Go Premium
Facebook Twitter Google Plus

KpopCharts Update: Hush Hello Ulala

May 12, 2012


Share Post

It’s the Kpop Chart Update for the week of May 12th 2012! If you didn’t read that in a cheesy talk show host voice, go back and do so now.

We’ve got a lot of rookie-like bands in this update, Hello Venus, A Pink, and ULALA Session. The only exception is with IU who released a 26 minute long “music video” on May 10th which is more like a documentary, but we won’t be talking about it today, I just wanted to mention it so you know that it’s out and to take the time to watch it!

Hello Venus “Venus”Vote for them here!

First up is Hello Venus, the newest female rookie group from Pledis Entertainment, the same label that brought us After School, Orange Caramel, NU’EST, and Son Dambi.  When we saw the teaser photos, we were really excited about this group.  They had crazy coloured hair and an interesting and quirky Alice in Wonderland feel to them, but it wasn’t too over the top.  We thought – considering Orange Caramel – this group might be the middle ground between After School and Orange Caramel.  They’d be quirky and unique, but not as extreme into role playing/cosplaying as Orange Caramel, and they’d be serious and strong females like After School, but with less Pussycat Doll sexy sass.  I thought the name “Hello Venus” and the teaser photos suggested a liking to the famous Greek goddess, Venus aka Aphrodite, and she is a strong, powerful, yet beautiful woman. Then the name of the song is Venus! I’m like, “OH YEAH, here we go! Strong female band FTW!”  However, after watching their debut music video, we got the worst case scenario: yet another cutey girl band making faces at the camera.

Warning! Incoming rant!

I really really really don’t get enjoyment out of this cutey girl/boy image.  To begin with, it is really forced to me.  We can all tell that they’re acting, especially with the girl in the coffee shop uniform, and it makes me feel irritated seeing them make these forced faces at the camera.  I just don’t understand what’s wrong with letting a rookie group come out with a little strength and sass?  There are three really good examples of fabulous debuts by girl groups, 2NE1, 4Minute, and Miss A.  I feel like Miss A made the strongest debut for a rookie girl group to this day.  “Bad Girl, Good Girl” blew my mind with both the choreography and their attitudes, and they didn’t try to hook people with extreme fashion or trendy blank blank.  I was immediately drawn to them.  I’ve really loved everything they’ve done ever since.  Even their quirky and bizarre music video for “Breathe” set them apart from all the other groups. With the latest addition of new girl groups to the kpop world, and I’m talking about A Pink as well, I don’t see anything special or unique about them to set them apart from one another.

Now, of course, if you’re a dedicated fan who is following the group, there will be lots of special details you’ll know about these bands.  But people need to acknowledge that there are different levels of kpop consumers, some who are extremely steeped in the fan base culture, watch all the shows and interviews and are up-to-date on information. Then there are those that really love kpop, listen to the music and watch the music videos but aren’t interested in learning the background culture of the groups they like.  That’s where Simon and I fall in: we are very interested in the music and music videos and we take those at face value.  Hence why we can openly admit to loving 90% of one bands’ songs (for example, 2NE1) and then frankly admit to disliking another 10% (I didn’t like the song Go Away or the music video for Ugly) .  It’s possible for us to share this opinion because we aren’t steeped in the part of fan culture which dictates that we MUST LOVE EVERYTHING otherwise we’re betraying the band.

This is usually where we run into problems with people who are a part of the extreme fan culture and who can’t understand the perspective of an average kpop consumer.  The main problem occurs when an Extreme Kpop Fan feels offended that something we’ve said is disrespectful because they themselves are steeped in Kpop Culture, and they’re unable to accept that some people just like the bands for their plain old music.  When we say we don’t like a song or video, it has nothing to do with the band personally, we don’t even know them personally (and neither do the kpop fans)!

So, we come full circle to A Pink and Hello Venus.  When we say we don’t like their songs and music videos, we don’t mean for some people to take this personally.  We don’t like the image their company is giving them.  There are two forms of “sex sells” in the Korean music industry, one is obvious sexy, like how Cube is marketing Hyuna, and then there is discreet sexy, which is the cutey girl aegyo image.  Don’t be fooled, cutey overacting girls is still a sex sells method.  There is only one Korean idol out right now that I think is the right amount of non-forced cute, and that’s IU.  She doesn’t make too many faces at the camera, and she doesn’t super duper overact, she strikes me as genuinely classy cute.


Ah!  Ok, that was a long rant …sorry we didn’t talk about the Ulala Session video, we just had to get this off our chests because watching those two videos in a row killed me. KILLLLLLLEEEDDD MEEEEE!!!!!!

PS: OH! ALSO! I’ve made a scale to understand our perspective of Kpop Consumption! Thoughts? Additions? Where do you fall in?

(E-KF) Extreme Kpop Fan Culture: I follow the band as if they are Idols in a religion to be worshipped.  I respect everything they do, I don’t share any negative opinions (or else you are a “jealous hater”), I feel extreme offence when someone expresses that they don’t like my band, feels extreme offence when someone doesn’t know all the background information about their religion…I mean…band.

(EM-KF) Person in-between these two

(M-KF) Middle Kpop Fan Culture: I really respect this band, I know details about them, I might watch their TV shows, interviews and so on, but I can compare and contrast their songs and videos, and make preferences of one song over the other. For example: I don’t like this song as much as their last, I love his guy liner

(MA-KF) Person in-between these two (Martina falls in this category)

(A-KF) Average Kpop Fan Consumer: I will watch this video/listen to this song and form an opinion based on my impressions of this video, rather then with my research on this band

(AN-KC) Average-Non Kpop Consumer: not necessarily a fan of kpop, but they listen to it rarely

(N-K) Non-Kpop Consumer: WTF did I just watch, why are there so many people in this band, why are they wearing the same clothing, why is that guy wearing make up, is that a even a guy, what crappy English, haha now I will mock Asian pop music



Share Post

Kpop Charts Update


KpopCharts Update: Hush Hello Ulala


Leave a Reply

  1. Wow…such an old post. Well I suppose this page is as good as any. Vixx’s video got accepted, it’s all set and ready to go, it just needs S&M to approve it. It’s kind of difficult when there’s 10 other videos waiting, and it doesn’t list it by date…sorry. :(

    3 years ago
  2. I’m definitely M-KF but I know wayyyyyyyyy too many people who are E-KF. 
    and boy is it frustrating. 

    4 years ago
  3. OMG I’m laughing so hard at the last classification!!!  I’d say I’m an M-KF :) I was just thinking about it today–and mind you, with the exception of SNSD whom I’ve loved since 2009–much of my kpop liking has happened only this year. But the pattern that happens is the music and music videos will catch my attention. Then I’ll look up any interviews. Then I’ll look for more interviews. Then it’ll be likely I’ll look for reality TV shows or variety shows. Then I’ll look up from my laptop to realize my condo is a mess, the dishes haven’t been washed and my husband is passed out on the sofa**

    **I kid. He’ll likely have passed out right on the bed.

    4 years ago
  4. Victory girls sounds like “we are a city of white girls ” :P

    4 years ago
  5. I’m an EM-KF leaning more toward M than E. 

    What kind of monster has Kpop turned me INTO!?! *goes back to scanning bigbangupdates for pictures of TOP*

    4 years ago
  6. you were so right that rapper girl her hair

    looked like it came out of baskin robbins Fridge XD
    love ur blog this is my first visit her but it love it 
    keep it up guys

    4 years ago
  7. Did anyone else notice Nu’est in the party scene?? 0.o

    4 years ago
  8. I think I’m mostly a M-KF now. I used to be a DBSK E-KF. But now that I’m older (haha hopefully wiser) and the younger ones (ie. Shinee) are popular now. My kpop obsession is more of an observer. It just feels wrong to rob a cradle. lol.
    Well at the beginning/introduction to Kpop (Se7en), I was a MA-KF person…then I was sucked into DBSK and all hell broke lose. I got over the fact that I was listening to boybands. I blame stress from school (escapism) that sucked me into the fandom. 

    4 years ago
  9. I think you hit the nail when talking about the cutesy kpop image. I am both a kpop and jpop fan, and I always thought Korea just never been able to pull off the cutesy image. I think one major reason is the groups like Hello Venus have girls ranging from 17 to 22.  While some jpop groups with the same image have ages ranging more from 12 to 15. Simply put, jpop singers pull off the cute image because they are young and cute. Kpop girls are just way too old to actually think it is cool to make cute hand motions to express themselves.

    Not to say there isn’t anything slightly fudged up about little girls being “sex icons.” I think it is more complicated then “guys want to sleep with 12 year olds” and more about someone that is as sexually innocent as the target audience (lets face it the guys in the Hello Venus video are all loners of some sort)

    4 years ago
    • Tiffany’s friends even texted her”are you too old to hold a lollipop?” when she performed overseas once lol 

      4 years ago
  10. A-KF fo’ LYFE!

    4 years ago
  11. Whilst I do highly agree about the whole “aegyo” concepts being just plain ridiculously over-exaggerated these days, I must disagree about your opinion about A Pink. I myself never could stand forced “aegyo” in front of the camera. I always question why all these idols just can’t be themselves and have fun instead of puffing their cheeks and batting their eyelashes continuously.  But then I watched A Pink and B1A4 and realized that not all “aegyo” concepts can be that horrendous.  A Pink actually has a more natural type of presentation of cuteness that wouldn’t make you want to throw something at your computer screen.  Sure they may wink and puff their cheeks repeatedly throughout the video, but it doesn’t look as forced as every other girl group I see. Their “cute” is more of the refreshing and unforced kind.

    4 years ago
  12. I’m an MA-KF.  And I think those definitions and descriptions are pretty accurate.  I’ll only bother looking into the background of a group after several of their songs/videos appeal to me and I’ve been watching to/listening to them regularly for several days (or weeks).  And that doesn’t happen often.  Only, like, four bands.  Personally, I like it when you can hold a decent discussion with other fans about the merits and not-so-good things about the songs. It bugs me when people are like “OMG, you said you didn’t like this song as much as the other song — YOU MUST BE AN ANTI!”

    4 years ago
  13. I think I fall into the MA-KF category. Most of the time I don’t go looking into the background of a group, but merely enjoy their music, videos and what have you. When I do look into any info, I generally wiki it to get the most basic facts like their name and how old they are or perhaps see if he/she did any other musical stuff before they were in ______ group.
    I love to hear thoughts/opinions on an individual and groups, so I’m not apposed to hearing the negative. Not all “negative” criticism is bad criticism. Indeed I may really enjoy _____ group, but not like all their songs. It’s silly to think someone is an anti blah blah if they don’t like everything about a person/group.
    I would agree with you S&M about the overload of cutie groups. I don’t mind a sprinkle of aegyo here and there, but lately many groups are using it too often, too over the top and it just comes across as being forced. With so many rookie groups using the aegyo, it does make it hard to find a clear distinction between them (especially if like me you don’t often know of the members backgrounds). I’m sure if the company’s let the group members true personalities shine (Juliette Ohhh!) even a little, then we wouldn’t have this issue of “who are you again?”
    Anyhoodles, although the lady groups have started off with supreme aegyo, I’m sure their um, image will evolve and separate, so to speak, nicely. =)

    4 years ago
  14. Thanks for giving us some classifications. I’m with Martina, I’m a MA-KF. I really only M-FK on two bands but enjoy random songs and videos by various groups. And this is just my personal taste, but I’m not much of a fan of girl groups. I love 2NE1, Brown Eyed Girls and uhm yeah that’s it. I’m a hardcore rocker/indie rocker at heart and cutesy just isn’t my personal cup of tea. Kpop is my guilty pleasure.

    NOW Ulala Session! Holy Footloose! It is the modern korean version of Footloose! It was so much fun too listen to and watch.

    4 years ago
  15. At least the girls looks cute with their forced aegyo.. Whenever I try to be cute it ends up looking like this….

    4 years ago
  16. On A-pink: I agree the video was dead boring, but I think the song deserved something better? Imagine it done properly disco and sung by T-ara. Could have been great.

    4 years ago
  17. I actually quite enjoy cutesy concepts every once in a while. It gives k-pop a little variety. I will agree, that when don badly, it’s very bad. One of the biggest pitfalls, I think, is using cuteness as a means to prop up a bad song, which I think was the case in both these videos. Yes, cute expressions get a little repetitive, but so do sexy ones. How many times have you seen an idol rub their lips or stare seductively into the camera? bad sexiness is just as bad  as bad aegyo. But when aegyo is done well, it’s quite entertaining. A few people have mentioned SNSD as belonging to this category, but there are a lot of other bands- even ones that are normally serious/sexy that have done it. Might I point you in the direction of lollipop, tell me, beautiful, chu, shampoo…. 

    Oh, and I think the reason B1A4 might be your exception is that they don’t seem to take themselves (or their cuteness) too seriously.

    4 years ago
  18. D

    I’m in between AN-KC and N-K….more leaning toward N-K
    I rarely listen to kpop, but I like a couple songs:
    Miss A-Touch
    John Park-Falling
    Clazzi-how we feel
    that’s pretty much it! But I can appreciate kpop even so. 
    But, I have a similar taste with simon and martina in non-kpop songs! I love some crystal castles songs, beach house, architecture in helsinki, and i think they listen to robyn…and more! :D

    4 years ago
  19. OMG martina i couldnt believe you were accatuallt talking in this video its really good to se your getting your voice back and your starting to get better

    4 years ago
  20. After School has a strong/sexy/sassy debut too. 

    4 years ago
  21. I agree with the rant though I think some groups like A-Pink can get away with it. Girls’ Generation are good too but I think that’s cos they can pull off the ‘sexy’ concept as well, as in 소원을 말해봐 and The Boys. What annoys me is when a group keeps on doing ‘cutesey’ songs. Like Girl’s Day for example, after their member change they released Nothing Lasts Forever which is a brilliant song. After that they released 반짝 반짝 which is also an awesome song but now all they seem to do is ‘cutesey’ sounding songs. Which is a shame cos there’s one singer (I think her name is Minha?) that has an amazing voice however in their latest song it doesn’t sound like she’s singing to her full potential. The same with T-ara, I feel like they restrict their singing voices. A ‘cutesey’ song once in a while ain’t bad but all the time? @_@ Also I fall in the M-KF category when it comes to 2NE1 and A-KF for all the other bands.   

    4 years ago
  22. AN-KC.  I fully admit to not really listening to kpop, but yet I really enjoy Simon and Martina’s reviews of songs and groups I don’t know.  Their entertaining reviews get me to listen to the songs and watch the videos that I wouldn’t seek out myself.  However, with the exception of Clazzi’s “How We Feel, I still haven’t loved a kpop song enough to buy it (and does that song really qualify as kpop?).  Of course except for scattered songs here and there, I don’t love North American pop enough to buy it either, so at the very least I’m consistent.  It’s the kpop fandom subculture that I love learning about.
    Kdramas on the other hand, I will consume the hell out of.  Crack!  Crack I tell you! 

    4 years ago
  23. Has anyone else noticed the seemingly forced tomboy image, too?  I love having short hair, but i can be very feminine, too, and when my hair is long, i can pull it into a ponytail and be rough and tumble–so is it just me, or is there a pattern of the “rapper” role of these girl groups always has super short (fun, but still) hair?  I feel like these girls are set up to have to fight to feel pretty like their bandmates?  just noticed with Venus for the umpteenth time…

    4 years ago
  24. I think I’m M-KF… I love knowing a lot about my idols and enjoy macros and fanfics, but I am always objective when hearing a new song both from my bias and from a group I don’t like, and would never post anything negative about anyone. But I think I’m spending too much time on watching funny YouTube clips of my biases…

    4 years ago
  25. I’m a M-KF, but only with two bands I know more details: SHINee (my favorite one) and DBSK (and who knows, maybe in a year with EXO too).

    Of course sometimes I just watch and like some songs/mvs of other groups, but then I’m just A-KF (but sometimes, when I’m too addicted to the song, I just try to memorize their names).

    But I don’t have the time to watch all of their interviews and shows and etc. Even if I had that time, well, I don’t live with those people, so I’ll never ever know so much things about them… they still have to not tell about many things because of what their managers says :P

    I usually step back from these fandoms and forums because like 80% of them are just too hardcore to me and I feel they’re kinda “alienated” hahaha (not judging, since I don’t know them too).

    Anyway, if I just don’t like a song about (for example) SHINee, that absolutely doesn’t mean I’ll stop supporting them.
    Actually, it may end up on that subject talked about S&M long time ago: the artists don’t actually have much control about what they’re going to sing next. So, even if we like the song (of course then we like how the artists performed and etc), part of it is “I like what [label] made”.
    This hardcore fan thing would be a little more “honest” (about the songs, not what we see of their personalities on tv shows) if the artists, like, were friends and decided to form a band together… (I don’t know if I’m clear here about what I’m trying to say hahaha please don’t wanna kill me if you may misunderstood :P)

    4 years ago
  26. ULALA just won my vote.

    4 years ago
  27. Korean ladies accept your Korean…ass. Copy Kats are not original artists. Embrace your worth, refuse to be exploited. Practice Taekwondo! Be the woman of your dreams. Having been around Koreans for 25 years there is nothing that annoys me most than those ladies that giggle and try to be cute. When I visited Korean, got married in Korea I was so annoyed by that false humility.

    4 years ago
  28. I am a EM-KF, according to this chart of wisdom of yours.

    4 years ago
  29. M-KF I believe i fall into this hehe ^^ But only for the grps i follow like DBSK and BEAST. for the rest of kpop probably i’m just a MA-KF. E-KF kind of fans are fans i can never understand… sigh… they sound like ssasaeng fans… ><

    4 years ago
  30. HAHAHA! The “creepy guy in the car” (HelloVenus video) was “ahjusshi” in Paradise Farm/Ranch. Also, am I the only one who noticed NU’EST dancing at the end of that video? (They’re all wearing pink suits, I reconized Ren first…) Oh yah, does anyone know for sure if the girl in “Beautiful Night” (ULALASESSION) is Uee, she looks familiar (You’re/He’s Beautiful) but I’m not 100% sure….anyone?

    4 years ago
  31. i’m EM-KF!! i LOVE my SHINee but i don’t ‘worship’ them!!! and when i see bad comments about them i don’t go all berserk and expect everyone to love them like i do cos i realise everyone has their own taste!! and i will truthfully say if there is something i didn’t like about one of their songs or styles!!

    these are the others in Kpop i love!!
    SuJu, Big Bang, 2ne1, F(x), TVXQ, MBLAQ, BoA, EXO, Jay Park!!! on a M-KF level!!
    i like some Girls Generation music too!!
    and i’m not one of those kpoppers who just completely hate on a group!! like i don’t even get the point of that!! if you don’t like their music just don’t listen but you don’t have to HATE and be mean!!

    …….also if anyone here is N-K, then i worry about them!!

    4 years ago
  32. I believe APink fans are called Pandas hahaha!!!

    4 years ago
  33. In the Ulala Session video I saw the girl with the Jeffrey Campbell shoes and I remember a bunch of other kpop MV they often have very exclusive/expensive shoes; this makes me wonder if this shoes/brands are common in Korea or, just like the chinese market, this are copies?Another intriguing thing is why the girls in kpop culture are not wearing stockings? I saw fishnets or Cuban heels and the like but I’m thinking the regular stockings are not seen in the MV.

    4 years ago
  34. I’m a M-KF for some groups (2NE1 and Big Bang) but I’d think I’m able to drop down to MA-KF why I get my bias out of the way.
    I agree with you on rookie groups. Companies are really making it hard on us more and more groups have a cutie concept and un-unique music videos. If they could at least make them stand out groups could be a lot more successful.

    4 years ago
  35. I think I fall under A-KF :)

    4 years ago
  36. I’m a M-KF with Big Bang, MA-KF with 2NE1 and a A-KF with other bands I like. I don’t worship BB like a religion, but I do tend to get a lil’ obsessive with catching up with their latest news and stuffs. The others, I just listen to their new songs and watch their music videos and not much else. I was once a EM-KF for TVXQ before they came out with Mirotic, but sadly, I really disliked them after Mirotic. Their sound changed and I didn’t like it. So yea, it’s Big Bang for me right now~ :3

    4 years ago
  37. I am M-KF!Maybe because i like multiple of band so yeah..I am M-KF

    4 years ago
  38. I dont particularly like cute bands too, especially if their concept is being cute in every video! anyways, I didn’t mind the cuteness in Hello Venus, but I hope they change their image up. Though I might not have minded this video bc of all the guys, I can tell you I was very distracted by them. 

    What i do like though, is occasional cutsey videos. Then I totally digg them. Did anyone see Black B’s video where the guys are so cute? Never thought they will do that, plus they actually pulled it off well. 

    Oh and on the chart I might be M-KF? I’m like this with suju, Big Bang and DBSK. Not so much with the others. 

    4 years ago
  39. Hi guise;
    Glad to hear your voice slowly coming back Martina, I lost my voice over the week too and I’m the same boat. Although without the need to talk on videos! Rest up :)

    Anywho, I can appreciate the arguments you make about aegio/cutsey girl bands. I’m relatively new to Kpop and probably a MA-KFan only because of Big Bang but otherwise more average fandom. As a result I find the whole aegio/cutsey thing still a novelty although i can see it’s turned up to 11 in these videos. At this point i still just see them as cute :P  However I could totally see how that could get old very quickly especially if i was surrounded by it. 

    I’m already over seeing so many female characters in Kdramas doing the aegio thing C’mon! It’s a real shame that women in Korean entertainment have such restricted images to choose from. It’s pretty sexist really :p Anyways looking forward to the coming week!

    4 years ago
  40. Thank God for this rant!!! I was like… agreeing, checking my imaginary WTF Kpop things. I can handle aegyo, but not all the time. I can only bear Bilasa type of aegyo. And to some extent, Girls’ Generation. Glad they toned it down.

    And regarding that scale, I think I fall in M-KF type. I love 2NE1 with all of my heart. I know a lot of details about them follow their activities, watched two and a half seasons of 2NE1 TV (I didn’t finish the last, I got tired), probably watched 90% of their performances, and pretty much stanned them. With that said, I compare and contrast their songs, music videos and performances. I love almost all their songs, but I won’t lie, I hated “I’m Busy” from To Anyone album. I think their pretty, but I wish Bom did not undergo that much surgery. I like their fashion, but sometimes I question it too. I love their personalities, but I wish they would try to get close with other people from other agencies too. They are not perfect, I know, and yet I still love them. And I don’t own any 2NE1 album, because I’m poor. T___T Same with BIGBANG. I love them to death, but GD’s marijuana scandal didn’t make me love him more. But he apologized and everything’s cool. lol

    With other groups that I like (B.A.P, BEG, WG, Secret, Infinite, SHINee, EXO, Sistar, miss A, Bilasa – yeah, I follow a lot of groups, lol), I’m a MA-KF.

    4 years ago