[#39] Hello Venus - "Love Appeal"

From: "VENUS"
Format: EP
Released: May
Territory: South Korea
Previous Best of Appearances: First Appearance

One of my biggest frustrations with K-Pop is that a lot of agencies nowadays just assume that if they're going to put out a young or fresh-faced girl group, said girl group HAS to be cute. Or even not girl groups alone, actually, even female soloists. (Case in point -- IU) It's frustrating because it's as if they equate being a young, feminine, girl to being cute only, and if the group isn't cute they're the complete opposite with burning sets and angst-laden concepts -- middle ground isn't achieved until later.

Even if Hello Venus' single, "Venus", leans more towards the cute than the, well, not cute, two of the other songs on their debut EP were able to grasp that middle ground, without losing the youthfulness of the group. "Love Appeal" is one of them.

Originally a Belinda song (Belinda as in the Spanish pop star who was in "The Cheetah Girls 2"), "Love Appeal" is exactly what I would imagine a group like Hello Venus doing, and well, they really did. It's a good song with surprisingly strong production, and it brings out the groups' strengths. I understand why this wasn't the lead single though -- it's not as kpop performance-friendly as "Venus".

That aside, "Love Appeal" is very girl group, it's very young and unmistakably girly -- it's something you can imagine set alongside girly, slightly cutesy, choreography, especially with those "na na na"'s as a hook. At the same time, the girls still sound like singers and not a bunch of squeak toys-turned-girls, mostly because of the song. While the delivery is very girly, the song itself gives off a playful, slightly mischievous, side. The melody of the verses are very mature and serious, and even if the delivery of the chorus is almost-cutesy, the melody itself masks a lot of it with the long notes in between relatively short melodic lines.

Basically what happened in this song is they took a pretty serious melody, put it on top of a cheery instrumental executed with heavy sounds, and gave it to a a very feminine, young girl group. It doesn't sound like such a good idea when you say it like that, but everything just makes sense when you hear the song itself.

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