• krazee4kpop

    Wow, after reading the article about favoritism at SM – I was beginning to question why I come to Seoulbeats to read up on Kpop. That article made a fair point, but the writing sounded a bit like personal ranting – no offence intended – I guess the writer just needed to “let it out”. Than I read articles like this one – and I’m reminded why I enjoyed reading Seoulbeats and learning new perspectives of the scene. I guess you need a bit of both when reporting on Kpop.

  • http://twitter.com/PhanTheHotness Jenny

    i feel like it’s mostly their music. it’s very “stagnant” and so generic and autotune. however, i know that brave brothers produces most of their songs so wouldn’t it really be him that’s causing ukiss to be mediocre? i’m not a big fan of his music, just because it’s very autotune, especially when it comes to ukiss. 
    they follow his direction in terms of how his song should be sang and etc…and they were just given a HORRIBLE debut song!

    compare that to say SHinee, who was given a pretty great debut song, or even Beast and MBLAQ. the latter two were rookies, but they are still more popular than ukiss, with Beast pretty much in the ranks of top idols now. 
    if you look at it, Beast and Mblaq were given great songs (well compared to ukiss). not a lot of autotune and they sound pretty good live too.

    there’s also the aspect of charm and charisma too. ukiss does not give that off to me. their original line up seems very misfitted. personally, i think their company should have put Hoon and AJ in a new group and started anew.

    all that aside, i think they have been making great improvements with their new line up and i for one, would like to see them win with their next song because they probably know themselves about how their group is like and an award would be great for them. they haven’t given up and they work their butts off! but they would need to win with a great album with great songs.

  • http://twitter.com/Pingo_31 Cindy

    I dont even know why i started looking at this site i thought it was good source but i just changed my mind. I gotta say the article was really disrespectful to U-Kiss. They are working their butts off and they get called mediocre? thought i gotta admit there debut song wasnt that great… 

    • hannah

      I like U-Kiss, I really do, but so if a group is working their butt off, they can’t be called mediocre? Then there are no mediocre groups in kpop because everyone works their ass off. And I don’t believe you don’t think there are any ‘mediocre’ groups in kpop. I know for a fact you probably think one of the most hardworking groups is mediocre. The difference between you and the writer is that the writer stated her opinion in the form of an article. Just because the writer criticized a group doesn’t mean she was disrespectful. 

      If Seoulbeats isn’t a ‘good source’ because they don’t share your opinions, then you’re probably better off on allkpop.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anngelica-Aguilar/100000185514336 Anngelica Aguilar

        Well said hannah. :) I agree. 

  • asdfgh

    I don’t necessarily disagree with your article, but this bothered me. I know it’s your opinon, but I need to elaborate on it. 

    With the notable exception of Soohyun, the lead vocal, there isn’t a single member in U-Kiss that has proven himself to be extraordinarily talented in any one area of performance.”
    No offence, you’re making this sound like it’s applying to U-KISS exclusively. Either that or you’re using some serious double standard. What about f(x), the only ‘amazing’ singer there is Luna. Yet you’ve gone and praised Amber like she’s a fountain of talent, which she has the potential to be, but she’s not. What about SNSD? The only ‘amazing’ one there is Taeyeon. Yeah, you may like Tiffany and Seohyun’s voices, but I don’t see how they’re so much more worthy of recognition over Kevin and Hoon? 

    What do you define as ‘natural talent’? Why does talent have to mean you’re a PHENOMENAL singer. Everyone has different limits. Yeah, Kevin and Hoon can’t do it like Soohyun can. But how are they not talented? They’re good singers, they have good voices, they can do more than ‘hold a note’. Yet, they’re not ‘naturally talented’, yet people like Amber, Seohyun, and Tiffany are? 

    One of your writers wrote an article about Taemin on immortal song the other day, and she pretty much said what I feel like saying:

    “He has raw talent, and raw talent doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a powerhouse vocalist. But it means you’re born with a voice that has the potential to be molded into one fit for a good singer”

    Maybe we have different standards. I understand that you love music Patricia, probably the most out of all the other authors put together. So you’re probably more picky than anyone else. But completely dismissing Kevin and Hoon is sort of petty, when you’ve gone and praised people like Amber/Seohyun/Tiffany. I’m not saying these 3 are bad singers, not at all, I think they’re all very good (Seohyun/Tiff more than Amber though) — but I don’t see how they’re ‘talented’ but Kevin and Hoon aren’t. Yeah, they’re great, but if you’re going to compare them to the lead singer in their respective bands they pale in comparison. Same goes for U-KISS. But for some reason f(x) and SNSD get a fair evaluation. 

    I agree that in terms of talent, U-KISS has waaay too many dead-weight members. But to say Soohyun is the only ‘talent’ is ridiculous and sort of insulting. You’re making him sound like the only good singer in the band. He’s not. The only amazingly phenomenal singer? Probably, yes. The only ‘good; singer? No.

  • Anonymous

    I love the boys themselves, but I can’t seem to get myself into liking their music. I like a couple songs from them but the rest don’t really suit my taste. Still, I’m looking forward to their comeback this year, good luck to them.

  • kc

    I became a fan of U-kiss early on… not because of their music obviously, I mean “not young” is probably one of the most embarrassing songs Kpop has ever introduced, and their little auto-tuned faze didn’t quite impress me either, no, when it came down to it I was a fan of them because of them… so it kinda came as a surprise to me when they started coming out with actually good music last year.
    I fell for them around the days when they’d come out with the show U-kiss Vampire… it was sorta one of those days when I had nothing to do and nothing to watch and the show sounded interesting. I began watching, and I mean, it was horribly scripted but I just couldn’t stop… these guys, they’re really likable, while they might not be “omg, the great artists alive!” they are people who you feel for and want them to succeed.
    this year has a been a good year for them, they’re finally getting some good quality songs and it also looks as though they’ve been given a bit more freedom then they and more groups are given… but, well, they’re still not popular in Korea, I mean they’re probably more popular in other countries then they are in Korea… maybe it’s just that they don’t “fit” Korea’s style, maybe they’re just to… to “not” Korean for Korea to except them…
    I don’t know, I’m still gonna be a fan whether they’re the best or not, I just kinda wish people would give them more of a shot…

  • http://twitter.com/J4joker101 Juli

    I see your point about giving recognition to those behind the scenes, but I feel that can be said for many groups. For instance a lot of U-Kiss’s earlier songs were done by Brave Sound. I feel like now I hear the trade mark “Brave Sound” line in a lot of songs and some are fairly successful. But why not for U-Kiss’s experience of Brave Sound? What if the songs had been switched? Would the same results be produced just to a different group? 

    Personally, I’m one of those people who got into Kpop because of U-Kiss. My sister showed me them and SS501. However, while we liked SS501 it was U-Kiss that got us hooked, but not necessarily their music. We loved their personalities on U-Kiss Vampire and the way they seemed so down to earth compared to other groups we looked at later. They also spoke in English sometimes (being new to kpop and hearing phrases you understood made the group more interesting). They were a group you could relate to.

    My sister and I ended up having their music grow on us to the point we were doing the Binguel Binguel and Man Man Ha Ni dance. And while I was disappointed to see the members change they definitely increased their vocal abilities. Kibum was a good talker, but he doesn’t have the vocals Hoon does. Alexander was fun, could rap, and my sister loved his singing voice. (I’m still skeptical about why he left, but I find his recent solo work ‘adorkable’). AJ can rap and sing, which benefits the group. He is able to replace Alexander in the role as the third English speaker as well. This allows the group to spread out lines in their songs more evenly, too. Now Soohyun and Kevin are killing themselves by singing 95% of the song. 0330 and Someday show the groups vocal ranges. Neverland and Tick Tack displays their dancing talent as well as their ability to maintain notes with intense choreography. (Plus the autotune is gone, so their voices aren’t synthesized messes anymore).

    Their “Neverland” album was awesome and its a shame they couldn’t promote more songs on it. Heck, I’m still waiting to hear “Miracle” live from their Bran New Kiss Mini Album. Tick Tack is another success. Having JD Relic producing their songs is definitely proving to be the right move for U-Kiss. I fear however that they are losing some of their spirit that attracted me to them in the first place. I loved their Eat Your Kimchi interview, but watching them on Star Documentary makes you want to kidnap them so they can have a break for once.

    NH Media manages them terribly and they come across a lot of times as exhausted (and I don’t doubt they are). My sister and I have discussed how if they came to the U.S. fans would hand them water and say here sit down and take a nap. We did agree though that having AVEX as their managing company in Japan will allow them to have a lot more exposure and success. 

    I kind of went all over the place, but that’s probably because I’m a person who truly wants U-Kiss to succeed. They put in so much effort and they get really into their songs. I know people who cry watching them sing “Someday”. I hope they are able to reach the top. They have such a loving fan base too. I’ve seen Kiss Me’s recruit people from a bunch of other fan bases like Elf’s and VIP’s in an attempt to help U-Kiss win #1. Like you said their recent music had the potential to bring them to the top, it’s just a shame they’ve been tossed aside by many because they aren’t shiny, new rookies anymore.

    • The Unicorner

      This comment raises many good points. The thing that bothered me the most about this article, and the other examples you provided, is the excessive emphasis on powerhouse vocals. I expect this from netizens, but from a respectable music site it makes the article lose some credibility. Great vocals don’t necessarily mean the ability to hit notes that can break glass. I always thought Kevin’s voice has a wonderful tone and excellent volume and pitch control, and is more suitable for certain types of songs than a powerhouse vocal like Soohyun (this is not to diminish Soohyun’s vocal talent; it’s just different). Hoon is also a perfectly good singer and more of a power vocal, but he doesn’t get as much face time and doesn’t get noticed as much.
      U-KISS has a lot of “dead weight” members but so do most other idol groups. Generally speaking, idol groups typically have 1-2 power vocals, 1-2 rappers, and everyone else provides supporting vocals and fills out the visual line. With regards to their format and talent level there really isn’t anything to distinguish U-KISS from more successful bands that debuted around the same time.

      I do agree with the other points made by this article (terrible management, bad song choices, etc.) but that one just really rubbed me the wrong way. It didn’t seem necessary or to contribute to the points the article was making in any way.

      At least the writer acknowledged that they are pretty.

      • gegeegbaby

        Do you mean the other comment down below? I think you replied to the wrong comment.

    • ME

      I know Paran, I love ‘Five Steps’. 
      I share the same sentiment for U-Kiss as for The Boss. Ugh… why oh why several good groups (in terms of vocal and performance) get some ugly songs to start with and go through the same bad songs for ‘comeback’ and again and again… 
      (no more auto-tone, please, please, please….)

  • Anonymous

    i don’t think that they’re an EXCEPTIONALLY talented group, but seriously, this is k-pop we’re talking about where the basic requirement is to have a pretty face and the rest is just… optional. when it comes to singing/dancing/performing u-kiss can hold their own. they seem to have been having success recently with tick tack and i’m crossing my fingers that it carries in to the new year. 

  • http://colourmesplendid.wordpress.com Ree

    Honestly, I love their agency. They know what to do to succeed, and they know what’s wrong with U-KISS, and they know how to fix it. They didn’t even back down from removing members. Sure, it was kind of ruthless, and I sort of wish they had thought about the talent level BEFORE forming the band, but still — going as far as kicking out members sort of shows how invested NH are in the group. 

    On another note, that picture of Kevin is so adorable. Argh. I need that boy in my pocket right now!

  • Beh

    I really liked U-KISS this year, especially their songs 0330 and Neverland. I thought the choreography for Neverland was especially eye-catching and the music wasn’t bad either, although I wouldn’t necessarily call that song very… musical, it was catchy and sometimes that’s all that matters.
    In the land of K-Pop, hard work and pretty faces can take you pretty far… U-KISS does work hard and I think that 2012 is going to be their turning point if their agency continues to give them songs that sound good. People will give them recognition for their work. 
    Take INFINITE for example. I absolutely adore INFINITE but when I ask myself why, is the main reason because of their talent? No. Of course not. I do believe that INFINITE is talented, but I don’t believe that all of them are *naturally* talented. I believe that INFINITE is making their way in the K-Pop world because of all their hard work, constant exposure, and distinct sound. The boys of INFINITE have been basically working nonstop ALL of 2011–always promoting some song. Their songs on their album all sound relatively similar and although I do enjoy listening to them, it gets repetitive. But that’s not the point–their agency is very skilled at making sure they stay on people’s radar. If you watch weekly music shows, they’re on there for weeks. Not only that, they also do a ton of variety shows, therefore ensuring their success by keeping their name out there. With hard work and lots of attention, they’ve gotten pretty far.
    I’m guessing that with the same formula, U-KISS can improve their popularity. They just need to keep recording songs that fit them and promote them vigorously. With that, their popularity will probably rise significantly (if not skyrocket) by the end of the year…

  • http://twitter.com/#!/perfumeah perfumeah

    “But is SHINee’s music necessarily better than U-Kiss’ music?
    Anyone who’s ever heard SHINee’s “Lucifer” should know the answer to that question.” Anyone who’s heard SHINee’s “Replay” knows the answer to that question. A good debut goes a long way, and while the difference in quality is debatable now SHINee had a better start music-wise, which can go a long way in terms of popularity.I don’t think comparisons can really help U-Kiss though because they’re too well-rounded to beat most other groups at any one thing. It seems they’re known more for an image than any particular talent, and despite the image overhaul I don’t see any reason to look into them more unless the put out better stuff- which they have.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Patricia for this article. you do bring up a lot of good points about U-Kiss. Their work before Bran New Kiss was mediocre at best and it wasn’t because these boys are completely untalented, it was the way NH Media handled them, they realized the boys ‘punk’ concept was not doing well and they completely rehashed it. While I was sad to see Xander and Kibum go, AJ and Hoon are wonderful additions to the group. What made me love this group were not their songs but their work ethic and down to earth personalities and many Kiss Mes can attest to that.

    But one thing that does bother me is that most of the songs are dependent on Soohyun and Kevin’s vocals, I love them both but if you look at Someday, you can see that these boys can sing and don’t sound horrendous. Hoon definitely needs more lines, he has one of the best voices in the group at least third if not second in the group. AJ, surprisingly, has a good voice even though he has the label of rapper he is versatile and can sing well too(refers to PARAN days). 

    But it’s not their mediocrity that’s holding them back, yes there are definite dead weights to this group(not going to point out any names, y’all know who they are) but that can be said about so many other K-pop groups too. Though Man Man Ha Ni was not a major hit it was one of their breakthrough songs so you get that image of Man Man Ha Ni and Bingeul Bingeul attached to their name so people are unwilling to look past that, but with a little more persistence these boys can definitely achieve success. 

     Their work after their mini-album this year never failed to impress me and I am looking forward to their comeback in April. 

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you on Hoon. Listening to Take Me Away (To my opinion one of the most beautiful [if not the] kpop ballads I’ve heard), I really think Hoon’s parts stand out the most. He has such a nice warm voice, it’s too bad that 70% of the lyrics went to Kevin. Not that Kevin didn’t sing it well, but I’d’ve loved to hear some more Hoon.

  • Kim

    Like some people were saying U-KISS is the kind of group that grabs you with their personalities. Man Man Ha Ni got your attention so you looked into them and found out about them. I know that’s what happened to me. I liked their earlier stuff even if it was cheesy, but I can completely see why others wouldn’t like it. It was just awkward.

    I’m not the biggest NH media fan, but what they gave U-KISS as humans and not idols in their earlier years was slack/freedom.This was something that also hurt them. You can tell they didn’t have rigorous training and practices. NH knew they had to change that a little too late, but they did it with MMHN. Yeah, it was auto tuned, but it was a popular song that got stuck in your head. 

    There is no doubt that the boys have gotten stronger with AJ and Hoon. I say stronger not better for a reason. NH clearly does not know what to do with what they have/had. I’m just happy they stepped their production game up. Better writers and producers. I didn’t mind Bravesound, but they just didn’t get much done afterwards. Kibum didn’t have the strongest vocals, but he brought that talker aspect to the group. He used to have lines when they 1st started. Alexander wasn’t a horrible rapper. I just don’t think he had that “idol” rap style. If you listen to the song he did with Hye Ji, it sounds like nothing he has ever done before. Hoon is a strong singer and AJ has that “idol” rap style. 

    Now about the article, I completely understand it’s an opinion. Maybe you’re not a fan of Kevin and Hoon’s voices, but they are really good vocalist. Kevin has a wide range that NH refuses to use. Hoon is pretty close to Soohyun. I wouldn’t sit here and say that Kiseop has an amazing voice,but he fits in well when you put him in a certain part of a song. AJ is actually a pretty good singer. You can tell he trained his voice after Paran stopped promoting. Like someone was saying most groups have about 1 or 2 strong vocalist. As much as I wish sometimes that every single member had an amazing voice it’s just not like that with every group. The company was going for pretty actually. They just didn’t realize things would pan out this way. These boys are talented. I think they have proven themselves over the years. They have just been given more to do with their talent and I wish people would see it. I still think they could give more vocally with the right songs though. 

    If the boys were given better direction from the beginning I know things would be different/better. I feel like all NH did was find a group of young guys and followed the same pattern as Paran. Their fashion style could have been better. Heck, it could still be more appealing. I get the wanting to be a unit with their style, but it’s okay to look at what everyone else is doing sometimes. They went with concepts the boys weren’t comfortable with. I also think because of their personalities and position in the kpop industry they lack that ego/confidence on stage that they need. Yeah, they are given the tough guy thing, but you can tell they just don’t have that cockiness in them or on stage. This really applies when they perform in Korea. Their performances outside of Korea are so different. They don’t have that same excitement a rookie group would have debuting. They don’t have that winning and fanbase confidence. What they do have is dedication that keeps them going. Hopefully 2012 is good to them.

    They have such strange circumstances that it’s hard to compare them to anything or group. They stay afloat because of their fanbase outside of Korea. There are other things, but….yeah.  It’s just really strange.
    Yeah, sorry about the essay :/ 

    • Kim

      Oh, and while there are rappers who can sing I wouldn’t hold that against Eli or Dongho for not being able to. That goes for any group. NH wanted a  7 member group and while they aren’t using them fully are doing what they can with 7 people, I guess. Not every member is going to dance or sing as well as the member in those rightful positions.

  • ebolajez

    You can’t judge the quality of SHINee’s music based on one song, particularly when you’re asking people not to take U-Kiss at face value based on their first few mediocre singles.

    I think that some members of U-Kiss have shown excellent vocal talent, if not on the same level on Soohyun then very close. Kevin in particular has carried quite of a few of the recent performances I’ve watched, and Hoon is also a great singer.

    Tick Tack is such a great song. I really think that the tide is turning in U-Kiss’s favour now.

    • ebolajez

      oops, *level as Soohyun!

  • jess1

    i  don’t follow them but having seen them live and for their work this past year, I’d say they deserve it.
    I still like the old group though. More of Alexander but I like that he’s solo, also.

  • maldita

    With the SHINee and U-Kiss thing, it’s really simple. SHINee had an awesome debut, U-kiss didn’t. SHINee had a great debut song, and SM had the resources to market them perfectly. While “Replay” didn’t top charts or anything, everyone knew that song, and everyone went crazy over SHINee, and they won all the rookie awards that year. Even now, more than 3 years later, SHINee’s still known for that song. In a music scene as saturated as Korea’s, one has to have a strong start to stay relevant. 2PM also debuted the same year as SHINee and U-Kiss, and they didn’t have a strong start either. It took them their next song to do that, and “Again and Again” was gold for them. Beast, on the other hand, is big now because they were doing near constant promotions ever since debut. They improved and gained fans with every release they made.

    U-kiss, on the other hand, tried so hard to fit in with the crowd that they got lost in the shuffle. Not to mention that they have the worst timing ever, always promoting when there are big acts promoting. “0330” was a great song to kick off a new ~beginning~, and I hope things do get better for the boys.

  • Aurora2687

    I like U-Kiss as a group, I’ve watched their variety show’s and they seem pretty easygoing and are fun to watch. So I decided to check out their songs, especially their latest releases but there’s just something about their music that I can’ t get into – their songs don’t grab my attention, pull it in or even keep it. I just put that down to personal taste and decided their music  wasn’t for me.

    And I agree with the comment made earlier that you can’t judge SHINee’s music based on one song when you’re asking other’s to not to do the same for U-Kiss. Coincidentally I got into SHINee because of their Lucifer title track & album as did many of their new fans.

    U-Kiss is definitely due their breakthrough song this year. Hopefully for them, this coming release people will sit up and take notice and catapult them to greater popularity – wishing them all the best!

  • Anonymous

    I’ll be honest. I never got into U-kiss because I found the whole “international members, we-can-speak-multiple-languages” angle too gimmicky for my taste. To me, they’re in the same category as the Piggy Dolls and Chocolat.

  • whatthefrell

    The new talent behind them is most definitely an improvement.
    But I think U-Kiss has more talent than you give them credit for.

    “… work on their Neverland album is nothing short of impressive.”

    Though it is old, old news, the departure of Andrew and Kibum,
    left a lasting impression on their fan base; that, and although not
    necessarily a bad tune, in my opinion 0330 was a song that kind of lacked
    the “punch” necessary for a comeback after an event such as that.

    U-Kiss is definitely one of my favorite groups.
    Their heading in the right direction, and have enough of a loyal fan base
    to keep them around for good while.

  • Anima

    Seriously, not a Ukiss fan… probably never will be but it is a DAMN shame that Soohyun will never be acknowledged for his vocal talent which can put soooo many singers to shame honestly with how emotional, raw, controlled, and wide ranged it is tbh simply because he’s in Ukiss but he will instead be forever overshadowed by the more popular (and dare I say it as someone who also sings…overrated?) singers like Shinee’s star Jonghyun (who’s not even the best in his group btw it’s Onew who has the better range and doesn’t sing through his throat).

    Times like this is just one of the many moments I think the idol system really fails… it relies too much on predetermined popularity and company status rather than letting the music speak for itself more imo. I’m not a shinee hater, although I do put them below Ukiss on the likeability scale, but honestly if music mattered more than popularity… songs like lucifer would NEVER have won that many awards tbh. I really admire Ukiss’s drive to keep going and focusing more on quality now though. They seem to really mesh as a group too which helps them a lot also. I really love their song i don’t understand from their bran new kiss mini too… as a group they just don’t appeal to me though idk.

    This comment is a mess but oh well, hopefully it makes some sense.

  • Guest

    it’s very rare for a group to get a second chance or to become popular so late into their careers. imo, if you don’t have a huge hit in the first 2 years or if you don’t become popular via varieties during that time, you’re not going to be anything other than a mid-tier or lower-tier idol group regardless of the quality of your music. a lot of success in kpop is about buzz and u-kiss has never had that.

    i get that they’re hardworking but so is everyone in kpop and while their newer songs may be better in terms of their past work, i don’t think it’s the kind of song that would propel anyone to mass popularity. has their music improved? yes. is it going to change their careers? no.

  • daniaaaye

    honestly, NEVERLAND was superb. as a casual kpop fan, i loved the album <3 almost all of the songs within the album are safe from my strict trashtrashtrash method of keeping only the songs that i'll listen to often, and that's saying something because i'm pretty anal and picky with my choices xD the whole album works, as far as studio versions go. and as a listener who doesn't give a damn about live performances and variety shows, that's good enough for me. i do hope they get more attention though, because i wouldn't want them to disband, they sound good enough on tape. of course if they improve their live performances, it'll be advantageous too because i know i'm turned off when singers use super loud backing music or lipsync or crack their voices during performances :|

    well, this is kpop. i guess if you've missed your ride, you've missed the chance. :|

  • Anonymous

    I think with U-KISS the problem is bad songs, bad timing, bad promotions. The first songs they came out with were horrible.  I  think it’s hard for people to get that “not young” image out of their head for U-Kiss.

    Also in terms of songs. A good song is a good song right?  U-Kiss put much more promotion into Neverland than all their previous songs yet it did worse on the digital charts.

    Next is promotions. They have unusually bad timing. NH Media said that they were promoting  Neverland because there was only female competition and the boys would stand out. That’s all good and dandy seeing as how the easiest way to attract female fans is to be the only male group promoting but it wasn’t just any old girl group coming back; It was Kara. I don’t care what intl fans think about Kara but that right there should have been U-Kiss pause button, Kara is at the top of the Kpop pecking order and they had 13 music trophies to their name already; after the fiasco at the beginning of the year, NH media should have KNOWN that Kara’s fanboys would be all over STEP like white on rice. I’m sure the plan was to get a win before Kara came back due to promotional start dates but U-Kiss doesn’t yet have the star power to win that quickly OR easily.  NH Media  underestimated KARA’s hold on their loyal fans and their ability to win music shows (though one look at KARA’s record and you would see that they have won with every title song since Honey) and it put U-Kiss in that embarrassing situations where KARA “stole” 2 weeks worth of trophies instantly and then left just as quickly as they came only to be replaced by an even bigger phenomenon, commonly known as SNSD. NH Media did more harm then good for U-Kiss with their “promote with only girls” plan because the girls that were promoting were already much more popular than U-Kiss. It would have worked if Dal Shabet or Swincle were promoting, but NOT Kara and Soshi. 

    They need to time things better or promote more. Do like T-ara. With all the big boy groups headed to Japan, U-Kiss needs to do a T-ara on Korea. With WG, SNSD, KARA and 2NE1 gone T-ara went into over-drive promoting. U-Kiss needs to do the same.

    IDK how long the members can hold out before their spirits break completely, and that’s the sad part about U-Kiss. I want them to stay strong but it’s been what 3 years and they have yet to get even ONE ounce of musical recognition. and of all things, there latest song performed WORSE then the previous (0330) i hope the boys stay strong, but i know it gets harder for them as time goes by. 

  • Lee

    Sadly it seems no matter what these boys do people will always put them down. It’s just gotten to that point. Their songs can be amazing and they can have amazing lives, but people will always call them mediocre. No, I’m not saying that’s all that matters. It’s like people have a hard time giving them credit. Yeah people were “Neverland was good, but…” There’s always a “but” with them. It’s amazing they’re hanging around for so long. If things don’t work out this year. They might want to get these boys promoting in Japan permanently.They have a nice little following there. Hopefully they can hang around longer and get a win. You guys are harsh on here. lol. I love how everyones a critic.  Anyway, I wish them much success. 

  • http://randomizm.tumblr.com Chiara Popalopa

    You nailed it. Except Sohyun, U-Kiss doesn’t have it. No one is sticking out… But what they’re really lacking is charisma on stage. If you don’t play the cute card, you have to put a hell of a performance, something they can never really do.

  • http://twitter.com/Ukiss_AADHEKKKS Ukiss ADEKKKS

    We love UKISS they are the best for us .. The important is they enjoy what their doing .. they inspired people & make them happy .. They are not perfect so don’t judge them cuz we see that they do their best & they worked hard for us kissme .. Their talents is a gift of God so they better use it.. They have many fans -die hard fans- also in other country .. ilove them so much cuz they are closed to their fans .. Ilove what Ukiss can do.. More success for them ~ 

  • jamiebby

    They are really good looking though ;p

  • Roselle

    I started listening to U-Kiss in 2010 and I agree that their songs have definitely improved with Bran New Kiss. I like Bingeul Bingeul and Man Man Ha Ni, but the songs I like most by them are on the Bran New Kiss and Neverland albums (such as Someday, Everyday, I Don’t Understand, and Take Me Away).

  • JenniKim319

    Most insightful article I’ve read :) 

    I really didn’t like U-KISS at first with their debut song and image, but now it’s all improved.

  • sara devi

    I have nothing against this article, nicely written. and I usually agree with you, Patricia.  I dont usually comment, but a particular phrase caught my attention in your piece: “With the notable exception of Soohyun, the lead vocal, there isn’t a single member in U-Kiss that has proven himself to be extraordinarily talented in any one area of performance.”
    seriously? what do you define as “extraordinary talent”? are only the lead vocals deserving of this spot? because talent comes in many forms. and are you actually completing writing off the vocal talent of Hoon and Kevin?
    Kevin, while I’m not a huge fan of his voice, has great singing technique and is one of the more consistent singers in live performances. he also exudes power in his dancing and performances on-stage and although this isn’t related to talent, seems to be an incredibly nice guy off-stage.  Hoon is a wonderful addition to U-kiss. and though I felt sorry seeing Alexander and Kibum go, I’m happy NHM decided to add Hoon to U-kiss’ lineup. The dude has a very nice warm voice and can be as powerful as Soohyun if he wants to – which isn’t surprising since he used to promote solo. He also helps with the vocal distribution as it usually went to Soohyun and Kevin and adds something new in that department.
    As for Kiseop, he has a nice enough voice, can do more than just hold a tune and if he gets certain songs can really bring out the sweetness in his voice. So I don’t think he’s “untalented” either, just very under-utilized since he has been positioned as a sub-vocal. AJ, oh AJ, can sing as well and its obvious he has been keeping up with the vocal training even after his Paran days. He can certainly do more than just hold a tune too and isn’t shaky in live performances where he has to sing, like “someday”. I actually really like his singing voice and i love his rapping! He’s way above alot of idol rappers imo (Minho, key, Taec.. what have u) and has good flow. I’m just amazed that he’s been listed as the “lead rapper” but Dongho gets more rap lines than he does. I’d pick his rapping over Dongho’s anyday. And I like that he’s incredibly smart and sexy too (yum), but I digress.
    So yup. This came out too long but I just wanted to point out that there’s more to a group than just the lead vocal in terms of talent. I never really liked MMHN or Bingeul Bingeul.. just too weird for me. But I loved that Bran New Kiss and Neverland albums. They always have nice songs in the album they dont really promote (obsession, i dont understand etc) They are really unpopular in Korea sadly, because they started off abit wrong imo, but they have improved and I wish them all the best in 2012.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=591909929 Madison Bouse

      Yes yes yes! =]

  • Laura

    I found this article very insightful, and hardly bias at all. I honestly thought U-kiss was a very popular group in Korean until I really got into them recently. At first I only knew them from their ‘Man Man Ha Ni’ days (Personally, I thought that was their debut song), and Dongho. But I never really thought much about them. I just really got into them after listening to their latest song ‘Tick Tack’, and I’m definitely a fan now. I only just realized how underrated they are in Korea, and I believe they might have more foreign fans?

    One of the biggest problems of this group is probably the company. The concepts and song choices earlier in their years were just down right awful in my op. Let’s not forget the horrible promotions that were put out for them.(Paran anyone?) I think a lot of groups struggle in the beginning, but most companies
    take action right away to improve the group. Change concepts and find better songs.
    Except, NH just seems really slow at doing it. I really found ‘MMHN and Bingeul Bingeul’ almost too similar concept wise. It was only 3 years later since debut, when ‘0330’ came out, that their concept changed for the better.

    I find one thing they need, is to showcase each of the members abilities, instead of just 1 or 3 of them. Each of them has a particular talent, but they lack the exposure to showcase it. I can understand the whole ‘dead weight members’, but I can’t help love them all as a 7 group unit. I feel that even though a few members may seem useless, they each contribute something to balance each other out and make them complete as a whole.

    Kiseop, for instance, I probably adore the guy the most out of the seven because of his random personality. But the guy hardly gets any lines, or none even. Though lately there has been a small improvement. I’ve heard him sing on some videos, and he has a fairly good voice. Its a lot softer than the others, and improvement would be a beneficial. A good thing for him would be more exposure in singing, which could give him more confidence in performing. After all the more you are exposed in doing something, the better you will get at it.

    As much as I adored Alexander and Kibum, I do think the addition of AJ and Hoon helped improved the group for the better. The balance within in the group is much better than before in terms of performance. Typically in the earlier years, pretty much only Kevin and Soohyun would be the ones singing. I feel like now the parts are distributed slightly better. And with the release of ‘Neverland’ and ‘Tick Tack’ I enjoying the catchy chorus and strong choreography. Their latest album was very enjoyable (Someday, Take me away, etc.)

    I really hope 2012 will be their year, and starting it off with ‘Tick Tack’ it seems possible. I look forward to seeing each of the members exposed with different varieties of music, as well as in choreography. And I hope their hard work will pay off, and that will be able to hit that #1 spot on music shows. :)

  • Anonymous

    I see a lot of negative attitudes putting in their two cents here.  I started watching U-Kiss back when they sang one of the Back Street Boys songs (As Long As You Love Me) and was quite impressed with ALL (each and every one of them) of their talent at that time.  During that time span up until now, I have most certainly seen a gradual and marked improvement in song quality, singing aptitude and performance attributes.  And as for Charisma?  I notice/see that all of the time in all of their performances and in the many videos that I have watched on U-Tube…they exude, talent, personality, warm-heartedness, good sense-of-humor, good manners and true, sincere and MUTUAL love for their fans.  I can foresee a very promising future for this up and coming, MULTI-TALENTED group!  Good luck U-Kiss!

  • Anonymous

    Oh do you mean “winning” well, that definition of success is not true success, the reason why UKISS hasn’t met this bogus success standard is because KM hasn’t learned how to effectively cheat the system like every other fandom has.

    I don’t care what anyone says, I love UKISS and it aint over til it’s over…and clearly it’s not over so….

  • http://twitter.com/FishyIm ImSora

    This was a very honest and straightforward article. U-Kiss members are good at dancing and singing but except for soohyun no one excels especially in one area like for example, eunhyuk of super junior with his amazing jaw dropping dancing skills. thank you for the article.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FQQNWNRYIJYWONJR4D3MWPAW44 Nina

    The band U Kiss is my favorite band besides Teentop, but you people got to understand that sometimes the music isn’t good, just listened to it, until you can’t stop listening to it. Like me. My older sister kept on turning on U Kiss songs, and now I’m addicted to them. I LOVE them. So please people who reads this, make them stay. Some people will be mad nad sad that they are gone for good and the next thing you know, that EXCELLENT band you ditched, is what you need right now. This article is straightforward, though. 

  • Anonymous

    looking at these picture makes me miss alexander and kibum even more than i already miss them. the new member are good but not better than the old member and i like the old album better because they have alex and kibum in it and the old album is cuter!

  • Lum Naw

    lol wtf?? no talents??

    dear whoever-wrote-the-above-onesided-statement,

    you are straightforward but you’re talking about the u-kiss when they debuted, if you said these before 2011, then i’ll agree but this….

    You’ve obviously never heard kevin or hoon sing ballad songs or DID YOU even know AJ composes one third of the songs, besides dongho is an actor( eventhough it’s irrelevant to music, acting or going on tv shows/reality/variety shows plays a big part in K-Pop industry, eg, Miss A’s Suzy, TVXQ’s Changmin, Bigbang’s TOP, SuJu’s Siwon, etc,etc)
    p.s kiseop is known for his dance skills, even though he’s underrated

    IF u think u-kiss is UNTALENTED and they’re popular in foreign countries somehow, then why ARE THEY POPULAR??? it’s because they have great personalities on variety shows..i’ve said it and i’ll say it again, you’ve OBVIOUSLY never watch variety/reality shows of u-kiss, and the main reason they’re not as popular in Korea as in other countries BEFORE was there were 4 members who speaks english, 3 members who speaks Chinese, and only TWO members who ONLY speaks korean, they are, afterall, suppose to be an international group, which is why they are popular overseas( members those who speaks foreign languages communicate, interact with their fans through English, chinese, etc, on twitter, tumblr, etc)
    BUT NOW all members are fluent in Japan and the new member AJ speaks english fluently too,
    they are making progress now, if you follow them on twitter, you will see they are tweeting more often in korean (even in Japanese), less english..

    besides, comparing SHINee with u-kiss???? nu-huh…
    THE BIG THREE~~~ JYP, SM, YG (which may even include Cube this year)
    K-pop is very simple, if you debuted from a well-known company which have existed for 10+ years, you are bound to be automatically popular, there are uncountable numbers of idol groups who don’t even survive for 2 years because of their unreliable, no-experience companies,
    and guess what, i’ve been listening to k-pop for a long time and i’ve heard better singers than 2AM(no offense) but then *poofff* they don’t exist after 2 years, same thing goes for prettier dancers or singers than SNSD or KARA, in which they won’t last long for more than 2 years….so yeah, i have to agree with you about one thing :
    “Perhaps it’s fair to say that U-Kiss’ creative staff are the ones who are really deserving of the recognition.”
    same goes to all of your favourite idols :)
    ~~Think before you act~~

  • nanomilk

    All their songs sound mediocre to me and none of the members stand out to me. And this is coming from a non-fan. Sure, some of their songs are kind of catchy but it’s not memorable to me because it sounds nothing new or fresh.

  • http://twitter.com/donfaustino Don Faustino


    I do believe U-Kiss deserve a second chance. (Although, I don’t get your Lucifer argument. Lucifer is a great song, you kinda left me hanging there). I am a huge fan of U-Kiss, but not a die-hard fan as to fail to see their weaknesses as well. I want them to win because they deserve it. Not because they have been around for a long time. Fine, they’ve been very hardworking – but which idol group isn’t.
    I think U-Kiss’ problem relies with their likability. The moment they replaced two members, it’s as if they debuted as a new group. After School’s case is different, since from the beginning they’ve established a roster change system – U-Kiss did not. You said it yourself, they had a relaunch with AJ and Hoon, so comparing them with SHINee in terms of debut isn’t the best comparison now… maybe with Infinite since they debuted in 2010. Although Kibum and Xander weren’t the most popular members, they had fans, and those fans were pissed and may have faltered away from the U-Kiss fandom.

    Another problem with them is their songs, and this is coming from a fan. Let me give an example. Infinite (Be Mine) had to wait for Super Junior (Mr. Simple) to surpass the three week winning streak for them to win, yet they had the better song. You see, current fans are a given. There are a lot of ELFs compared to Inspirits. Infinite’s YouTube view count is low. But their upper hand was a better song (good composition, good lyrics, good choreography). Songs like these will attract non-fans to be fans – these things translate to physical and digital charts which matter more than online votes from fans. So by the time Infinite and Super Junior made follow ups, Paradise won twice and A-Cha didn’t win one. Because there was an influx of fans on Infinite’s side as compared to the other.

    U-Kiss’ songs are not very pleasing lyric-wise especially if you’re not a fangirl (actually, even fangirls should be irked as well). Doradora is telling you to leave with lyrics such as “I hate you” and “I don’t want you back”. Man Man Ha Ni is expressing unrequited love – “You such a bad girl”, “You make me pissed off”. Shut Up is telling you to shut it – “Oppa really hates you” “Oppa doesn’t like you anymore. You see, music critics aren’t fans. They may love one song then hate another. With U-Kiss, i guess they’re style is the “i hate you”-style, which is fine once in a while but gets old when done over and over – it gets mediocre. It’s as if they’re mad or something. Don’t belittle the fans who seem to be only after good looks and showmanship – not all are that shallow. There are those who are deep enough to consider musicality, wanting the music to speak to them somehow.

    They are talented. They just don’t have that shtick :)) – they get lost in a sea of mediocrity. Longevity is not a factor, the only thing you can get from it are fans. It all boils down to their music, which apparently isn’t doing well.

  • http://twitter.com/a_ny_a_ anya

    wow, i disagree with you so much. it was great to read your opinion, though. i think ukiss is more talented compared to other groups (with only eli and dongho not being able to sing, and kiseob being an average singer, the average kpop group has 1 or 2 good singers). somehow i still don’t consider myself a proper fan of them. i’m more into groups with just 1-2 good singers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/leianne.cabillo Leianne Divina Cabillo

    somehow your right about their past and yep, kinda agreed to it… but look at them now… do you think you still need to ask if they deserve this second chance? oh come on.. they already did! they’re famous not only to their host country but to international countries too. 

  • DougieN

    I agree with you. I like U-Kiss and their music, but it’s not making a stance in the music industry. I think that compared to their songs and albums in the past compared to now is a big difference. They’re showing through their songs that they are doing their best and working their hardest but sometimes doing your best isn’t best enough and I admire them for proving others wrong and for showing that they can do it. It’s just taking it a step at a time.

  • Choco Cherrlys

    I think the reasons they don’t win yet maybe b’cause their company are not well-known. Look at SMTOWN, they have a big source to influence people & fame. Well, just opinion & not that i hated their kpop groups, i liked them too.. Totally, U-KISS has talent & not some other group who don’t have talent & just appearance basically. I think most people are blind with the talent & untalent people, they just liked based on popularity only.. =__=’

  • Alyssa Belcher

    Now that we’re finishing up 2012, I don’t think this article can even hold its own anymore. I mean, after the release of “Stop Girl”, you can’t even relate these guys to their Man Man Ha Ni days! I know, Stop Girl didn’t even exist at this time, but I think you should be more open minded to U-Kiss.
    I get the fact that they had an incredibly rocky start. The song choices…blech. I mean, I remember making fun of said U-Kiss for the almost identical tone between Binguel Binguel and MMHN.
    But, wow. The incredible growth with Neverland’s release is insane. I find myself liking almost every single one of the songs. Especially, Take Me Away.

    This brings me to my next point. You say that besides Soohyun, no one else has an extraordinary talent. Think again. Look at Take Me Away. It showcases Hoon’s and Kevin’s powerful and rich vocals. I’d say that Soohyun is a remarkable singer, but he isn’t the only one. Not to mention that in “Tell Me Y”, Eli and Dongho are showcased with their rapping skills. Not to mention that in “Believe”, Dongho actually has a pretty decent singing voice. Kiseop seems to be the topic of everyone. They’re saying he’s ridiculously underrated, which he is, but I get the feeling you’re not just underrating Kiseop.

    That’s the only problem I have with your report. I agree with you that Not Young was utterly atrocious and Binguel Bingeul/MMHN was not their best release, but they’re growing as a group. More and more people know who U-Kiss is and thanks to EYK (Simon and Martina), they’re growing a stronger, firmer fan base. Maybe some of those fans from EYK aren’t pulled in by the talent, but they’re pulled in by the group’s friendliness. This reminds us that these groups are human and U-Kiss is incredibly down-to-earth. Maybe personality isn’t what defines the group in most cases, but it ultimately brings in popularity points.
    People are captivated by a kind group. They feel…I don’t know, good about it.

    So, anyway, this group has stunted a tremendous growth and they absolutely with NO hesitation deserve-no- NEED another look by people.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=591909929 Madison Bouse

      Thank you!! Your second paragraph especially was so spot-on. =]

  • sheena

    I think the main problem here is the NH media… I agree that UKISS has a great talents and all of them has a potential as a great idols… sometimes I imagined what if ukiss were under the SM entertainment or YG, they sure will become more popular than ever, UKISS is the main reason why now im into the kpop world and until now they are my top Idols, it just really saddened me that they never been into the first place. :( but I will continue to support them, fighting.

  • Ashley-Lynn Davenport

    I may have gotten into K-Pop not to long ago but it doesn’t take long to learn all about it and see REAL TALENT like U-KISS. I think its unfair that you call them untalented except for Soohyun. Yes Soohyun is a pretty talented singer, what about the other six guys? They have a part in U-KISS. They all have just as much talent as Soohyun but in their own way. Hoon and Kevin are the other lead vocalists, Eli AJ and Dongho rap, and Kiseop does sub-vocals (his voice stands out where he has a sweet yet mysterious sounding voice).

    Kibeom didn’t have the vocal strength and power that Hoon has, and Xander (Alexander) who was a great rapper but doesn’t compare to the amazing rapping ability that AJ has.

    And if you wanna talk about popularity and getting recognized by more people then you really have to update what you have here. Let’s see they released a NEW ALBUM called COLLAGE and Eli, AJ, and Kevin did a side project where their trio group is called U-BEAT and they released a music video for it on YouTube. They are currently touring and They were at the Twin Towers ceremony not to long ago and did meet the Backstreet Boys.

    And yes, they are an international group. They go everywhere promoting their music and that’s pretty damn awesome cause they have fans (called Kiss Mes) all around the world.

    And if you THINK people don’t just like them for their music. They like them because of their personalities and how down to earth they are. So what if their music might not have been that great when they started, SO WHAT IF THEY DIDNT GET A PERFECT DEBUT OR PROMOTIONS, THEY ARE DOING WELL NOW.
    Let’s use an example of a band that had a rocky start as well. BACKSTREET BOYS. They were not recognized or popular at first in their home country, the USA, so they went other places where their music was recognized. And stuff happened with their management, and then they became more noticed AND GUESS WHERE THEY ARE TODAY?! RELEASED A NEW ALBUM (In A World Like This) AND ARE BOYBAND LEGENDS WHEN PEOPLE ALWAYS SAID THAT THEY WOULD ONLY LAST A FEW YEARS. THEYRE ON 20 YEARS TOGETHER AND STILL BRINGING THE AWESOME MUSIC. That is where I see U-KISS. They work hard and they will show you that you were wrong and maybe you’ll see them in 20 years or something and still rocking it.

    I get that this is an opinion, your opinion cause you can’t say its anyone elses but your own. Just think about what you’re saying before you write it.

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