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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:

[gravityform id=”33″ name=”KMM 15 – Orange Caramel” title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”true”]

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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Kpop Music Monday: Orange Caramel “Catallena”

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  1. The song is also really good.

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

    5 years ago
  3. 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.

    5 years ago
  4. 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

    5 years ago
  5. Hey guise, did you erase the review??? :’c

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

    6 years ago
  7. 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.

    6 years ago
  8. I heard the oi oi oi part is supposed to be a spell.

    6 years ago
  9. 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.

    6 years ago
  10. 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

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

    6 years ago
  12. 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

    6 years ago
  13. 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.

    6 years ago
    • 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.

      6 years ago
  14. I totally didn’t get that! Thanks for sharing!

    6 years ago
  15. 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.

    6 years ago
  16. 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!

    6 years ago
  17. Ahahaha! The Aussie Aussie Aussie thing from the livechat made it in! :D

    6 years ago
  18. 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.

    6 years ago
  19. 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.

    6 years ago
  20. 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”)

    6 years ago
  21. 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.

    6 years ago