Kpop: Same Title, Different Sound

A reoccurring theme in the Kpop world are the same titled releases, but completely different songs. In recent days this problem seems to be happening more and more, thus causing confusion when Kpop fans try explaining to non Kpop fans about songs. Having a song title exactly the same doesn’t mean the songs are going to be the same, it all revolves around the theme and feeling the artist puts over. Being different is what draws people to Kpop, but if this is the case, why use the song titles other artists have used before?

The whole idea of a title is to pull the audience in, a hook, something to draw the eye and give the product an identity. It is also usually the word or section of the song that is repeated, embedding itself into the listener’s memory. This technique is very useful for people who listen to a song which they like, but don’t know the title or artist. All they would have to do is wait for the chorus, and they could work out the title themselves. But with the internet and other special apps, you can now just record and play the song you are listening to, and it will give you all the information you need. With this opportunity arising, artists don’t necessarily need to title their music or albums around their songs any more, and in doing so we end up with multiple songs with the same title.

Songs being released within the same year or even the same month, with the same title can make things really confusing. On two occasions Big Bang have confused Kpopper’s and non-Kpopper’s with the release of Tonight and Hands Up. DBSK was one of the first to release a song called Tonight, with Big Bang following in second place and Jay Park last with his own release of Tonight. 2PM released their newest single Hands Up close to the release of Big Bang‘s. While each song expresses a different feeling and emotion, they have completely different meanings, yet use the same title.

Out of the big three entertainment companies in Korea, SMEntertainment is known for having some of the most useless and unique names such as Bonamana, Nu ABO, La ChA Ta. YGEntertainment and JYPEntertainment have the sin of re-using title names. The common use of English to appeal to a wider audience could be one excuse. With limited vocabulary or understanding, using simple English words helps give a more global feel, whilst not frightening away people who can’t understand English. But then why is it only the English language that the industry decides to re-use? I haven’t come across any Korean songs of the same name, unless they are doing covers of the exact same song.

Here is a list of others who have also committed the ‘crime’:

SNSD (2007) – Honey V’s KARA (2009) – Honey

Super Junior (2005) – L.O.V.E V’s Brown Eyed Girls (2008) – L.O.V.E

Se7en (2004) – Tattoo V’s C.N. Blue (2010) – Tattoo

Se7en (2006) – La La La V’s Big Bang (2006) – La La La V’s Mighty Mouth (2011) – LaLaLa

Big Bang (2007) – Hot Issue V’s 4Minute (2008) – Hot Issue

Big Bang (8/2008) – Heaven V’s F.T. Island (10/2008) – Heaven

KARA (2008) – Good Day V’s IU (2010) – Good Day

Big Bang (2008) – Lies V’s T-ara (2009) – Lies

KARA (2009) – Magic V’s Secret (2010) – Magic

SHINee (5/2009) – Please Don’t Go V’s CL & Minzy (11/2009) – Please Don’t Go

KARA (2010) – Lonely V’s 2NE1 (2011) – Lonely

F.T. Island (8/2010) – Love Love Love V’s After School (12/2010) – Love Love Love

But does this all really matter? As long as the music is good, that’s all that truly matters, right? But does it bother you having to explore a little more Kpop along the way of finding that one song? What are your thoughts on the re-use of song titles? Does it confuse you?

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