Currently in Manhattan, NY:

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

News via seoulbeats.com

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)

Yoo Yeon Suk Doesn’t Wish to Cross on a Commute With Son Ho Joon

News via soompi.com
Yoo Yeon Suk Doesn’t Wish to  Cross on a Commute With Son Ho Joon

Yoo Yeon Suk Doesnt Wish toPass on a Travel With Son Ho Joonhellohalcyon February 13, 2016 0 Actor Yoo Yeon Suk is lately running a hectictime table of appearing in musicals, filming movies, and doing photo shoots. Rainbows Jisook, who is operating as a reporter for KBSs Entertainment Weekly, sat down with him for an interview on February 13.

During the interview, Yoo Yeon Suk in briefmentioned his present musical. After a functionality one naturally lose weight, he said. Every performance calls for him to sing about 29 songs. He additional explains, I have a 2d performance this weekend. When youcome with the curtain call, I sing practically 60 songs in a day.

Yoo Yeon Suk then announced his plans of going on a day trip for the hot year. He said, I can becomeonceI'm done with this musical. Then again I wont go with Son Ho Joon. He makes me frightened because I dont know what he'll do, he added. Yoo Yeon Suk and Son Ho Joon are known for their close friendship that began when they first met at the set of Answer 1994.

Watch the MBC Track Core performances for February 13th!

News via koreaboo.com
Watch the MBC Track Core performances for February 13th!

Additionally, enthusiasts enjoyed a double functionalityby way of 4MINUTE who sung Hate and Canvas whilst G-Friend also graced the degreetwo times alongside Rough and Luv Star. Solji and Dujinsu, who won the these days aired pilot episode of MBCs Duet Tune Festival over the Lunar New Year holidays, took the stage with West Sky.

Other performers integrated The Legend, Yoo Seung Woo, Dalshabet, Teenager Top, Nop.K, Stellar, IMFACT, VROMANCE, and Cross Gene.

'Signal' Lee Je Hoon Needs To prevent Speaking With Jo Jin Woong

News via kdramastars.com
'Signal' Lee Je Hoon Needs  To prevent  Speaking With Jo Jin Woong

On the 7th episode of tvN Friday/Saturday drama "Signal" (script Kim Eun Hee, director Kim Won Suk) broadcast on Feb. 6th, Park Hye Young (played through Lee Je Hoon) attached with Lee Jae Han (played by Jo Jin Woong) of the past. As the walkie talkies were attached again, he said, "At that moment, the detective told me. This walkie talkie will have tonow not take started."

At this, he said, "I have no idea why this walkie talkie beganyetI believeit is bestnot totry this anymore. I feel it just reasons more confusion. Please be careful" he acknowledged as he hung up the walkie talkie.

Meanwhile, "Signal" is ready two detectives - one from the beyond and one from the prevailing who keep in touchvia walkie talkies to get to the ground of long-time unresolved cases.

'Signal' Son Hyun Joo Seems As Victim of Grand Larceny Case

News via kdramastars.com
'Signal' Son Hyun Joo Seems As Victim of Grand Larceny Case

In "Signal" Son Hyun Joo had a sturdyassembly with Jo Jin Woong.

On the 7th episode of tvN Friday/Saturday drama "Signal" (script Kim Eun Hee, director Kim Won Suk) broadcast on Feb. 6th, Jang Young Chul (played by way of Son Hyun Joo) the victim of the grand larceny case appeared.

Jang Young Chul mentioned the unlock of the genuine culprit of the grand larceny Han Se Kyu (played by Lee Dong Ha) and said, "I be expecting that the Justice Branch has made a smart decision" and expressed his opinion.

'Signal' Lee Je Hoon Cuts Of Walkie Talkie

News via kdramastars.com
'Signal' Lee Je Hoon Cuts Of Walkie Talkie

Lee Jae Han told this truth to Park Hye Young. Nonetheless, Park Hye Young, "Didn't you are saying that this walkie talkie trademustno longer have started? I do now not know why this began and why it changed intoexcited by you and me, but I believeit iscorrect that we want toforestall now. Simply because we do this does not mean that the arena changes. We just purpose more confusion."

Meanwhile, "Signal" is set two detectives - one from the beyond and one from the prevailing who be in contactthru walkie talkies to unravel long-time unresolved cases.

'Signal' Kim Hye Soo Comes Back To Life

News via kdramastars.com
'Signal' Kim Hye Soo Comes Back To Life

On the 7th episode of tvN Friday/Saturday drama "Signal" (script Kim Eun Hee, director Kim Won Suk) broadcast on Feb. 6th, Lee Jae Han (played by capacity of Jo jIn Woong) of the beyondstuck Han Se Kyu, the genuine culprit of the grand larceny case. Thank you to this, Cha Soo Hyun (played by Kim Hye Soo) became now alive.

Nonetheless, Oh Kyung Tae (played by Jung Suk Yong) killed anyone else just the explanation that his daughter was killed. As a result of this, he was still imprisoned.

In the end, he ended up loss of life there. The Park Hye Young (played by Lee Je Hoon) of the current saw that there has been Oh Kyung Tae's grave in the floor and was disappointed saying, "The past mayexchange but there are things that don'tswitch in the present. There is injustice in the world."

'Signal' Jo Jin Woong and Kim Hye Soo Bickering

News via kdramastars.com
'Signal' Jo Jin Woong and Kim Hye Soo Bickering

On the 7th episode of tvN Friday/Saturday drama "Signal" (script Kim Eun Hee, director Kim Won Suk) broadcast on Feb. 6th, Lee Jae Han (played by way of Jo Jin Woong) of the beyondused to bein realitytricky on Cha Soo Hyun (played by Kim Hye Soo) who becamethe primaryfeminine cop of the department that he was in.

The police officials there even taught her how to drive, yet Cha Soo Hyun made numerous mistakes. Lee Jae Han felt frustrated saying, "That consumer has no answer. Kick her out" and was upset.

Meanwhile, "Signal" is ready two detectives - one from the past and one from the prevailing who keep up a correspondencethru walkie talkies to get to the ground of long-time unresolved cases.

'Signal' Kim Hye Soo Of The Beyond in Love

News via kdramastars.com
'Signal' Kim Hye Soo Of The Beyond in Love

In "Signal" Kim Hye Soo began to broaden her love for Jo Jin Woong.

On the 7th episode of tvN Friday/Saturday drama "Signal" (script Kim Eun Hee, director Kim Won Suk) broadcast on Feb. 6th, Cha Soo Hyun (played through Kim Hye Soo) was once still picked on by Lee Jae Han (played by Jo Jin Woong) yet still started to love him little by little.

In particular, she started to get can coffee to blow their own horns her love shyly to him. She wrote to him on a message, "Thank you for being my driver, senior" or even drew a center but howevercoloured it as an exclamation point.

'Signal' Son Hyun Joo Seems As Robust Politician

News via kdramastars.com
'Signal' Son Hyun Joo Seems As Robust Politician

Nonetheless, the pieces that Han Se Kyu stole were a subject of issue. Whilst investigating the incident of the Hanyoung bridge, he learned that there has been a scandal with recognize to the advance of the JInyang town and the homes that Han Se Kyu stole presents were all associated withthose 3 places. A collection of themodels that were stolen, there became definitive evidence that maydisplay what the scandal was.

At this, Lee Jae Han determinedto determine what the scandal was and went to the home where Han Se Kyu stole items, the area of Congressman Jang Young Chul (played by Son Hyun Joo).

Meanwhile, "Signal" is set two detectives - one from the beyond and one from the existing who keep up a correspondencevia walkie talkies to get to the ground of long-time unresolved cases.

VIXX’s Hyuk gifts enthusiasts for Valentine’s Day with Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” cover

News via koreaboo.com
VIXX’s Hyuk gifts enthusiasts for Valentine’s Day with Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” cover

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterVIXX member Hyuk is gifting fanatics with a terrific gift this Valentines Day as he releases a canopy of Love Yourself by way of Justin Bieber.

Released on February 14th, the monochrome-shot video follows Hyuk in the studio as he records his cover, glancing at the camera as he sings to ST★RLIGHTs.