun, colorful’ image overall, but if you’d show me a picture of them and asked me who’s who I’d have absolutely no idea.

    That Kpop fans will swoon over any artist (or even non-artists) as long as he’s Korean (or looks ‘Asian’ regardless of country) is something I have observed as well, unfortunately . It’s a kind of fetishism that I find to be very disturbing , as it indicates that someone who fits in with the Orientalist idea of ‘exotic & mysterious/brooding’ appeareance-wise is more important than getting to know someone as a human being with a personality, interests etc. In short, people of East Asian descent (not only boys but girls as well) are being seen as objects to parade around like the newest designer handbag. This is also evident in that most people will picture someone from the Japan-China-Korea area when you say ‘Asian’, while Asia comprises of a much larger area and many more countries than those three.

    Anyway, what Orange Caramel is doing here is great, even though I don’t really like their singing , it sounds a bit too cutesy and nasal (?) for me in parts. The song as a whole , however , is very catchy, although I’m not sure how the phrase ‘Jutti meri’ relates to the rest of the lyrics (according to my relatives it means ‘my sandals’ in Hindi or Punjabi). The MV is absolutely wonderful , not only because it is different in terms of presentation but also because , as is mentioned, it’s humorous, and humor tends to be more accessible to audiences of various backgrounds than supposed sexiness is.

  19. Love this song so much! And the vid is just so much fun. I may be one of few here but it’s my favourite of theirs to date. The attention to detail just blew me away. Furthermore their delivery assures that their message isn’t lost as it so often is post-editing. Also: cowbell. Awesome that they made it to a KMM. There’s also been a lot of girl groups climbing the charts lately which is wonderful (‘*-*’)

    Be careful out there; that yellow dust sounds dreadful (x_x”)

  20. I like both videos a lot, but lipstick was, like, one of the best songs of 2012.. and I also like orange caramel more than after school.

  21. “학력 수준, 재산 수준”
    More direct translation of 수준 would be “level”. Clique might be more natural translation but often involve rewriting the whole paragraph.

  22. Is it just me or are the actors from the cast of Gag Concert? I have a suspicion that Kim Daesung is the Octopus… Na Aeri for life!!!

  23. It’s probably product placement.

  24. Eh…I still like AS more. They have a special place in my heart. Their last comeback was pretty flat for me because the song was AWFUL. I really really dislike Brave Sound–he can turn some of the most talented performers into a bland mass. I do recognize that he wrote one of their best loved songs- Because of You- but look how much talent and inspiration he’s lost. Brave Sound really ruins groups imo. Their pole dancing concept was really impressive and different (pole dancing in itself is something very difficult to do) but I didn’t follow them as much because the song was so so terrible. OC has been blessed with really addictive, catchy songs and yes, that’s their style. I just feel AS could have developed into so much more based on their previous releases.

  25. A very boring Music Monday for an amazing song and music video. This was the golden opportunity to come up with hilarious skits about the video. You could have at least did a sushi eat-a-thon or compare seafood prices or something. Martina could have done a make up tutorial about the polka dots in the lashes thingy. YOU CAN DO A LOT OF THINGS HERE GUYS!!!! I’m glad that you used this video as a chance to talk about how you prefer OC over other groups but isn’t that why you have blog posts?

    May I suggest you do a WANK or FAPFAP of the sushi places in Korea and insert maybe a few skits here and there. You know to make up for this bad music video. FAPFAP Catallena edition. You like it so much right? So maybe you wouldn’t mind?

    PS. Damn yellow dust. </3

  26. Don’t worry. I got that bit as a Filipino reference before I heard the Hindi.

  27. And yes, as an Australian I totally did think of the “oi oi oi” part. ALSO: The octopus person was a lady?? I thought it was a man (maybe because she looks a lot like Bubzbeauty’s husband, I’m sorry XD)

  28. HAHAHAHA omg i died at the “fairy godmother” part. SImon’s rhymes XD

  29. Dear Simon, thank you for speaking on behalf of male Nasties and male Kpop fans in general. Boygroup videos are phenomenally boring, and their music is scarcley any better.

  30. Yes finally OC! OC and perhaps Afterschool will get more recognition with this cause they deserve it! Their works are usually good and they are extremely underrated

  31. This week’s KMM (and the MV itself) was hilarious especially when it came to the Yellow Dust and Ddung Fairies. Hopefully you guys are safe indoors!

  32. Guh.. The poll was difficult to decide, but I’ve got to say Lipstick was the one that put OC on my radar.

    You guys aren’t the only one who favor OC more than After School. The only After School song that caught my attention is Heaven, and that was their Japanese single!

    And thank you EYK for taking the time to do a KMM! I personally get pretty bad allergies during the spring, so I can only imagine what breathing polluted yellow air is like.

  33. Can every kpop company out there watch this show and at least take a few notes? PLEASSSSSSEE?????
    ‘Cause I agree fully with what you guys are saying… once the sparkle and magic of kpop wears off, the videos get so freakin boring after a while..

  34. All I have to say is Chewbacca and David Bowie hair..

  35. Martina, I love your eyelashes! XD They were distracting but very pretty. Made me think of rainbow sherbet. ^_^

  36. gosh it was so hard not having internet for more than a week!! so glad to watch your videos again!!

    AHAHAHAHAH WOOKIE!!!

    i really like this video!! so creative and fun!! (as well as their other ones of course!)
    but that song….not for me! and i thought some of their voices we’re just too cutesy sounding!

  37. The “hoy hoy hoy” sounds like an old indian song to me cant remember cus i stopped listening to indian songs for 4yrs now but i know i heard it before cus it used to freak me out a little and it still does so Cantallena is a freaky song and mv altogether for me

  38. Finally! I love me some OC and I love that they finally get some recognition. There is some serious art direction here and it shows. Every little detail here is perfect and I love that they stay away from those boring “secshi” videos that the other groups are releasing just to get some attention. NANA I LOVE YOU!!!
    Also: Why are Simon and Martina SCREAMING in this video? I pressed play and got scared :S

  39. Argh, this is a hard decision! Ultimately I give my vote to Lipstick because of Nana’s scowl at the opposing player in that video, but Catallena is a strong follow-up and only JUST barely edged out.

    On a related note, Orange Caramel’s acronym (OC) is also a common acronym for something else on the internet- ORIGINAL CONTENT. Food for thought.

  40. I was really happy that you guys reviewed Orange Cameral instead of Toheart because their MV and song was definitely more interesting. Of course, I really do love Key’s & Woohyun’s sweet fanservice/humor in their MV but I found their song was very… mainstream (song concept-wise, I mean- I like upbeat cheerful songs but I just wasn’t feelin’ it) and the lyrics were very… very repetitive.

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