Nerd alert: One of my pet peeves is when someone misuses and overuses a word – not everyone specializes in the English language, but I’m sure most people know what a dictionary is. And in the case of KPop and their love of the term ‘comeback’, I believe I’m going to have to mail some Oxford English dictionaries to every South Korean entertainment company.
My problem is that not only is there a ‘comeback’ every couple of months but the term is also utilized for individual songs and mini-albums, which do not cover a full album and do not demarcate a certain length of time. With the recent fall announcements of returning groups and individuals, there are only a handful that I consider as actual comebacks, such as Sung Shi Kyung (7th album, last in 2008) and LeeSsang (7th album, last in 2009). For Kara, G.NA, and IU, it has only been a mere six months to one year span since their previous comebacks, with Kara and G.NA promoting only a select group of songs. For SNSD and the Wondergirls, I hold judgment until further news is provided as to what type of comeback it is and for how long. I understand that the term may be used as an effective marketing strategy to maintain the fickle attention of fans and thus popularity rank, but I find it excessive, false, and ultimately unnecessary.
Definition-wise, a comeback is a return to a formerly enjoyed status or prosperity. To add further, a comeback is something to be deemed as highly anticipated from an artist that I have not heard from for a while, something truly monumental to look forward to. Yet many South Korean idols never actually disappear from the entertainment scene, as I can find them promoting multiple products in advertisement ads and respective CFs, guest starring in music videos, hosting variety shows, and performing in various music events or festivals. If anything, idols are continually being promoted within the media to the point that many headlining news revolve around KPop entertainment. No one, then, is returning to a former success; rather, many idols are just trying to increase their current status. But do head executives ever realize that idols sometimes become too accessible and familiar to the public eye, which makes it that much easier for fans and netizens to tire with them and therefore to start criticizing? The proverbial and too-obvious backlash effect, I should say.
Ultimately, what I wish is that a comeback would actually be as it suggests – an actual epic, flaw-free revival.