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Lost in Translation: The Reduced Role of Lyrics in K-pop

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Music and lyrics are often synonymous, going hand in hand. Music is used to express emotions or tell stories, and oftentimes, these emotions or stories are told most easily through the lyrics of a song. While some may consider lyrics not as essential in music than the sound itself due to music being considered the universal language of the world, lyrics still add sentiments to songs and make music more relatable. Lyrics are a huge draw to some, especially for those looking for a connection, and as such, is usually a very important aspect in most forms of music.

However, in K-pop, lyrics have a relatively reduced role, and especially as of late, the importance of lyrics in K-pop has been dwindling. While this argument can be applied to most genres of dance music as there is more of a focus on sound and entertaining rather than meaning or informing, it seems to be especially evident in K-pop. Even balladswhich by definition are meant to tell storiesunder this genre are becoming less and less personal. This could be blamed on the artificiality of the genre, as the idols that rule it are carefully maintained by large companies whose main aim is to make money. With companies managing idols and making future hits for them, the idols themselves usually have little chance to apply themselves in the lyrics of their songs. But while this is a major factor in the unique lack of importance of lyrics in K-pop, it is not the only one.

One major factor in the minimal role lyrics have taken is K-pops focus on the global market. The genre is currently focused on riding the Hallyu wave, exporting their idols and their ridiculously catchy songs as products to be sold. As I said before, music is often considered the universal language being understood by everyone in the worldand with the entire world being K-pops very ambitious target, they focus very much on this language. There is definitely more focus on sound when producing K-pop songs as these sounds can be appreciated by everybody who is willing to take a listen.

Because honestly, why would producers want to put focus on the lyrics of the song when a good portion of the demographic theyre catering to have no understanding of the language the lyrics are wrote in? Theyd rather make a song whose sound appeals to the masses at first listen, rather than have lyrics whose true meaning wont be appreciated until its translated. And even if a work is translated, the fans reading the translations suffer a loss of cultural depth, rendering most cultural metaphors useless.

Take for example,Secrets Love is MOVE. The song features the line Girls are like reeds referencing that they are easily swayed to have a change of heart. Certain fans without the cultural context can be left unaware of this until they go out and research its meaning, but with a song like Love is MOVE, would a normal fan really go through all that effort?

But producers still need to create words for their artists to sing, and they still aim to be as globally pleasing as possible. To fulfill their needs, they either turn to universal onomatopoeias and made-up wordsa la bamratatata or boomshakalakaor the widely accessible English language. They rely on either of these to create hooks that the remainder of the song revolves around as they are able to appeal to the masses and prove to be the more memorable parts of a song.

But with the problem of using English and made-up words in songs is that the end product has a fairly large chance of making no sense. English is often butchered and misused grammatically, leading to some interesting phrasessuch as Super Juniors I naughty, naughty and B1A4s zoom zoom my heart like a rocket. And what makes it worse is that with most idols not fluent in English, pronunciation is often off, leading to some awkward moments such as Jaejoongs rhyming of fish with cash. Add made-up words resembling baby talk and needless to be said, the end product of the song often ends up muddled and confusing when not handled right.

And if an artist doesnt even know the meaning of their song, how are they supposed to properly sell it? f(x) had trouble figuring out what the lyrics of their very nonsensical songs meant. With the artists themselves confused about the meaning of their own songs, what hope is left for fans to understand them? Furthermore, while f(x)s songs were easy enough for them to portraybeing fun and nonsensicaldespite their lack of understanding, what if another idol couldnt understand their muddled up song? Their potential as performers wont be tapped into as they can routinely perform the song as they practiced, but they cant emote or bring something extra to the stage during their performances.

But most definitely, not all K-pop songs are muddled or confusing in meaning. K-pop does try to create scenarios or touch on deeper themes. But when K-pop does attempt to create and tell of a scenario, it often ends up an overused or general theme such as crushes, heart break, and the like since they are topics most can relate to. Furthermore, since idols are relatively young and spend most of their lives training rather than living their lives, these topics and feelings are easier for them to draw onstage or replicate from another artist who performed with a similar topic before. Also, countless concepts can be made to fit under these very universal themes, and with K-pop being the visual market that it is, a creative concept is crucial.

But while these universal topics are flexible and easily accessible for idols, its not entirely original or even personal for that matter. These topics can be very strong and effective if there is some depth behind it, but rarely do these lyrics go that far. While an idol may be telling about being heartbroken and looking sad onstage, there may be nothing personal or uniquely specific about the song they are singing. While one may be able to relate to the broad topic of heartbreak the lyrics speak of, the lyrics usually only really talk about the topic at the bare minimum, rarely deviating in going a bit further. And with countless songs talking about the same broad topic again and again, one can only take so much before things get stale.

Furthermore, as K-pop is a very visual aspect, music videos and concepts are often used to convey meaning to a song instead, a role lyrics usually play. For example, there is 2NE1s Ugly. While the MV does a great job in conveying the message that everybody feels ugly sometimes and one shouldnt feel bad about it, the lyrics dont do that well of a job. While the lyrics let 2NE1 be shown at a more relatable, versatile, and more vulnerable light, there is a pretty big difference in the message of the video and lyrics. While that difference might have added a bit of an intriguing irony to the single, it just shows how lyrics are being used as vehicles for music videos and concepts, when it most usually is the other way around.

And even then, some music videos and concepts deviate entirely from the song or lyrics, ironic considering both are really supposed to complement the song, not get complemented by it. The lyrics of T-aras Lovey Dovey center around loneliness, but one wouldnt know that judging from the very chipper feel of the song and its accompanying club MV. Furthermore, the ones in charge of concepts in Core Contents Media must have one heck of an imagination since I would never have thought to relate zombies with this song, and I still marvel how they were able to create that melodramatic drama MV to go with the song.

Also, there are the lyrics for SNSDs The Boys. It was marketed as girl power with their warrior-esque princess teasers, but the lyrics of the song only speak of girls further motivating boys. While looked under a certain context and analyzed, it could be interpreted as a girl power song, but honestly when looked at face value, the lyrics and their concept are a bit contradicting. All of this shows how little value lyrics have within K-pop as, like I said before, is less of a priority compared to concepts and music videos.

And all the the shallowness and the lack of clarity in the lyrics in K-pop can only end up being a turn off for a fan. A fan can only take so much songs talking of the same topics or nonsensical ones before getting tired of researching up translations altogether, generalizing all K-pop songs as meaningless and lacking in depth. And this is a shame as there some very blatant exceptions to this unfortunate trend, those who honestly do put effort into their lyrics, that a jaded fan is going to miss.

There are the likes of Brown Eyed Girls and Tablo, whose lyrics are full of meaning, personalty, and social commentary. Some of their pieces are absolute masterpieces full of depth and meaning, and I feel bad for anyone who missed out on their work due to generalizing all K-pop songs as meaningless. Most idols actually have at least one lyrical gem in their repertoire, with songs like SNSDs Deam Mom being examples. Also, fans may overlook pieces like Dana and Sundays One More Chance. The processed sound was a bit of a turn off, and at face value, the song and its lyrics seemed shallow. But as described by Fannie, One More Chance was actually a sarcastic parody of common female stereotypes in Korea.

But with such an environment with such nonsensical lyrics, what are up-and-coming lyricist supposed to do to handle this type of market? Idols becoming more and more involved with their album productions, wanting to be seen a genuine performers instead of manufactured idols, and one of the first things they contribute with is writing lyrics. But with such unspokenyet still unbrokenbarriers present in lyric writing, how are these future lyricists, who most likely want to share a personal story, supposed to write anything that personal? Idol rappers are starting to write their own raps in an attempt to gain value and relevance, but honestly, how is Yubin supposed to write a meaningful rap about telling you to Be My Baby?

In the end of the day, in an attempt to attract a more general, more international audience, K-pop ends up limiting itself when it comes to its lyrics. It limits idols potential as performers, discourages lyricists from expanding, and keeps people from finding the true lyrical gems out there in K-pop. In a market that is very as visually dependent as K-pop, its almost astonishing at how little meaning is behind all of it.

But Seoulmates, what do you think? Are you satisfied with the state that lyrics has taken in K-pop? Are you fine just looking at K-pop at face value, seeing it as a form of mindless entertainent with its mindless eye candy and impossibly catchy tunes? Or do wish that there was more depth behind it all? Leave your insight below!

(SM Entertainment, YG Entertainment, Core Contents Media, Nega Network, WM Entertainment, snsdlyrics, kimchimedia, kpoplyrics, wonderfulgeneration, The Acronym, ArticlesBase, starwahida, JkMotion)

JYP’s new poster for JYP Country Hints At Doubtful Long term For Omit A

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JYP’s new poster for JYP Country Hints At Doubtful  Long term For Omit A

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterOn Might 30th 2:29 PM, JYP tweeted the authentic poster for JYPs concert going down from August 6th to August 7th. Enthusiasts who were to start withthrilledto peer this announcement soon startedto stressfor 2 reasons. The absence of Suzy and the reality that Fei and Min were indexed every bitfolks and now notOmit A.

With the new departure of Jia many fans were worried about the unclear long run of Miss A as a group. However, JYP confidentthose fans that Miss A will still remain together. In spite of these words of assurance fans who witnessed this poster have begun creating worried that Miss A could face an doubtful future.

KBS retracts AOA’s “Music Bank” win and awards it to Two times after recount

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KBS retracts AOA’s “Music Bank” win and awards it to Two times after recount

However, after checking the scores, many enthusiasts accused the prove of miscalculating the FNC Entertainment groups final score, as the quantity of issues given to albums sold as it doesn’t appear to correlate accurately to aspects given to other artists who sold more physical albums. And after a recount, however, the show announced that they did indeed miscalculate and retracted AOAs win, as a substitute awarding it to JYP Entertainment group instead.

We would love to tell you that there used to be an error in final weeks rankings and we would prefer to announce that the rankings for the last week of Would possibly is #1 Two times and #2 AOA.

Music Banks K Chart is composed of Virtual Download (65%) Choice of broadcasted circumstances (20%) Viewer preference (10%) and album sales (5%). And all this information is collected via the KBS Broadcast Culture Research Facility to stay things unbiased.

JTBC Confirms Finish Of “Sugar Man” And Stocks Plans For New Project

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JTBC Confirms Finish Of “Sugar Man” And Stocks Plans For New Project

JTBC Confirms Finish Of Sugar Guy And Stocks Plans For New Assignment an0ya Might 30, 2016 0 JTBCs making a songtypedisplay carbohydrate human volition end its run in July, and no longeremploying a definite plans for a 2nd season.

This was oncepublishedby potential of the displays CP Yoon Hyun Joon on May just 30. Sugar Man will air its ultimate episode in early July. The general shoot is set to take position on June 22.

From the beginning, we decided to divide the prove up into seasons. Our initial plan became to do 16 episodes, yet weve already surpassed 30 episodes. After discussing with the hosts and producers, we came to the realization that you'll need to end the show here, he explained and added how they are also starting to run out of applicants for weekly guests, or Sugar Men.

CLC Becomes Advocates For Supporting Kids With Diabetes

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CLC Becomes Advocates For Supporting Kids With Diabetes

CLC Becomes Advocates For Supporting Youngsters amongst Diabetesnotclaira Might 29, 2016 0 Dice Entertainment’s newestlady group, CLC, has develop into the ambassadors of the Korean Kid Diabetes Association.

Recently, the crowdgave the impression at an match celebrating the 7th annual Baby Diabetes Day, held at a uniquelevel in Lotte World. CLC said, “We would like to thank every person who supports children plagued by diabetes. We plan to do all we will to fortify them as well. We pray that they are going to be in a position to are living healthy lives like their fellow children.”

CLC made a comeback on May just 30 with their mini-album “NU.CLEAR. Here's their first time selling with seven individuals after Elkie and Eunbin were added to the workforceremaining year.

Kim Jisoo And Jennie Kim Reportedly Showed For New YG Lady Group

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Kim Jisoo And Jennie Kim Reportedly Showed For New YG Lady Group

Kim Jisoo And Jennie Kim Reportedly Showed For New YG LadyStaff hajima Might 29, 2016 0 Kim Jisoo (age: 21) and Jennie Kim (age: 20) have reportedly been confirmed as participants of YG Entertainments new girl group.

After saying that it'll debut, in July, its first girl group in seven years since 2NE1, YG has officially denied likely candidates Jang Hana and Moon Sua of SBSs K-Pop Celebrity 3 and Mnets Unpretty Rapstar 2 fame, respectively, as members of the group.

Kim Jisoo and Jennie Kim werediscussed equallyrobustapplicants for the crowd since 2012 but, with the extend in their debut, it turned into questionable whether even those two would sign up for the group.

Lim Kim Portions Techniques With Mystic Entertainment

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Lim Kim Portions  Techniques With Mystic Entertainment

Lim Kim PortionsTactics amongst Mystic Entertainmentnotclaira Would possibly 29, 2016 0 Singer Lim Kim (also referred to as Kim Yerim) has parted ways with her long-time agency, Mystic Entertainment.

On May just 30, the firm made an legitobservation saying, “Our contract with Kim Yerim has come to an end. We determined to amicably phase ways after many talks together.”

“We spent a long timein combination so it was oncenow nota very simpleresolution to make. We sincerely reinforce her long termoccupation every bit a singer.”

Jun Ji Hyun And Lee Min Ho’s Doable Drama Promoting Rights to China At Record-Breaking Price

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Jun Ji Hyun And Lee Min Ho’s Doable Drama Promoting Rights to China At Record-Breaking Price

Jun Ji Hyun And Lee Min Ho’s Doable Drama Promoting Rights to China At Record-Breaking Value notclaira Would possibly 29, 2016 0 It used to be reported previous this year that Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho were making an allowance for roles in Park Ji Eun’s new drama.

Park Ji Eun wrote the drama “My Love From The Star,” which stars Jun Ji Hyun and is highly popular in China. Her new task is tentatively titled “Legend of the Blue Sea” and reportedly stars Jun Ji Hyun and Lee Min Ho.

A representative of the production corporateacknowledged on Could 30, “After operating out some ultimate details, the legit announcement could besomeday this week.” The representative claimed that the 2 actors had met with Park Ji Eun and come to an agreement.

YG Entertainment releases main points referring to upcoming woman group

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YG Entertainment releases main points  referring to upcoming woman group

Yang Hyun Suk acknowledged theyve practiced for a long time, so their talents are guaranteed. I trained them like they were my elite troops. They wont truly feel like the second 2NE1 because they've a various aura. I'm a little anxious because theyre the first ladycommunity in 7 years, yet Im also confident.

“2 Days & 1 Night” Solid Shall we Not anything Prevent Them In Their Quest For Food

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“2 Days & 1 Night” Solid  Shall we  Not anything  Prevent Them In Their Quest For Food

“2 Days 1 Night” ForgedWe couldNot anythingPrevent Them In Their Quest For Foodnotclaira Might 29, 2016 0 The May additionally 29 episode of KBS2’s “2 Days 1 Night” featured the 2nd onea phase of the Mokpo Island cruise trip.

In the episode, the individuals enjoyed a destroy at some seawater pools, with some uncooked pineapples, coconuts, and bananas equippedby way of the production staff.

Jung Joon Young looked for a hammer to wreck open the coconuts, yet Kim Jong Min just threw them opposed to the ground. Seeing the coconut crack, the alternative members copied him.