Five years after Orange Caramel’s last release, the quirkiest and weirdest idol group of them all still reigns supreme, in my mind, as some of the best that K-Pop ever had to offer.
This trio, an offshoot of the also-defunct girl group After School, had one mission: to push the boundaries of the K-Pop imagination. No staid tropes here; no cliché lyrics; no yawn-inducing music video visuals. All of Orange Caramel’s title tracks were crafted for the maximum possible impact; to challenge the listener to try something new, to watch and listen to something that might make them go, huh?
Their 2012 release, Lipstick, embodies that ideal perfectly. Oh, you want a music video about a ping-pong trainee? Sure! You want the plot to be about an absolutely absurd, superheroic table tennis competition? Why the hell not!
Someday, there will come a day when an idol group dethrones Orange Caramel as my favorite group of all time. Today is not that day. Dear god, I miss them so much.