One of the things that makes Kpop music videos Kpop, is the overly indulgent introduction. Well, actually not just the intro, the whole bloody thing is generally self indulgent please-look-at-me-for-15%-to-50%-longer-than-the-length-of-the-song-ness. Or in TVXQ’s case, 200% longer than the actual song by adding other songs and a short movie!
Back to point. Kpop is indulgent with the MV’s and is generally known for being kinda same-y. But that’s what’s part of it’s charm. You kinda know what you’re gonna get and you’re probably going to like it, but they just add a twist so it feels a little bit new. But there’s only so many twists you can do before something comes back full circle.
Take Kpop’s intros for example. At this stage they seem to come standard issue. You can have general atmospheric sound to set the tone (Breath by Beast or Like This by Wonder Girls), a phone call conversation (2NE1’s I Don’t Care or GD and Park Myung Soo’s I’m Having an Affair), sound effects to set the scene (Fiction by Beast or Supa Luv by Teen Top) or you could just pretend that your song is part of a J.R.R.Tolken novel. Literally, anything goes. So why oh why would you need to have the same Kpop intro sound exactly like another existing Kpop song?
More specifically, the bloody footsteps…
The use of sfx is an opportunity to indicate to the listener something relevant to the song without saying it verbally. Beast does this well in Fiction, by using the pencil scratching sfx to indicate that this song’s love story is a work of fiction. Less integral to the song, Teen Top just uses sci-fi sfx to ease you into it’s electro auto-tuned sound. However, footsteps say nothing.
People walk, and thus foot step sounds are made. People walk for a variety of reasons. When I hear footsteps, I don’t wonder where they’re walking to or why someone is walking because it’s impossible to know just from that sound. There is no added information to be gained by the listener from listening to footsteps apart from “Ah this song probably isn’t about a paraplegic”.
The fact that people have used this meaningless sound effect as an intro is fair enough.
The fact that people are copying it just feels very lazy.
The fact that they’re all just swanning around in this useless time filler just makes me want to shout at my monitor – “Hurry up and just sing the bloody song!”
Added at a later date:
If you know of more, please pop the link in the comments. I’d like to get a Footsteps category of Kpop going.