June 16, 2011

The East vs. West Difference: Boy Bands

Take Off by 2PM


VS.

Bye Bye Bye by Backstreet Boys


What do you think is the difference between the themes of these videos?

As we all know Japanese and most Asian music videos for that matter don't have opposite sex characters in their music videos. American bands always try to have opposite sex characters, especially if the song deals with romance. That's because American bands want to emphasize an overt romantic connection between the song lyrics and romance. In other words, showing romantic scenes.

Asian boy bands and girl bands emphasize a different theme in their videos. Rather than showing romantic scenes, Asian bands are more about emphasizing the "burning youth" of the band members. This connects the song lyrics, even if they're about romance, to being young and having youth.

Neither style is wrong. Though in America there is a connotation that romance and love shows that a person is "grown up" and that youth is over. Being in love, in Japan, at least is connotated with burning youth and the feeling of youth. You can be young at heart, and in love. This is another reason why aging J-rock and J-pop stars still look young. They have to. (lol)

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