Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: U-KISS–“Doradora”

The cameraman for U-KISS has a field day with this music video.

Did you like the song?
Despite working for years and presenting catchy song after catchy song and video, I still feel that U-KISS is one of the most under-appreciated groups out there. I’m not sure what’s causing that—mismanagement in some way? Is NH Media not promoting them heavily enough? What is it about them that isn’t having a huge mass appeal? Well, whatever—the group appeals to me and has always impressed with their hard work, addictive songs, distinctive dances, and positive attitudes, so I’m going to try to give them as much publicity as I can, even if I’m still a bit bitter about them replacing two of their members (switching out Kibum and Xander with AJ and Hoon).

Musically, though, the group continues to evolve and improve, and “Doradora” does not disappoint. It’s a mixture of electronica and rock with a bit of dubstep thrown in and passionate lines delivered intensely, all of which combines to create a danceable, fun, and totally catchy song.

U-KISS ukiss Doradora members pink kiss
Kevin, AJ, Eli, Kiseop, Dongho, Hoon, and Soohyun.

What was your favorite part of the song?
I really love the transitions between one section and another. So I suppose I have to have two favorite parts. The first is here, right after the chorus when Hoon takes over, and the second is here right after that part, when Kevin takes over and goes into that insanely sexy “heundeuronwa biteuronwa nan ojirowo ojirowo” (“You shake me up, you make me stumble, I’m dizzy, so dizzy”). I can’t explain it; they’re just really badass section transitions, and Hoon’s voice is almost unbearably sexy singing them.

U-KISS Doradora review members names
AJ, Kiseop, Hoon, Kevin, and Eli.

Does the English make you want to rip your eardrums out?
Um, at the beginning of this song, did they try to rhyme the word nuance (pronounced NEW-ahnce) with bounce (which...just has one syllable)? Oh dear.

I swear that Eli’s strange, angry English lines are a highlight of U-KISS’s songs nowadays. Eli’s a native English speaker, so that’s always been a weird thing with U-KISS that I’m now actually looking forward to in a perverse way. He must petition the songwriters for these lines or something. In “Manmanhani,” it was “You make me pissed off!” In “Sikkeuro!” it was “Girl, you’re pissing me off.” Here, he has the fairly straightforward lines, “I hate you!” and “I don’t want you back.” Why don’t you tell us how you really feel, Eli?

U-KISS Doradora Eli
Oh, don’t give me that sheepish look. :)

Also, in case you’re wondering, it seems that the main riff, “dora dora dora,” means something like, “Go away because you’re making me crazy.” AJ explains it better than I can. It seems that U-KISS are just repeatedly unlucky in love.

U-KISS ukiss Doradora members two levels
(Back row:) AJ, Dongho, Soohyun, Kiseop, (front row:) Kevin, Eli, and Hoon.

Did you like the video?
According to Kevin, the concept is “dizziness, with a spinning effect.” You’d think they’d have enough spinning around with “Binguel Binguel” (“Round and Round”), the music video for which uses a few of these cool rotating camera tricks.

U-KISS Doradora Kiseop
Kiseop goes spinning.

But I’m glad they didn’t give up that concept because this music video for “Doradora” is so freakin’ cool. The first time I saw this, I was so fascinated that I couldn’t really pay attention to the song or anything else in the video because I just had to know how they staged all those cool shots. Ones like this:

U-KISS Doradora Hoon Kevin
Hoon and Kevin in the bedroom.

and this:

U-KISS Doradora Eli blue room
Eli in the blue room.

and this:

U-KISS Doradora Donghyun
Donghyun casually reading a book.

and this:

U-KISS Doradora amazing filming techniques
Seriously, like, try to figure out this shot.

And of course they’re all just optical illusions, but sooo visually interesting. As far as I understand it, it’s just clever staging, set design, acting, and camera rotation, but if you’re interested in seeing some more details on how they filmed the music video, this making-of video is fun, even if the narration is a bit awkward at times (and they mix up AJ and Kiseop at one point).

But that bed is vertically attached to the wall, isn’t that awesome? So in this photo (below), Kevin is standing normally and Hoon is lying with his back on the floor and his feet in the air, and the whole room is oriented sideways.

U-KISS ukiss Dora dora Kevin and Hoon

Was there a storyline? If so, did it make sense?
The U-KISS members are stuck in a horrific carnival funhouse ride that consists of a revolving bedroom, a blue and white room, and various areas that are lit with black lights.

U-KISS ukiss Dora dora black lights
Anybody up for laser tag?

Possibly called something like the “Fun Factory” or “Wacky Shack” or something equally ominous and vaguely creepy. And constantly having to keep on their toes lest gravity crush them makes everybody very tired. All they want to do is sleep, but the rotation makes it impossible.

U-KISS ukiss Dora dora Soohyun
Soohyun just wants to get some shut-eye.

My personal theory is that Kevin is the puppet master, or perhaps Time Lord, considering the fact that he can skillfully manipulate an hourglass while in a spinning container:

U-KISS ukiss Kevin Doradora hourglass
Sorry, fans of Doctor Who.

His motivation is simple—who wouldn’t want an entire Kpop group forever stuck in a bedroom where you can observe them? Er...sorry, I’ll tone down the fangirling now. :)

Was the dance cool and distinctive?
Um, can I just—

U-KISS Doradora dance gif
It’s the bend-and-snap!


U-KISS dances are always a treat, and this one is particularly special with that sexy snapping wave motion and the parts where they go in a circle (and shuffle!).

U-KISS ukiss Dora dora Kiseop
Kiseop in the center.

I love the total wanton abandonment with which U-KISS dances and how each member puts his own little spin on each move instead of going for robotic synchronization.

U-KISS ukiss Dora dora Soohyun Kevin
Leader Soohyun and Kevin demonstrating the aforementioned “wanton abandonment.”

Do the members look good?
Yesss, so good. I was very pleased that all the members seemed to get adequate screentime.

U-KISS ukiss Doradora members black and red
AJ, Kiseop, Hoon, Eli, Kevin, Dongho, and Soohyun.

Which member stood out the most?
It’s, like, a four-way tie between AJ, Eli, Kiseop, and Kevin here for me. AJ was front and center and really different-looking a lot of the time (something about his eyes are so arresting), Eli’s bleached hair is like a beacon, and Kiseop…is Kiseop (i.e. sex on legs) and also has maroon hair to boot. The man could not look more gorgeous. And despite his weirdly elongated t-shirts, Kevin looks so good doing that dance (heh, I’m a tad biased, though; Kevin’s my favorite).

U-KISS Doradora members names
Yup, these four: AJ, Kevin, Eli, and Kiseop (and Soohyun on the right).

Now, who do I have to pay to get Kevin to go back to his “Manmanhani”-era hair?

U-KISS ukiss Manmanhani Kevin hair blonde
Yes, please!

Do you like it enough to buy the song?
Yes, I do! I’ll have to add another to my top ten U-KISS songs list. :)

Any ending thoughts?
Did you know that AJ studied at Columbia University in New York? That’s a very prestigious school and a very impressive achievement!

Also, don’t confuse this song with Nep’s “Doradora.”

Boyfriend’s one-liner:
“Makes me want to play ‘And Yet It Moves’ [a video game where you can rotate the camera angle to change gravity].”

U-KISS Doradora review And Yet It Moves indie video game
Here’s a screenshot from that game.

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


  1. Haha, that's funny, I just posted my review of "One Shot," though mine was more about the music video than the song. Cool!

    Your blog is neat; I like that you have both books and Kpop on there (can't believe you didn't like "24/7," though! I adore it!). I guess my only suggestion would be to tag the entries so that people can more easily browse? 

    Sorry, I'm not really into button-swapping, but I will RSS/follow your site! :)

  2. Gosh.. When I saw this video, I didn't really know their names yet, just Kevin and Dongho, but this was so mindblowing.. I really loved the camera tricks... and gosh, the dance... o.o;;;;; Fangirling is a really big blow to "innocence" that kids are supposed to have... XD 

  3. I know, isn't it amazing?! I just want to stare at it all day long...Hope this helped you learn their names a bit better! :)

  4. OMG! I just ADORE this music video and this group! I agree, they're definitely one of the most underrated groups, and I can't see why! They sing well, dance well, and rap well. They also do well enough on variety shows and dramas... I must say, I put this video on replay a lot because the song is so catchy, the dance is just sexy, and the video is so cool... x.x

    I hope they win an award in Korea soon...♡