Songs Might Not Need To Be Good To Be Hits

Narration for half the song, sudden changes in beat, random dubstep and other things can usually ruin a song for most people. Some critics will even agree the song is completely bad if even one of these things are present. Even so, some songs have these elements and make big sales. This is obviously due to major support of fans who will support their group no matter what. You’ve seen these people before too. They’re usually on Facebook posts or Kpop forums defending their favorite group from any criticism, constructive or not. Sometimes they’ll join in on criticisms about their group’s song aimed at other groups, but they’ll also vehemently disagree with the association of the criticism with their group. It can be annoying and I even saw it while looking for information concerning this entry. Can you guess which group and fanbase? If you guess SNSD and S0NES, then you were right. You’ll have to give yourself a cookie though. Anyway, this does not mean that any group or the associated fanbase or always biased in judgment. In fact, I saw plenty of S0NES giving constructive criticism to the song in question, which will come up soon. Some people are able to criticize their own groups and this is often done by comparing the unsatisfactory song to previous songs they liked. I can do this with 2NE1 and I also listen to other groups too. Any fan from a fanbase can listen to the music of other groups and they have the same right to criticize as any other fan.

Some fans cannot accept that their idols are anything, except perfect. This can lead people to view that fanbase as arrogant or bring about “defensive” actions by other fangroups, such as acting the same way back. 

[Photo Credit:] Link:

I recently thought of this because of something Kim Heechul of Super Junior said on an installment of Ssulzun, a South Korean television program. The issue of artist being composers came up and the question of why SM artists are discouraged from it was asked by Kim Gura. For those who don’t know, these potentially dangerous questions are common for Kim Gura to ask. I say “potentially dangerous” because Kim Gura often wants a strong or even controversial answer. He often pushed the guest to answer to a point where they might not be able to keep their composure, but I digress. Heechul is known to give straight answers, so the question posed no problem for him. He aswered that the royalties one could make from being a composer and artist was a good incentive, but SM has Yoo Young Jin and Kenzie as their lead composers. SM CEO Lee Soo Man uses their presence as the core of his argument to discourage the combination. I remember reading somewhere that Lee Soo Man said he wanted his artists to enjoy the stage, so the composing would be left to someone else. I can see how that is one perspective, but Kim Gura brought up YG artists as an example of the fusion. Plenty of YG artists compose their own songs and they seem to enjoy the stage just fine. Anyway, the show quickly moved into the focus of how good these composers were and the one that got immediate attention was Yoo Young Jin. He composed hit songs since the days of “1st-Gen idols” like H.O.T and other SM groups. You might remember H.O.T from my entry about Tony Ahn and Lee Hyeri, so Yoo Young Jin has been at this for a while. The song in question was “The Boys” from SNSD. According to MWave, Heechul was quoted saying  ‘This song was only successful because SNSD sang. If anyone else sang it, I don’t know what would have happened.’ It might sound a bit harsh, so allow me to interpret. I believe Heechul was saying “The Boys” did as well as it did because of the S0NES’ support of SNSD, but it might have not done as well if it was a lesser known group. I don’t believe he meant the song was terrible and only avoided failure because of the fan following, but that it might not have done as well. Some figures for sales of “The Boys” are 448,779+ on the Gaon chart for physical sales and 166,723+ on the Hanteo chart for physical sales, according to the Wikipedia page entry. These are not figures to ignore in an age popular for digital singles and illegal downloading. 

Composers of songs are well respected in the Korean music industry by artists, but that does not mean that an artist will be okay with any song from a well-respected composer.

[Photo Credit:] Link:

I remember seeing this issue before when Trouble Maker got an “All-Kill” for “Now” and someone posted a comment about how getting an “All-Kill” is not that much of a big deal for certain groups. This comment was obviously met with replies defending the duo or just attacking the original poster, but that comment does have a point. Some group do have such a large following, so a comeback by the group is often supported to the point of them getting an “All-Kill” or even a “Triple Crown” sometimes. The voting usually dies down after two weeks, but it can last depending on the group. I use the term “blind fans” to describe fans that are not able to criticize their group or see any faults in them. These fans appear to believe their idols are actual gods or goddesses, which often leads them into becoming “sasaeng fans” (if they were not there already). I’m able to see the faults of my favorite group and say parts of their songs I don’t like, but some people believe their idols are perfect beings. This issue came up when SNSD released “I Got a Boy”, which initially saw mixed reactions. Some SONES I talked to found the switching of beats distracting or annoying, while some found it fresh and catchy right away. Both sides eventually said it “grew on them”, but some fans went straight to saying it was perfection. Something to understand is that even idols can initially disagree with the songs they are presented with singing, which is not related to them being harsh on themselves. In an installment of “Happy Together 3”, Yoona mentioned her initial reaction to “I Got a Boy” was “What kind of song is this?” This shows that she didn’t even understand the way the song was at first, but each member mentions it “growing on them” as well. This shows that even very popular idols can find faults with their songs and it is not them being their harshest critic. An important lesson to take away from this is that it is beneficial to the idols if they are criticized in a constructive manner. It can only make them better and they are very likely to be thankful to those fans who do so.

What do you think?

I know some people will want this, so here you go.

This is the clip of Heechul telling Kim Gura about his opinion, which was mentioned above. (Captions seem to be useless for translating to any other language properly)

Here is the segment of “Happy Together 3” I mentioned above. The part with Yoona is at 11:24.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s