Album Review – Shinee “Odd” – The Fourth Album.

Shinee

(SM. Ent)

 

SHINEE’S BACK! And just in time for their 7th anniversary. “Odd” is the quintet’s fourth album, and contrary to what the title may imply there’s nothing odd about Shinee’s new album or the stratospheric success they’ve achieved all these years.

Anyone who has knowledge of Shinee’s discography will surely recognize “Odd” as one of their most mature releases. Although their fifth mini album “Everybody” was a big step in the same direction, it was limited by a short track list. With a full album the group has more room to explore the elements that make their sound so unique.

I may be wrong but there aren’t too many K-Pop groups out there serving up the same contemporary sound that has made Shinee a household name. Certainly, if there are, no one else does it better. The group is simply a cut above the competition for the sheer fact that their sound is so different from the standard Kpop currently in rotation. This is partly accredited to their management company S.M. Entertainment. Love them or hate them, they know how to produce quality groups and concepts. Admittedly promotions for the title track “View” could have been extended before releasing EXO’s “Love Me Right”(Re-package review coming soon!) but that’s another story.

Speaking of View, the video was a refreshing change from the standard box set + dance video format S.M. loves. The MV stars Shinee as idols who have grown weary of their fame. Upon being kidnapped by three beautiful fans,  they find a bit of freedom away from the media’s prying eyes. The boys succumb to the girls advances (except Onew!) and end up having the time of their lives drinking, dancing and generally enjoying the recklessness of youth.

The song itself is infectious and fun with the boy’s smooth vocals floating above a synth beat evocative of late 80’s early 90’s awesomeness. It’s the perfect song for a night of summer shenanigans.

The full album opens with Odd Eye. Key gets the show started with the lines “My eyes were looking for you, so I found you. Well, I know you’re there. Show me your eyes don’t lie.” In doing so he set’s the stage for what is personally one of my favorite Shinee songs. The dynamic between the almost spoken word verses and the smooth R&B-esque crooning of “My eyes on you creates a nice balance. You’ll definitely want to push the replay button more than once with this song.

Lovesick is a fresh track reminiscent of their earlier works, such as Replay or Hello. It’s fun and uniquely Shinee.

Romance is fast paced with what sounds a bit like a conga beat to it. Or even a video game background music vibe to it, if you know what I mean. I wasn’t so keen on this song at first but Key’s “Tremendous!” at the beginning always gets me, not to mention the adorable “Shoo-bee-doo-boop-boop-ba-doo”.

Trigger is one of the albums darker tracks. The opening line makes it clear from start “Never said I’m a saint” and lines like “Kill me with your kiss”. Basically it’s a breakup song where Shinee is daring their lover to pull the Trigger on their love.

Farewell is nothing but 90’s infused R&B goodness and also one of my favorite tracks from the album. The chorus swells dramatically and I love it. Shinee’s vocals are superb and in my opinion  their greatest strength. This song showcases this beautifully; each member’s voice is heavy with emotion. Even Minho’s rap seems genuine and not all together out of place. Not that I’m biased to his god-like rap skills or anything.

An Ode To You is a sweet ballad. Even if you’re not big on ballads I think you’ll still love this song. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure this is a song dedicated to their fans, or Shawols as they’re named. One line goes as follows, “You were a light that shined on me.” If you’re not familiar with the explanation of Shinee’s name and it’s unique spelling, let me bring you up to speed. First of all something shiny is something upon which light shines and thus brings out it’s glow; for example an artist standing in the spotlight. Thus the person onto whom the light shines is the “shinee”. Think of the word Honor. If someone bestows an honor onto you, you are an honoree. So, the love and light that Shawols shine onto these five talented men is what makes them makes them Shinee(s). I know that may sound a little weird but that’s just the magic of Kpop. Just go with it and have fun!

Alive is an exciting tune that makes you wish that you were seeing Shinee in concert. It has a bit more of a hip-hop influence. Minho and Key go head to head rapping in the bridge and it’s amazing.

Woof-Woof is fast paced, silly and totally fun. It’s jazzy and filled with brass sounds. Again, this is definitely a song that I would love to hear live in concert. It’s certainly the kind of song that gets a crowd going.

Black Hole brings the album back to Shinee’s signature sound. They proudly profess “You’re my black hole”(trans). On paper that sounds rude but what they mean is the object of their desire sucks them in like a black hole. They can’t think about anything else.

An Encore brings the album to and end with a ballad filled with sadness. The lyrics translate to  reflecting on a relationship with regret for having taking important moments for granted.

If you can’t tell already, I really like Shinee. Love Like Oxygen stole my heart. The first time I heard that Michael Jackson infused piece of heaven I was sold, Minho’s god-like rapping and all. They’ve grown up so well and they’ve set such a high bar for competing acts. I genuinely admire how far they’ve come since their humble Replay beginnings. Taemin’s solo debut blew me away and is solid proof that if you work hard enough you can achieve anything. Who would have thought that the maknae (youngest member) of the group would be the first to earn his solo debut, going from the kid with almost no lines to having his own album? Shinee are in a league all their own and I hope to see much more from them in the future. Let’s cross our fingers and hopefully S.M. will release a repackage as well. Be sure to check out the full album as well as their past discography on Spotify!

 

If you liked this review and would like to see more Kpop related posts let me know in the comment section below!

 

 

 

 

 

Make The Most Of Your Summer!

 

Make The Most Of Your Summer!

Summer is just around the corner (June 21st) and I don’t know about you guys but I’m pretty excited! Nothing beats summer vacation; what’s not to love about hot days, cool evenings, iced tea and barbecues? Summer is a time of new and exciting adventures and luckily days are longer which means you can make the absolute most out of your time. Here are a few ideas on how to do just that:

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