After School’s cute sub-group Orange Caramel which consists of Raina, Nana and Lizzy; released their 4th single 샹하이 로맨스 (上海之戀) (Shanghai Romance) as part of their “One Asia Project”. The song follows up their catchy dance single “Bangkok City” which showed a slightly less “cute” side to Orange Caramel while remaining in their known style at the same time. This new single contains the title track, a solo from Nana and a Mandarin version of one of their previous B-Sides.
The first track is the title track 샹하이 로맨스 (上海之戀) (Shanghai Romance), a track that is strongly influenced by traditional Chinese music with witty lyrics written by Super Junior’s Kim Heechul. A song that remains very strongly in Orange Caramel’s typical musical and vocal style, it’s very catchy, upbeat and cute. If you’re wanting something to sing along to it is definitely worth a shot. Not only does it have the catchy elements, they vocally sound really good on the track as well (as expected really). Be sure to check the MV out for it which also features one of the members of the upcoming group; After School Boys!
The second track on the mini album is 눈을 감아 (Keep Your Eyes Closed) which is Nana’s solo track. The song with OC’s “dolly” sound with the use of a music box in the beginning. Despite this, it’s a very delicate and sweet song that allows Nana to show her voice off wonderfully and she sings it with a lot of emotion. There are a few slight power notes that luckily don’t push her out of her capability range and she sings some really lovely high notes at the end of the chorus. It is generally a very pleasant song to listen to.
The last track is 第一次爱的人, the Mandarin version of their ballad 이 곳에 서서 (The Day You Went Away) which was featured on their “Aing♡” EP released last year. Since this isn’t a new song, both in the case of the original Korean version and the Mandarin version I don’t feel a full review of this song needs to be done. The song is a gentle ballad pop song and their Mandarin pronunciation sounds really good to me (this is coming from a non-Chinese speaker though). Usually I don’t like remakes in other languages because I find translations cause lyrics to be awkward but the Chinese really suits this song and closes off the single really nicely.
If you want to listen to this, you will need to be a bit open minded when it comes to “cute” music, I primarily am not a fan of cute music but there are a few exceptions here and there that I enjoy. They sound good vocally and the songs are all really great. I really hope they release a full release or at least a fuller release with a good 7 or so songs on it. We can dream right?