MV of the Month: Orange Caramel, 'Catallena'

Orange Caramel shine as a sub-unit.

A sophisticated and well-executed concept, “Catallena” suggests Orange Caramel may be growing too big to be categorized as a mere sub-unit of After School.

The Ban by KBS

We all know that KBS is notoriously finicky about what gets banned and what doesn’t. I’m not sure it’s worth griping about. KBS isn’t going to change any time soon. But what is interesting is the amount of buzz this video garnered because of that ban. Suddenly, everyone was talking about the quirky Orange Caramel video – what was it that KBS found so disturbing? Is Orange Caramel really promoting killing humans? Um, no, they’re not. You see, they’re fish, and then—nevermind. But the ban wasn’t as harmful as you might think!


Why We Chose "Catallena"

We don’t want the controversy of the KBS ban to take anything away from straight-up appreciation of Orange Caramel. This was an outstanding music video. Every piece of it is polished and precise. Every time we watch it, we chuckle when Raina kicks her feet in soy and when the chopsticks start picking up Lizzy. We point and smile when see the giant bows and the jumpy dance steps that were such a great part of previous videos. We see saba and sake. We get hungry. And we can’t get the beat out of our heads!

Another Note about View Count

Fans of the group are not thrilled that the official music video was posted by both Pledis and 1theK (formerly LOEN). This has become a common complaint for many fandoms. Double-posting splits Orange Caramel’s view count over two videos. This does more than just confuse the numbers - it actually harms the group in terms of YouTube’s virality algorithms. Less views means YouTube thinks the video is less relevant, means less YouTubers will stumble across it. It also might explain why their dance practice video has nearly as many views. That, or maybe these women are just insanely charming.


The Punjabi Bit

The other thing everyone has been talking about are the lyrics, which borrow two lines of Punjabi. As the internet was kind enough to point out for us, “Jutti Meri, Paula Mera” literally translates to “My shoes, my shirt.” And the Oye Hoi Hoi sounds are just typical singing sounds. Like fa la la or boom dada. Sometimes mimicry of another song (especially one from another culture) can feel distasteful. But Orange Caramel have come right out and said this is an Indian disco song inspired by “Jutti Meri Jandiye.” By giving proper credit to their inspiration, no one can seriously suggest that Nana, Raina, and Lizzy have done anything other than make an incredibly fun music video. We’ve been singing this all week!

What this Means for Orange Caramel

Here at Critical Kpop, we’re starting to fall for Orange Caramel. There’s something deliciously quirky about them, and it’s really starting to connect. “Catallena” is their first MV since “Lipstick,” another one of our favorites. It is easy to forget that this is only a sub-unit of After School. For our money, Orange Caramel might be ready to go full-time. We’re hooked!

Bonus Trivia

At a fan meeting, Lizzy explained that “Catallena” is a name made up to signify someone who is choosy, but who the rest of us can’t help but love. They explain it much better (while teaching you how to dance!) in this video. Enjoy!

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