Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: Orange Caramel–“Shanghai Romance”

Orange Caramel takes us on an expedition of another Asian city in “Shanghai Romance.”

Did you like the song?
Orange Caramel is a cutesy, wig-heavy sub-unit of After School with members Nana, Lizzy, and Raina:

Orange Caramel Members

Nana, Raina, and Lizzy.

After taking us on a tour of Thailand clubs in “Bangkok City,” they have returned to teach us about restaurant etiquette in China in “Shanghai Romance.” The song is okay. Not as good as “Bangkok City,” but it does grow on you after listening to it a few times. Still, it’s a bit…thin and soulless? Like it’s trying to be cute but doesn’t really get there; seriously, the “oh oh oh, oh” part sounded kind of alien. :/ I could see this as the ending credits song for a really cheesy anime.

What was your favorite part of the song?
This was pretty easy: this buildup to the key change.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
There’s only a few English words, like “baby” and “Shanghai love,” and the “love” part could use work. However, I’ll forgive it because there is an absolutely adorable “Wo ai ni” (Mandarin for “I love you”) at the end. :)

Did you like the video?
I liked the traditional Chinese music at the beginning and symbols throughout the video, but they were a bit usurped by the fact that the video almost…made fun of them? Or at least put them in inelegant positions. Sure, you have the typical lovely teapot and Chinese parasol. But then you have the beautiful qipao—which Lizzy pulls up to be sensual, and that kind of cheapens it, in my opinion.

Orange Caramel Lizzy dress

She’s really pretty, sure, but I don’t think you’re supposed to do this.

The delicious-looking dumpling—which is in a water/wine glass…

Orange Caramel dumpling

Um, yummy?

And the lanterns—which hit Raina in the face.

Orange Caramel Raina lantern

Super elegant.

Plus you have…whatever the heck these sparkly wig hat things are:

Orange Caramel sparkly wig hats

Raina, Nana, and Lizzy.

Aside from all that, Lizzy’s expression is priceless. Seriously one of the most gif-able expressions I’ve ever seen in a music video. Just look at this brilliance, man!

Orange Caramel Lizzy annoyance gif

This is just…distaste personified.

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
I guess there was a storyline, but I didn’t really get it. What was with the dumpling in the glass of water/white wine? It is just demonstrating the girls’ cultural fail? And because he rejected it, Orange Caramel decides to tie him up and run him over with a plane? Are they psychopaths or what?

Orange Caramel dance gif

Well, now that you mention it…

And where did they get that 1930s-ish plane? Did they travel back in time? I am so confused!

Orange Caramel 1930s plane

How is this possible?

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
The main “Shanghai love” dance is, like, really funny. It made me giggle every time I saw it. There’s just so many dirty ways to interpret it.

Orange Caramel Shanghai Love dance gif

For all that, I did enjoy it a lot.

And I also don’t think it’s the best idea to make a traditional Chinese bowing motion into a dance move. It could be a respectful gesture, but it toes the line of ridiculing the bow a bit too much for me.

Do the members look good?
I’m about to get bricked here, but I am so not a fan of the wigs. I guess I just don’t understand Orange Caramel’s premise. You have these three gorgeous women, and then dress them up like little girls (not all the time, but a lot in this video)? Do I have to be a perverted ahjussi to understand?

Orange Caramel Members

Raina, Nana, and Lizzy.

Which member stood out the most?
Nana is just too beautiful, isn’t she? Wow.

Orange Caramel Nana


But I’ll admit to having a hard time trying to tell her and Lizzy apart at the beginning of this, even though that’s usually not a problem. Stupid wigs. So I guess I have to give this to Raina for having a more distinctive face than her groupmates for this concept, as well as getting to wear a shiny blue suit to differentiate her for part of the video.

Orange Caramel Raina


Do you like it enough to buy the song?
I think I prefer my women to look and sound like women (or at the very least, like high-school aged girls—SNSD’s “Oh,” I’m looking at you). Of course, if this were a lot catchier, you’d hear me change my tune really quickly. So I guess it’s just not catchy enough for me. But, yeah, I can see this growing on you pretty quickly; it just didn’t appeal enough for me.

Any ending thoughts?
Why do all the Orange Caramel members have to dress exactly the same in most of their concepts, right down to the wig? Why can’t their hair, at least, be different? I use groups’ music videos mainly to match their names to their faces, and these triplet concepts are making that difficult for me.

P.S. This video is notable for featuring pre-debut NU’EST member Minhyun, so yay!

Orange Caramel Shanghai Love NU'EST member Minhyun

NU’EST’s Minhyun

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“I’d ‘sha sha sha’ that.”

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments below! :)


  1. It didn't get catchy the 1st time I heard it.. but after that... well......... Cant stop listening anymore. -_-

  2. LOL! This is true of so many Kpop songs, it's not even funny anymore! I occasionally get this song stuck in my head, still!