Edited by Seo Hayne
Translated by Kim Yoo Hyang
After debuting in 2008 with the concept of a contemporary band, SHINee has been living up to what their title ‘contemporary’ means for the past 13 years. Each and every released album raised the curiosities of listeners of the time with their music, concept, and style which renew what it means to be ‘new.’ After a while, that has become a history which can be called the ‘classic of K-Pop.’ Though the group topped music programs 10 total times with “Dream Girl” and 9 with “View,” the excellence of their songs other than the title track in the albums cannot go unmentioned. One can easily see how SHINee does not need any other content as their music is their content in itself, as we look at how self-sustainable the team’s albums are both inside and out.
The integration within album: ‘Sherlock’ and ‘Spoiler’
SHINee prefers full-length albums over single albums. Therefore, their albums need to be looked through one by one. Their 4th mini-album Sherlock from 2012 combined the second track “Clue” and the third, “Note,” in order to complete “Sherlock” as one whole song. Furthermore, the subtitle for the first track “Sherlock” is ‘Clue + Note.’ Through the integration of these three songs, the symbolic mysterious character of Sherlock and the story of him looking for a clue in his note is continued. “The culprit is within us.”
Through their third full-length album in 2013, SHINee manages to give spoilers in their own style, which is something many avoid doing. The third studio album was released in two parts, and the first track of its first album The Misconceptions “Spoiler” was written so that it included the title of all the tracks in both albums. They broke the prejudice against spoilers and reclaimed them so that they work in their favor, as these raised expectations for the team’s future activities. After the lyrics of “Long time no see, Dream Girl. You waited for me, didn’t you?,” the next and title track “Dream Girl” starts playing.
The cross-integration across albums: From “Replay” to “Marry You”
Perhaps SHINee’s most popular debut song, “Replay”, is the prelude to a love story that lasted more than a decade. From their debut song to the pre-released song of their seventh full-length album, there exists a flow continued for the past 13 years. The speaker of the song who had a crush on his older lover “Noona,” begins a relationship and continues it until he proposes. (T/N: Noona is an affectionate term used by someone who identifies as a male to refer to someone older than them, and identifies as a female.) A refreshing warmth can be felt if the lyrics below are made into a playlist, and played in the following order. This trilogy alone marks a milestone in the history of SHINee.
“Replay” (2008) – You’re so pretty. / No matter what you say, you’re everything in life to me.
“Love Sick” (2015) – You were so pretty, you know that? / Still everything in my life.
“Marry You” (2021) – My breath stops whenever I see you, you’re still so pretty. / You’re still everything in my life, my love.
Performances without limits: “Everybody” and “Hitchhiking”
While all members lie on the floor for “Everybody,” they’re awakened one by one to the lyrics of “Everybody wake up wake up.” The performance is meticulously ordered throughout the song’s running time. By the second half of the song, all members become parts of a huge windmill as Onew quickly stirs his arms to accomplish the ‘windmill spinning’ mission. The breathtaking performance attracts the eyes until it ends as members once again return to their original positions when the song is over as if they were turned off.
“Hitchhiking” demonstrates SHINee’s song with the highest-notes of all time. Starting with a fairly high note from the first verse, the song’s melodies only get even higher as it reaches the chorus. Jong Hyun’s clean ad-libs are spread everywhere as members, regardless of whether they are vocal or rap lines, all become satisfyingly excited. Apart from the song, the intense, lyrics-less, 20-second-long performance after Taemin’s “Hitchhiking Baby!” also stir bigger curiosities for other limitless stages of SHINee.
Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.