Keep Your Head Down (song)
|"Keep Your Head Down"|
Cover for Japanese release
|Single by TVXQ / Tohoshinki|
|from the album Keep Your Head Down
|Released||January 3, 2011 (South Korea)
January 26, 2011 (Japan)
CD single, DVD single (Japan)
|Recorded||August – December 2010; S.M. studios (Seoul)|
|Label||S.M. Entertainment (South Korea)
Avex Trax (Japan)
|TVXQ / Tohoshinki singles chronology|
"Keep Your Head Down" (Korean title: 왜 Wae; Why), known in Japan as "Why? (Keep Your Head Down)", is a song recorded by South Korean pop group TVXQ, also known as Tohoshinki in Japan. Written by Yoo Young-jin and Yoo Han-jin, the Korean-language version of "Keep Your Head Down" served as the lead single for the group's fifth Korean studio album Keep Your Head Down (2011), TVXQ's first album since becoming a two-piece band with U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. "Keep Your Head Down", which was released on January 3, 2011 by S.M. Entertainment, was TVXQ's first Korean comeback song in over two years, their last single being "Wrong Number" in 2008. The Japanese-language version of the song, which was released on January 26, 2011 by Avex Trax, served as TVXQ's 31st Japanese single in Japan. It was the first single off their fifth Japanese studio album, Tone (2011).
With elements of industrial hip hop and baroque pop, "Keep Your Head Down" is labeled as an SMP song, a staple genre in TVXQ's music. A sample of the song's original Korean-language version was first performed by Yunho at the SM Town Live '10 World Tour in August 2010, three months before the official announcement of TVXQ's Korean comeback. The full Korean single was released on January 3, 2011, which was accompanied by the premiere of its music video on TVXQ's official video-sharing websites.
The song was met with mixed reviews upon its debut. With lyrics talking about overcoming a relationship breakup, it was claimed that the song was a diss to JYJ, the three members who left TVXQ in 2010; Yunho and Changmin had denied the claims. Pervasively, "Keep Your Head Down" became one of the duo's most commercially-successful songs. It topped real-time music charts upon its release, and peaked at number five on the Gaon Singles Chart. The song won seven music show trophies for three consecutive weeks, selling over 1.3 million digital copies in South Korea by year's end. In Japan, "Keep Your Head Down" became TVXQ's tenth single to top Japan's Oricon Singles Chart. The record was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), becoming TVXQ's second best-selling single in Japan.
Background and recording
"Keep Your Head Down", also known by its Korean title "Why" (왜), was written, mixed, and arranged by brothers Yoo Han-jin and Yoo Young-jin, who also produced the song. An SMP song, "Keep Your Head Down" has musical influences of industrial hip hop, baroque pop, R&B, and rap. The song was originally written for Yunho, who recorded the song in early August 2010 and performed it at the SM Town Live '10 World Tour concert in Seoul on August 21, 2010. The Seoul concert marked Yunho and Changmin's first comeback appearance together since their split with former TVXQ members Kim Jae-joong, Park Yoo-chun, and Kim Jun-su in early 2010. The positive responses in their two-piece performances prompted Yunho and Changmin to return to the studios to finish the recording of TVXQ's fifth Korean studio album. "Keep Your Head Down" was then chosen as the lead single.
The song debuted on South Korea's digital charts on January 3, 2011, the same day as the premiere of the song's music video. The Japanese version of the song was released as a CD and DVD single on January 26, 2011.
"Keep Your Head Down" received mixed responses and media scrutiny upon its release, in particular its lyrics. Starting off with the self-empowering English opening lines "Do you know what time it is? This is return of the King", TVXQ sing about their determination to return stronger after breaking up with a former lover. The song ends with the protagonist claiming that his former lover has "[been] erased, disappeared, died" in his heart, and that she no longer ceases to exist.
Korean netizens claimed that the song was a diss to former members Jaejoong, Yoochun, and Junsu, who were still in legal disputes with TVXQ's agency S.M. Entertainment at the time of the song's release. Yunho and Changmin clarified that the lyrics of "Keep Your Head Down" were not directed at the trio, and that the lyrics were written in a style that could be interpreted in different ways.
Formats and track listings
^shipments figures based on certification alone
- "TVXQ - The evolution of SMP" (in Korean). Nate. 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
- "TVXQ explains the meaning behind 'Keep Your Head Down' on 'Entertainment Relay'". Allkpop. 2011-01-07. Retrieved 2014-01-26.
- Catch Me – Production Note (released December 27, 2013)
- "TVXQ says new song is not a diss to JYJ". Star News via Daum (in Korean). 201-01-03. Retrieved 2014-11-29.
- "왜 (Keep Your Head Down) by TVXQ". iTunes Store (US). Apple Inc. January 5, 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- "Why? (Keep Your Head Down) by Tohoshinki" (in Japanese). iTunes Store (Japan). Apple Inc. January 26, 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- "Why? (Keep Your Head Down) by Tohoshinki" (in Japanese). Avex Group. Retrieved 2014-01-31.
- "Gaon Digital Chart: Week Ending January 8, 2011". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "Billboard Japan Adult Contemporary Airplay: Week Ending February 14, 2011". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "Billboard Japan Hot Top Airplay: Week Ending February 14, 2011". Billboard Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "G-Music Albums Chart" (in Traditional Chinese). G-music. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "Why? (Keep Your Head Down)": "2011年—第8週"
- "Gaon Download Chart 2011" (in Korean). Gaon Music Chart. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- Ｗｈｙ？（Ｋｅｅｐ Ｙｏｕｒ Ｈｅａｄ Ｄｏｗｎ） 東方神起のプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE
- Ｗｈｙ？（Ｋｅｅｐ Ｙｏｕｒ Ｈｅａｄ Ｄｏｗｎ）（ＤＶＤ付） 東方神起のプロフィールならオリコン芸能人事典-ORICON STYLE
- "Oricon reveals full list for 2011 Yearly Single Ranking". Tokyo Hive. 2011-12-19. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "Gaon Digital Chart Ranking 2011". Gaon Music Chart (in Korean). Retrieved 2014-02-01.
- "Certifications of January 2011". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved 2014-02-01.