Hello Venus – “Sticky Sticky” Review

Hello Venus – Sticky Sticky (Live Performance)

Hello Venus – Sticky Sticky

Reviewed on November 13, 2014

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Personal Message: As promised, I will be covering Hello Venus’ recent comeback song, “Sticky Sticky”. I am actually reviewing this without having a proper video link, but by the time this review is finished, I am sure a high-quality live performance video will be published. Currently in terms of when I wrote this Personal Message section, every live performance video was either blurry visually, or in the audio department, very difficult to hear. Given a few more days, a proper link should be attached in this review. Now if their label company is feeling awfully generous, we may be bathed in luxury by having a dance practice video. Chances of that, however, is probably as low as an abyss.

Focusing on what really matters, I will give my personal opinion and insight on Hello Venus’ complete revamp. The most obvious change would be the lost of two ladies; Yoonjo and YooAra left during the summer if I recall correctly. Diving into the technicalities of what exactly happened, in honesty, I am not fully sure. But for those who are very curious, their original label company had a split. Unfortunately, due to that, YooAra and Yoonjo were under another label company than the other members (again, I might be completely wrong, but I remember something along the line of this), and as a result, they weren’t able to stay in Hello Venus. That said, considering how Hello Venus was very unpopular and hardly recognized, I expected the lost of the two valuable members to be the catalyst for disbanding. Fast forward a few months, I have been proven wrong; Hello Venus is still active.

Now that the roster change is clarified, although I am not familiar with this group at all, if my brain is properly functioning, in their previous song of “Do You Want Some Tea?” (check out my newbie review of it), YooAra was a solid vocalist. Losing her probably affected a lot of their vocal capabilities. Their two new members are Seoyoung and Yeoreum, and, from a single perspective of “Sticky Sticky”, neither of them have promising vocals. Then again, not a single member was able to show off impressive vocals for this song. I will simply cut it off here. The real review will begin below.

The final aspect of their changes to discuss, which I’m sure readers are quite curious on, is their concept: cute to sexy. Personally, I did not expect nor desire this; their original cute concept was what made them very unique. Perhaps I am just still in morbid shock; after all, if Apink swapped over to a sexy concept, I am positive that fans would be clutching at their hearts. Anyhow, it will be interesting to observe Hello Venus in the long run. They were not the first group to abandon a cute, lighter concept. Girl’s Day is a prominent group that comes to mind. They started off as adorable, but then transitioned over to give off a stronger, sexier image. In Girl’s Day’s case, that switch was what allowed them to be at their current popularity. Will it work for Hello Venus? In my opinion, no. From my observations, the biggest, most influential factor that Girl’s Day gleaned from switching over to a sexy concept were their vocals; they sounded like the incredible ladies they are versus their original, childish singing style. Sadly, in Hello Venus’ case, the opposite happened: they sound worse. “Do You Want Some Tea?” showcased solid vocals despite being on the cute style. For their comeback, “sexy” vocals are not heard at all. Arguably, I will claim their cute concept’s vocals were vastly “sexier”; they were genuinely decent.

Anyhow, I have went on for long enough on that subject. In short, I am hoping Hello Venus goes back to their original concept, or at least, to alternate the two concepts of cute or sexy, or another solution, to do a combination such as with Girl’s Day’s “Darling”. As of now, Hello Venus’ current concept is overwhelming different. I may just be purely biased right now, however. That might be the case since I watched the music video (I rarely watch the MVs of K-Pop songs; live performances and/or dance practices are what I watch) and expected their original concept. As a result, I was completely caught off guard and disturbed by how sexual it was. To share a tangent, “implicit” sexy concepts are my preferred concepts for the sexy category (and for those wondering what is my favorite concept in general, I am not bound to one; biasedly, T-ARA and Nine Muses’ general songs/choreographies are ones I’ve found appealing). For example, the choreographies of Nine Muses are bold, confident, powerful, but they possess sexiness disguised in the form of remaining mature and respectable. In the scenario of Hello Venus’ “Sticky Sticky”, the choreography is heavily focused on blatant sexual dance moves. Their label company should have stuck with the original style, but they must have had some deliberate purposes for this change (and actually, a discussion about which concepts are most appealing/profitable would be interesting).

I have digressed for way too long, and in fact, this review might hold the record of the longest Personal Message section yet. Anyhow, Hello Venus’ recent comeback song is “Sticky Sticky”. As stated earlier, the ladies are swapping over to a sexy concept. Despite losing two members during the summer, they have rebounded with the addition of two new teammates. Although it is admirable to see them persevere, their latest song leaves them in a “Sticky Sticky” situation; it does not compete with their previous song.

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Song Total Score: 5/10 (5.4/10 raw score) – Average score of the sub-categories

– Vocals: 5/10 – Considering Hello Venus was given an 8 before for their vocals, seeing a 5 here is absurd. The style of this song may be the one to blame.

“Sticky Sticky” showcases average vocals. The singing holds as weak and exceptionally stale. The melody provided was simplistic; a spectrum of notes did not exist. Even during the bridge section, the higher pitches were not too appealing. In terms of being stale, the style thwarts the vocals from being diverse. Strangely, for this song, the ladies had to sing in a raspier voice. Due to this, a lot of the melody becomes clogged down and restricted. (As a disclaimer, as I mentioned before in my review of “Red” by Hyuna, I am judging voices from a musical aspect; every voice is indeed unique, charming, and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with having a raspy voice at all. Every voice should be well respected.)

Average vocals for this song. Hello Venus in the past have shown competent vocal capabilities, but in this song, the style of raspiness and the lack of diverse pitches lead to an exceptionally stale song from a vocals perspective. It’s pitiful that “sexy” vocals mean the ladies have to hinder their own voices to suit the theme. What would have been “sexy” would be their normal singing voices. They have proven to have stunning vocals, but for this song, that is not showcased.

– Song Structure: 5/10 (5/10 raw score)

The song goes in this structure and order:

Introduction, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Verse, Pre-Chorus, Chorus, Post-Chorus, Bridge, Conclusion (Post-Chorus)

1. Introduction: 5/10 – This introduction is what I personally call a “trademark” introduction. This is due to the song producer, Brave Brothers, always leaving his signature (and actually, one day I may give a brief discussion regarding K-Pop songs and the main song producers). Anyhow, a male voice introduces the group and the producer. Throughout the voiceover, Hello Venus adds “Hello” in a raspy tone.

This introduction leans towards the mediocre side, but considering how efficiently it sets up the song, it holds as adequate. The vocals’ style is instantly established and the slower paced instrumental is set. Furthermore, this section remains compact; nothing excessive.

Overall, an average section. Quickly setting up the sexier theme and delivering the vocal and instrumental styles was properly done. What does remain lacking is how plain and dull it is. A “trademark” concept without any other aspect to support it holds as pure narration. Sadly, such was the case here. Although Hello Venus did add their “Hello” lines, they were simply adding a background narrating voice. A current example of a stronger trademark introduction would be AOA’s “Like a Cat” (next review in line). AOA has a trademark introduction for all of their song’s beginning, but due to either actually singing or having twists and a variety of melody and words, they manage to pull it in a stunningly appealing manner. Anyhow, on track with “Sticky Sticky”, the introduction is rated as average.    

2. Post-Chorus: 4/10 – Considering how the post-chorus is instantly used when, as the name states, it should be found after a chorus, this section may seem absurd in terms of the order. Nevertheless, despite all odds, the timing is acceptable. All of the ladies sing for the post-choruses.

The post-choruses involve a melodic repetition of “Oh”. Unfortunately, there is nothing else to add onto that.

Repetition and staleness are huge issues for the post-choruses. There is no diversity in terms of the words used (it was only one word), and the melody, despite being withered down due to the raspy vocals, is endlessly looped. These aspects are perfect bait for luring out tedious sections. The only benefit regarding this section would be how it does hold as slightly catchy, but taking into account of how there is little complexity involved, that brings the post-choruses to a “Sticky” situation.

Overall, below average. This section is simply too repetitive. If the vocals were more impressive or the section’s length was shortened, then perhaps it would be slightly stronger. As of now, however, staleness is a large issue. One of the most stagnant sections I’ve heard in a song.

3. Verse: 5/10 – Yooyoung and Alice handle the first verse, and as typical, I will focus on the first verse for critiquing.

Yooyoung arrives with a slower pacing to accommodate the instrumental’s rate. The vocals retain the expected raspiness. Towards her last line, she does add some emphasis at the last word “geol” for a smooth transition to Alice. Once she takes over, she replicates Yooyoung’s style. There is a difference, however, towards the middle of her part. Her words of “tteugeoun nungire” have extra power going towards them. After that, Alice concludes her last line.

From a vocal standpoint, it holds as mediocre. There was minimal melodic flow for the singing; staleness becomes derived from such. In terms of the emphasized parts, they slightly alleviate the dullness, but not by much considering the amplifications were still vocally lacking. The only strength that emerges from this section is the proper chemistry between vocals and instrumental. Both sides were identically paced.

Overall, an average section. Should the emphasized parts not have existed, this would be leaning towards the negative scoring scale (less than 5). Thankfully, with some minimal differences in the flow due to emphasis, a penalty won’t occur. Nevertheless, the section is bereft of anything solid. The vocals are mediocre, the instrumental provides solely a foundation, and the melody, despite the emphasized words, is still equally plain.

4. Pre-Chorus: 5/10 – Nara handles the first pre-chorus by herself. For this song, the pre-choruses are rather shorter. That is not an issue; the pre-choruses fulfill their roles.

Upon transitioning to this section, the instrumental makes a subtle increase in energy. It becomes slightly faster. Nara’s part involves reaching for the higher pitches. At the very end, she manages to hit a high note for transitioning the song to the chorus.

For the most part, the pre-chorus does the standard role. It escalates the song’s intensity in preparation for the chorus. Focusing on the singing, while Nara’s range is respectable, once again, the raspiness impairs vocal abilities. The ending could have been vastly stronger if the “sexy” themed singing was decimated. Due to the raspier style, the high noted ending sounded as if she was lacking breath. In a song, it is almost imperative to always show sustained vocals, not faltering and languishing ones (although in different situations, this wouldn’t hold as true).

Another average section in “Sticky Sticky”. The vocal skill is partially witnessed via high notes, but the style of delivering the lines is not solid. Simply put, this section did its standard job of bringing the song’s intensity up for the chorus. Anything else, however, remains out of the picture.

5. Chorus: 5/10 – So far, as readers can tell, this song is coming off as purely average. Will the chorus follow suit? Perhaps. Alice and Seoyoung team up for the first chorus.

Alice begins the chorus with decently powered vocals. Her lines become slightly more dynamic by being sliced up into bits. During the ending parts of “…hage” and “…lae”, there are small pauses after each part. Seoyoung’s part emulates her member exactly. After both ladies finish, the song transitions into the post-chorus.

If it has not yet been clear, this song is quite average. As anticipated, another average section. The pacing here provides some fluctuating lines. That allows for diversity and prevents some staleness. Vocally, though, both ladies were limited by the raspy, weaker tone. “…hage” is an example of how the raspiness constricted their vocal range. Additionally, with how the instrumental became slightly more upbeat, seeing the vocals reciprocating that would have been desired. The chorus in “Sticky Sticky” leaves room for improvement.

6. Bridge: 6/10 – Three members are responsible for the bridge. Seoyoung, Nara, and Alice are the ones in specific.

Coming off with decent power, Seoyoung initiates the bridge with “I’m in love”. She adds one more line before Nara tags in. In contrast to the power, Nara gives a slower, quieter tone. Following that up is Alice who, in coordination with Seoyoung, hits a higher pitched and strong note hold. Once all the dust clears, the song proceeds with the post-chorus/conclusion.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about this bridge. Although the ladies kept their raspiness style, they were, against all odds, able to show off an energetic, melodic, and impactful bridge. The note hold at the very end was well executed in both categories of power and coordination (Seoyoung joined in). What prevents me from confidently giving a high score is due to peering at the song as a whole. I expected a relatively dull calm bridge. The song in general was rather mellow and quieter, and therefore, any bridge with a climax occurring in the form of a powerful note hold would be unexpected and unsuitable. Sadly, “Sticky Sticky” uses the climactic bridge concept.

Overall, slightly above average. The bridge itself was well done. Vocals were diverse despite the rife raspy style, and the note hold was impressive. What holds the bridge back is the approach of it; impacting and powerful. Having a calmer bridge would have suited the song as a whole. The section is mechanically well done, but systematically at fault.

7. Conclusion (Post-Chorus): 5/10 – Similar to the bridge, this section contrasts the other pieces harshly. Head-on power in the form of the post-chorus occurs for the conclusion. All of the ladies chip in.

The post-chorus plays out as usual. However, this time different members throw in high notes and perform two-part singing.

Since the post-choruses were exceptionally bleak, considering how the conclusion takes away such via two-part singing, a solid ending should be expected. That is not the result. Similarly to the bridge, this conclusion was overdone; the two-part singing and explosive vocals were too potent. A calmer end should have been done.

Overall, an average section. The vocal skills were respectable, but this style either should have been included near the start, or, if left out, remain out. This conclusion fails to fit the established trends and it fails to bring the song to a smooth end.  

– Line Distribution: 6/10 – There are 6 members in Hello Venus, so a high score should be expected.

Alice has a part at the first verse, she appears at the choruses, and returns at the bridge. Plenty of time was given to her.

Nara handled the first pre-chorus and appears at the bridge. Slightly lacking considering both moments were very short in duration.

Lime is heard at the second half of the second verse. One part for her, so not too impressive. More time could have been given.

Seoyoung had sufficient lines. She appears at the choruses and bridge. No issues.

Yooyoung is witnessed at the verses. The first halves of the verses belong to her. An ample amount of time was given.

Yeoreum possessed solely one pre-chorus. Considering how short the pre-choruses were, not much time was given.

Lastly, the final thing to account for is all the ladies sing during the post-choruses.

The main issues in the share of lines for “Sticky Sticky” is predominately with Yeoreum, but other members such as Lime and Nara were also lacking. Even with all the members singing the post-chorus, more time could have been allocated towards three of the members. Slightly above average, but nevertheless, slightly disappointing.  

– Instrumental: 6/10 – The instrumental in “Sticky Sticky” works as a foundation; it remains subtle and a part of the background, but it fulfills its job of supporting the vocals. During moments where the intensity was higher, the instrumental followed suit. Individually, the soundtrack is a slower paced and calmer orientated type. The beats are consistent and provide decent rhythm. Other sounds hold as decent.

Overall, slightly above average. It meshes well with Hello Venus’ singing, and individually, it remains as a soothing soundtrack. Nothing too spectacular, but it can be regarded as sufficient.

– Meaning: 5/10 – “Sticky Sticky”; an interesting title. I am expecting a love-related story that isn’t necessarily cheerful, but rather, a “Sticky Sticky” situation such as a fight. And no, for my fellow readers that follow me from my E-Sports activities, this song is not praising the Demoman’s beloved weapon (and for those completely lost, just nod your head and ignore this). Putting aside my inhumanely awful joke/pun, let’s take a look at the story from these translated lyrics. It is not 100% accurate, but here are the Korean-to-English translated lines:

(Hello) It’s a new beginning
(Hello) Brave Sound and Hello Venus
(Hello) Now we together, let’s go

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

I’m so full of charm
Am I really sexy?
Just by giving you a look,
you get so happy
You can’t take your eyes off me
Your hot stares at me
make my heart pound, too

Hold my hands, hum along
and whisper love to me, oh baby

Sticky sticky, risky risky
I wanna hug you, I wanna have you next to me tonight
Sticky sticky, electric electric
Wanna come to me? You’re it, catch me tonight

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

Make me lose my breath
Make me dizzy because of you
My cheeks are red
Your naughty hands are so busy
Your sweet words
are like chocolate
My heart is like melted candy
In your hands, sticky sticky

Hold my hands, hum along
and whisper love to me, oh baby

Sticky sticky, risky risky
I wanna hug you, I wanna have you next to me tonight
Sticky sticky, electric electric
Wanna come to me? You’re it, catch me tonight

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

I’m in love, I’ve fallen deep
into your heart, can’t escape
Hold me tight, sweetly tell me
Make it sticky,
our own tonight

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

In reality, my predictions were completely off; the sheer opposite happened. “Sticky Sticky” describes a flirtatious love-related story. A lady or gentleman is in a situation where, as the title says, they are heavily attached to their partner in both a physical and an emotional level. Through physical contact such as holding hands or hugging, the couple is “Sticky Sticky”, but with being in love with one another, they are also glued together via feelings.

In the end, an intimate, passionate love story is unveiled. While the story itself is interesting and slightly different than others, details remain lacking. The verses are mainly the sections that give details. Everything else is a repeat of the same idea of “Sticky Sticky”. Average lyrics. If more details were added, a higher score would have been given.  

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Choreography Score: 5/10 – To be straightforward, the choreography of “Sticky Sticky” is, as every other section in this song has proven to practically be, average.

Syncing with the song was consistent, but there were numerous moments where a connection between movements and the song was lost. Examples include the verses. In terms of the key points, they were not impressive. Every section recycled the same dance sets, and in focus of every set, they were mediocre. Ignoring the sexual aspect of the dance (which will be discussed in a few more lines), the dance maneuvers remained extremely simplistic. The post-chorus’ dance section was equally plain as the musical section itself. The only benefit of the dance would be how it reflects the song’s slower pacing.

Now as stated earlier, time to address the sexually-orientated dance.  It is one thing to have a section overly sexualized, but it is another issue when that typically involves whittling down the dance to simply moving or (forbid) groping a body part. Blatant sexual dances are not only disturbing, but it simply notches the choreography’s complexity down by a significant degree. To use a current song as an opposite, AOA’s “Like a Cat” is a solid example of a sexy-theme while remaining subtle. Hello Venus’ “Sticky Sticky” becomes hindered by their sexually explicit dance sections. To clarify, most of the time (sexualization in media will be saved for another time), and that is a questionable frequency term, sexy-themed concepts in K-Pop songs are not instantly bad; the largest indicator is explicit versus implicit. Nine Muses, for example, has been known to lean towards the sexier side, but it has never been outrageously disturbing (but I’ll be honest, “Wild” was overwhelming at first due to the MV) since their choreography and song are limited by being very subtle and passive.

Anyhow, point is, a sexy-theme doesn’t immediately corrupt a song’s or choreography’s rating unless if it is poorly executed. What ruins the concept is when it is overly exaggerated or explicitly done. And lastly, for fans who are indeed clutching at their aching hearts for Hello Venus’ concept change, these ladies are simply cooperating with their label company. I am positive that the members of Hello Venus are, in fact, genuinely sexy ladies; like many idols, they are extremely hard working, talented, intelligent, and persevering. Sounds sexy enough.

To bring this all the way back to the choreography, it holds as average. The dance’s key points are weak, and certain parts are impaired due to a poorly executed sexually-orientated part.

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Overall Score: 5/10 (5/10 raw score) – Both the Song Total Score and Choreography Score are rated at a 5, thus, the Overall Score will follow as such. This leaves Hello Venus’ comeback at a rating of average, which I do reside with. The song itself is average and similarly is the choreography.

Perhaps in the future Hello Venus will release a hit, but as of now, their song holds as mediocre. Nevertheless, I am glad the group is still active. Rebounding from a roster disaster is very admirable.

As I always do, thank you for reading this. Apologies for being rather slow with this review. I did slightly rush this review, but hopefully it still remains cohesive enough. Thank you very much, though, for sticking around and reading. It means a lot.

For my next review, AOA’s recent comeback of “Like a Cat” has caught my attention, so that will be reviewed shortly. Their other songs have been notable, but nothing was too outstanding. “Like a Cat”, however, has definitely captured my ears. Anyhow, I appreciate how they have an “AOA” style to their songs and that they’ve stuck with the same concept throughout their entire career. They’re a group that’s rapidly gaining popularity, and considering they were (don’t hurt me) underdogs, it’s really pleasing to witness that. More will be discussed about this if I remember on their review.

I am currently bundled down with work, so reviews are not a priority. School before anything else, but I will do my best to keep up. The end has arrived. Thank you for all the support; “Your sweet words are like chocolate”. Keep checking back for a review on AOA’s “Like a Cat”.