Some criticism on K-pop idol music

The K-pop industry is enlarging, and now there are fans not only in South Korea but all over the world – Hong Kong, Phillippines, Australia, Peru, and so on. I have grown up watching the rapid growth of K-pop and its immense influence on people through different kinds of media. Although I think K-pop is pretty cool with all its energy and rhythm, I want to point out some of its downsides and unintended negative influences – especially for the K-pop idol groups.


The Lyrics

The idol groups' songs are pretty good – most of them are quite catchy and addictive. That is certainly a crucial factor in K-pop's popularity. Yet these songs now tend to have too many repetitive melodies and lyrics that are simply easy to remember. Take a look at some of the most popular ones I have come across on the Naver and MelOn charts, both of which are quite authoritative. I have only extracted some parts, so please note that it is not the whole song.
(*Translation: Gaeun Kim)

1) An example of repetitive, empty lyrics

Tell Me - Infinite

Wherever you go wherever you are
I can't stop missing you
Please come back to me again
Please come back to me again

-> repeated 8 times (=The lines above are repeated eight times in the whole song)

Tell Me Luv
Luv luv lu lu lu lu
Luv luv lu lu lu lu
Luv luv lu lu lu lu

-> repeated 6 times

The total number of repeating lines take up a little more than half of the whole song. And all that is said is, "Wherever you are, I miss you. Please come back, my love." That's it. Many idol groups sing songs that have repetitive lyrics like this. Wouldn't it be much worth the effort if the songs had more meaning in them? I hope they would contain more emotion beautifully expressed in the lyrics.

2) An example of too much use of English

Heart Shaker - Twice

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
Come and be my love
Come and be my love baby
...
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
No No No No
...
Girl you can do it
Love is timing
Love is coming coming
You're my heart shaker shaker
...
Would you be my love
Cool Cool
Oh yeah
...
Come baby, be my, be my, be my love
Come baby, Bae Bae Bae Bae
...
You are mine, Be mine

I've seen so many examples of K-pop idol group songs that were totally filled with English (and some of them weren't even grammatically correct, and I felt a little uneasy trying to sing it along). I don't see why there should be an excessive amount of English in a Korean pop song when there are plenty of cool Korean words that can replace them.

3) An example of sexist lyrics :(

Ah-Choo - Lovelyz

There is someone
I would like to cook for
I'm not good at it yet
but I am working on it
I'm also going to act cute
Hid it just for you

CHEER UP - Twice

Cheer up a little more
Girls shouldn't give their hearts so easily
That's how I'll make you love me more

Some might think differently, but I can read a bit of sexism between the lines here. The first song suggests an ideal female figure – one who cooks for and acts cute for a man she loves. The second one claims that women should never give away their hearts so easily because that's how they'll make men love them. It's quite a passive and timid way to express love for someone, compared to men who constantly try to win the hearts of women (this might be another stereotype, but it's just how men are described in other idol songs).

Physical Beauty

Here are some of the most popular(or recently popular) Korean idol groups.

Image result for Exo Image result for girls generation Image result for BTS

Image result for twice Image result for blackpink Image result for wanna one
EXO, Girls' Generation, BTS, Twice, BLACKPINK, Wanna One from top left to bottom right

Every singer looks pretty, handsome, glittering, perfect. But they all look pretty much the same. It feels like being at a jewelry store, peering at continuous rows of identical pink diamonds. K-pop idols are "manufactured" to become the ideal figure everybody wants to become. And that idealness comes from mostly from the physical beauty, and not primarily from the singer's personality, relationships with others, or opinions. I think that explains why some idol group singers feel distant from their stage personas and experience depression. The public urges the singers to stay perfect, and often forgets that even idols are human. They cannot always be the same since they are not miniature dolls in a glass cabinet. Let us keep this fact in mind when we enjoy listening to K-pop.