SHINee – Romeo [Second Mini Album]

June 15, 2009 at 11:09 pm (SHINee) (, )

Romeo

SHINee’s second mini album, entitled Romeo, was released on 05.27.09. The track 줄리엣 was used as the promotional track.

The album begins with the slick number, 니가 맘에 들어. The song opens up with a cool funky instrumental and one of the members spelling out the group’s name. Then comes the rap section and it sounds a little strange with the music but it does grab the listener’s attention, albeit not in the best way. The following songs is a lot better because they sing with a sleekness that is reflected in the instrumentation. The chorus is a little bland but the line “I like the way you talk” does stand out quite nicely. Lyrically, the English lines like “talk to my body” really catch the listener’s ear around the Korean lyrics.

Up next is the promotional track, 줄리엣. Opening the song is another cool instrumental that will make the listener want to dance. The vocals come in quickly this time and they have that coolness that really suits the instrumentation. As the verse goes on, the music becomes lighter so it bears a similarity to their song 산소 같은 너. The chorus is nice because of the vocals. It really stands out when they sing “Juliette” and then give some vocalizations. The rap section actually sounds really good here and fits with the song’s atmosphere perfectly. Overall, it’s a catchy and nice track that is worthy of the position of promotional song.

차라리 때려 is the following song. The song begins with a soft and twinkling instrumental supported by some vocalizations, instilling a calm feeling in the listener. Then comes the first verse and the vocals are okay, although they don’t really stand out as much as hoped. The music is pretty though and that kind of carries the listener through it. Luckily, the vocals get better on the chorus and demand attention as they carry emotions that bring the song to life. The title of the song is misleading but it’s a nice slow song, although it could have been better.

A Spanish influenced song, 세노리따 follows. The song begins with another cool dance instrumental that carries a different sound to the others thanks to the Spanish guitar. Immediately the listener’s attention is grabbed and then the first verse comes in. The vocals are great ranging from soft and sleek to powerful and capturing. Before the chorus, the instrumentation becomes soft and sweet with the vocals perfectly matching. Then the energy comes back out for the chorus and it will make the listener want to dance along with SHINee. With that cool instrumental, the rap section fits perfectly and is really commanding.

잠꼬대, a duet between Onew and Jonghyun is the fifth track. Beginning the song is the first verse featuring vocals that might make you cry supported by the fragile sounds of the piano. It’s extremely beautiful and it sounds like the boys themselves are about to burst into tears while singing, which really touches the listener’s heart. When they sing together on the chorus, it really stands out, especially Onew who’s vocals seem to fit the overall song’s atmosphere a little better. It’s a very pretty ballad and one of the more memorable songs on the album.

The album closes with soft dreamy song, 소년, 소녀를 만나다. The song begins with a rap, which sounds really weird and the music sounds kind of dreamy. The first set of vocals on the first verse have kind of a trippy feeling to them and thus really stand out. The chorus is nice although it is a little simple. It doesn’t stand as strongly as hoped. It’s an okay song but not exactly fitting of the closing number.

Album Ranking: B

Romeo wasn’t the best way for SHINee to make their comeback. The songs were good but they lacked that special magic to make them so memorable. 세노리따 is the exception and is definitely the standout track on the album. It should have been the promotional track because it really is the most creative one on the album.

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SHINee – Bodyguard [Digital Single]

May 4, 2009 at 8:42 pm (SHINee) (, )

shinee

In order to promote Anycall cell phone series, SHINee contributed a new song entitled Bodyguard. This series has seen other artists contribute songs such as Hyori Lee and Anyband. Each song goes along with a commercial (serving more as a music video) and this one features the leading characters of the dorama Boys Over Flowers.

Bodyguard is a calming song about protecting the one you love. The song starts off a fun and groovy instrumental that stands out to the listener. Those opening vocals sound nice and are quite ear-catching and so are the following ones of the first verse. However there is a mellower vibe here, which sounds sweet and cute. The rap section is nice because it spices things up a little bit and provides the needed flavor. Overall it’s a nice song but it’s clear that the boys of SHINee shine when it’s those upbeat tracks.

Song Ranking: B

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SHINee – Forever or Never + Love Should Go On (Remix) [New Songs]

November 8, 2008 at 6:23 pm (SHINee) ()

shinee_world_b

Included on the repackaged version of SHINee’s latest album, SHINee World, are two songs: Forever or Never and Love Should Go On (Remix). They come alongside AMIGO as the album’s new offerings.

Forever or Never is a dark number that shows the boys’ mature edge. The song begins with a hot and sleek instrumental that evokes a very mysterious feeling and soon the first verse comes in. On this verse, the vocals carry a certain dark edge to them that smoothly runs over the music. They give more vocal strength on the chorus, which makes it stand out more and the vocal distortions provide the song with a nice change although it could have been executed a little more strongly. The rap section is a perfect fit but having some vocals go over it definitely was not a good idea since it takes away from that awesomeness. Overall the song is nice but a few minor changes could have made it even better.

On the other hand, Love Should Go On (Remix) takes on a fun atmosphere.Opening the song is a light and fun pop dance instrumental that immediately catches the listener’s ear. In contrast to the very light instrumentation, the vocals of the verses are a little bit deep for the boys, even not including the rap section. The chorus sounds very awkward since the transition from the verse is so disjointed. Moments when the music becomes aggresive are the song’s strongest point and there should have been even more parts of the song when the music was like that.

Song Rankings: B

These two songs certainly are nice but they could have been stronger. Luckily AMIGO is the repckaged version’s selling point and is the clear superior of the tree songs.

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SHINee – Amigo [New Song]

November 5, 2008 at 8:25 pm (SHINee) ()

shinee_amigo_promo

In order to promote SHINee’s latest album, Amigo (repackaged version of SHINee World), they made a new song entitled Amigo.

Amigo is a sleek and cool dance number that the boys shine on. Opening the song is a hot dance instrumental with a certain sleekness to it. The voice speaking over it provides a nice touch before the first verse begins. Jonghyun takes the reigns on the first verse and gives edgy vocals that support the music perfectly. It stands out particularly when he says “sexy” as that sexual atmosphere just slides from his mouth. What makes the chorus pop is the singing of “amigo” that comes after each line while the boys all give their own special flavor on the rest of the chorus. The rap section fits perfectly into this song as it also has that cool atmosphere that the song is all about. Amigo is a fantastic song, perfect for promoting the boys’ upcoming repackaged album as it defintely grabs the listener’s attention.

A video was made to promote the song as well. Min Ho takes center stage in this video as the leading role. He chases a girl who he falls for. There are also dance sequences that show just how sleekly the boys can pull off their moves. It’s a great video as the boys are looking hot like always.

Song Ranking: A

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SHINee – SHINee World [Volume One]

August 30, 2008 at 6:59 pm (SHINee) (, )

SHINee’s debut album (their first full album), entitled SHINee World, was released on 09.29.08. 산소 같은 너 (Love Like Oxygen) was released as a digital single before the album.

The album opens up with the title track, The SHINee World (doo-bop). The song begins with a hot dance beat that immediately catches the listener’s ear and the speaking, which is done in a low tone carries an element of sexiness to it that leaves the listener wanting more. Then the first verse comes in and the vocals sound great here, mirroring the edge of the music. When the group comes together for the chorus, they really shine and the English phrases pop strongly. There is a slight instrumental change during the third verse and there is almost an out-of-this-world feeling that compliments the boys’ vocals before the hot edgy dance sound is spotlighted on a pure instrumental section. This is an absolutely fantastic opening number and SHINee makes the song catch the listener’s ear brilliantly.

Up next is 사랑의 길 (Love’s Way). Opening the song is a very pretty instrumental that reflects an emotional atmosphere before the first verse. The vocals are smooth and support that atmosphere and as the verse continues, the instrumentation begins to carry a little more energy that makes the song more upbeat. They sound nice on the chorus although it lacks a certain element that makes it memorable. Strangely enough, the rap sequence is very capturing as the low tone of the vocals seperates from the music to catch the listener’s ear. Following are some vocalizations that show off the vocal power of some of the members. Overall this song is nice and a good fit for the album although it doesn’t stand out to the listener as strongly as other ones.

Things take on a lighter pop sound with the digital single, 산소 같은 너 (Love Like Oxygen), released before the album. Taking off the song is that cool pop sound and then Jonghyun delivers some edgy and capturing vocals. The hook sounds fantastic as Taemin and Minho’s vocals compliment each other’s strongly and makes way for the brilliant chorus. Everyone shines on the chorus as the vocal strength of the group is put to the forefront. They hit the higher notes strongly and the music retains that smooth pop sound that is so addictive. Minho and Key then come for their raps, which are a really good fit for the song and keeps the listener enticed. This is one of the album’s strongest numbers and the boys definitely suit this sound perfectly.

The fourth song is 너 아니면 안되는 걸 (ROMANTIC). The song starts off with a nice and sweet midtempo sound that just makes the listener want to smile. During the first verse, the vocals are smooth and carry the song’s atmosphere perfectly. The chorus carries that pretty sweetness that the listener can enjoy as the boys provide strong vocals that portray the emotions. Joghyun really shines here as he sings “still I have romantic in my heart” with amazing vocals. It’s the emotions that make this song memorable and worth checking out.

Things pick up a little with the sweet song, 그녀가 헤어졌다 (One For Me). There is a nice midtempo instrumental that begins the song and then the first verse starts. The vocals are so smooth here and they move perfectly with the music, demonstrating power as well. Then comes the chorus, which is nice but a little bland. Once again, the rap sequence fits with the music and there is an excellent high note hit in the background. The music is sweet and the boys bring that sweetness to life with their excellent voices.

화장을 하고 (Graze) is the album’s next song. There is a nice midtempo instrumental driven by the guitar before the first verse. The vocals sound very smooth here and the combination of their voices with the guitar is an unstoppable force. They come together for the chorus and the vocals are strong as always, making the chorus the most memorable part of the song. The rap sequence has a certain sexiness to it that really works in the song’s favor and the English phrases pop nicely. In the series of slow numbers, this one shines even more than the last and is one of the best songs that the album has to offer.

화장을 하고 (Last Gift) continues the streak of slower songs but this one takes on more of a ballad feel. Opening the song is the piano driving the instrumentation and there is a clear beat. The boys give some nice vocals here and keep the atmosphere strong although the music doesn’t do anything to be truly capturing. Then is the chorus, which is nice but a little too simple to catch the listener’s ear. The third verse actually stands out because of the stronger vocals that give the listener a real look into the emotions.

내 곁에만 있어 (Best Place) takes a lighter more poppier sound and is a nice break from all the slow songs. A very pretty poppy instrumental begins the song and makes a smooth transition into the first verse. The vocals are nice here, being able to catch the listener’s ear. The chorus stands out as the boys give more power in their vocals and the emotions are much more visible here. This isn’t a very memorable song and feels like it drags on a little so it’s not one necessary to listen to.

The next song is 혜야 (Y Si Fuera Ella), Jonghyun’s solo song. The song begins with a very pretty instrumental and then the first verse starts. Joghyun really portrays the emotions here as he almost sounds like he was in tears while singing. As the song goes on, the instrumentation changes with slight rock influences to signal a change in the album’s atmosphere. He does a fantastic job of making the listener feel the emotions of the song but it isn’t as great as it could have been.

눈을 감아보면 (Four Seasons) keeps the sweet atmosphere. The song starts off with a nice instrumental that introduces the song on a strong note. Then they come in with the first verse and the vocals are very nice here, moving with the music strongly. Because of all the slow songs that precede this one, the vocals sound okay but they don’t shine. It’s a nice song but it’s definitely not one of the most memorable songs that the album has to offer.

In My Room (Unplugged Remix) is another ballad and the boys sound good here but it doesn’t do anything to really set itself apart from the slew of slow songs that the album has to offer.

누난 너무 예뻐 (Replay), which appeared on their mini-album, closes the album. The song begins with a nice upbeat instrumental and then the first verse starts. The boys’ vocals sound nice here, moving with the music nicely. The chorus is nice as their vocals sound smooth and the repetition of “replay” sticks out in the listener’s mind. Overall it’s enjoyable and picks things up nicely.

Album Ranking: B

SHINee World is a nice album but the biggest problem is that there is a slew of ballads and the listener can never come back to the hot dance beats that began the album and that made them sound so strong. Of course there are some nice slow numbers like 화장을 하고 (Graze) but it’s the upbeat tracks The SHINee World (doo-bop) and 산소 같은 너 (Love Like Oxygen) that are the album’s jewels. This album could have been much stronger had some of the slow songs been replaced with dance numbers, creating a package with more variety.

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SHINee – 산소 같은 너 (Love Like Oxygen) [Digital Single]

August 30, 2008 at 2:22 am (SHINee) (, )

SHINee’s digital single in order to promote their new album The SHINee World, entitled 산소 같은 너 (Love Like Oyxgen), was released on 08.22.08.

산소 같은 너 (Love Like Oxygen) is a pop dance song that really captures the listener from start to finish. The song begins a sleek dance instrumental and soon Jognhyun comes in and delivers some very memorable vocals as they show off power. Following is Onew, who provides some smoother and more enticing vocals. Key follows with some more nice vocals that keep the atmosphere of Onew’s vocals before Taemin and Minho deliver the hook. Their vocals go perfectly with each other’s and makes a smooth transition into the chorus. The chorus is a real standout part of the song because the boys hit the higher notes smoothly and it keeps the listener wanting more. Later in the song, Jonghyun gives some great vocals that sound great and definitely fits with the music. Closing the song is a rap sequence delivered by Minho and Key which catches the listener’s ear and then they sing the title of the song repeatedly. This song is absolutely addictive and a great choice to be put out as a digital single.

In order to promote the single, a PV was made. The video is pretty simple as it features the boys dancing. Although there isn’t much going on there, the boys definitely have a fluidity to their moves and the viewer can appreciate just how smoothly and strongly they hit their marks. Each of the boys gets their own color to wear, making each person shine. The solo scenes stand out as well and Onew is the most eye-catching of the group. It’s definitely an enjoyable video worth checking out as the boys look great and it works with the song’s atmosphere.

Single Ranking: A +

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