What Are You Doing Today? is the second mini-album is the second mini-album released by HELLO VENUS. The title track was used as the promo song.
Released: December 12, 2012
1. What Are You Doing Today? (오늘 뭐해?)
2. Romantic Love
3. First Love
4. The Same (똑같아)
5. Winter Fantasy
Like Venus, What Are You Doing Today? is a spunky pop tune with a heavy beat and light percussion. It’s a bit of an odd song because half the song goes for something a bit edgier whereas the verses and first half of the chorus are more bubblegum pop in the melody. While the brighter parts are definitely catchy, I do find that the hook and rap where the edgier stuff happens are the more exciting parts of the song. It’s still a fun song, but I also feel like the music is missing something. Romantic Love is a midtempo pop tune, but I’m not sure if I like it that much. The music is pretty nice and I do like the showcasing of the vocals, but I feel like the overall song is just a bit forgettable. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the melody isn’t that catchy. However, there are some really nice parts where the girls belt it out nicely. First Love is another song that helps show the girls’ voices off. Unfortunately, this ballad is just a bit too boring. The opening chorus line is actually quite nice, but then it just gets forgettable. The music and melody just don’t really go anywhere and it ends up a little flat. The Same is a bit better because it has a larger beat and nice piano line that keeps the song flowing. The chorus is unfortunately really flat though. While the music is more interesting, the melody doesn’t do anything and just trudges through with very little energy. It’s like it just doesn’t want to sound exciting. Has potential, but could be a lot better. Winter Fantasy is the second best song on the mini just because it has a lot of energy and it is catchy. The music is bright and fits the timing this mini was released. The Christmas style of the song is a bit generic, but there are some charming points like the fun beat and electronic touches.
Overall: I am quite disappointed in this mini. The group’s first one was a solid debut effort, but this just felt boring and uninspired for the large majority of it. The title track was fun, but the three of the B-sides just didn’t hit the mark and came off uninteresting and lacking much energy.
Like a Wave is the first digital single released but HELLO VENUS. It was promoted as the repackaged promo track and was included with the rest of the group’s first mini.
Released: July 4, 2012
1. Like a Wave (파도처럼)
Like a Wave is a upbeat synth-filled dance tune. It’s an exciting track and really fits the sound of 2012 with its pulsating beat and bright musical elements. It’s a bit on the repetitive side of things as the chorus is largely made up of title being repeated, however, it is still a pretty catchy tune. I especially like the added rap parts that pop up throughout. The girls also sound great and there are some great performances here from Lime and Yooara.
Overall: This is a really catchy tune and it is a great summery follow-up to the girls’ first mini. It’s not as memorable as Venus, but it is a good follow-up.
HELLO VENUS debuted in 2012 and had a promising future. Largely focused on the “cute” image, the group scored a few hits. Unfortunately, they lost a few key members and when they returned in 2014, they lost a lot of momentum. Recently, they have changed to a sexier image and sound. Venus is the group’s debut mini-album, with the title track being the promo single.
Released: May 9, 2012
3. Excited (설레임)
4. Love Appeal
Hello opens the album and it’s a really cool start to the mini. I’m really surprised by this song because it has an edgier sound to it with its rock/dance influences. I really love the pre-chorus as Lime speaks in the background and it really adds another element to the song. The chorus is catchy, although I do think it would be better if the music was a bit more powerful. It clocks in at over 2 minutes, but it is effective. Venus is the promotional song and it is a whirlwind. The verses are generally short, which is good as the chorus is the highlight. The hooks are really great here and they sample the famous “Venus” song. It’s cleverly placed and really helps the song get stuck in your head. The music is a fun mixture of percussion and synths, which simplifies things and emphasizes the catchy melody. Excited is actually a ballad, despite what you might think due to the name. It’s a pretty standard K-Pop ballad and there really isn’t much it does except for showcase the vocals of the members. Back in the day, I really enjoyed this song. Nowadays, it’s just pretty generic. It does have its charms though as the melody is quite nice and the girls do sound great. The bridge is also a highlight. Luckily, Love Appeal gives us something a bit more funky and sexy. I really like the verses because the girls play around with their vocals. The chorus is a bit of a letdown because it sounds poppier. It is catchy, but it sort of loses its power because of the messy arrangement. I do think it helps to bring energy to the mini though.
Overall: I do think that Hello Venus started on a good track and this is a solid release. They hit all the bases with a catchy promo single, a ballad and some playful upbeat tunes. However, I do wish the last two songs were stronger. The ballad was run-of-the-mill and Love Appeal came off messy. The other two songs were quite strong though.