Why You Should be Listening to SHINee

by Keidra Chaney & Raizel Liebler

We’ve been trying to write up a end of year music list, but we’ve discovered that we’re only collectively interested in hyping one album SHINee’s Odd and its reissue Married to the Music.

Raizel: Let’s start with the visuals. They are truly great dancers — as has been shown in their previous videos and live performances. But their only truly decent video is their unfortunately Japanese only release, Your Number. Shot like a one-take, Your Number demonstrates the uniform dance skills of the entire group — and the enduring dance influence of those recorded in Paris is Burning. And their new Japanese album (with this song) drops on New Year’s Day!

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Keidra: So since I am the resident rock person on TLF Prime, I am as shocked as anyone that this year has been so booty for me. I had no clue the Odd/Married to the Music was gonna be my favorite album this year, it is FIRE. It’s like track after track of complicated harmonies and solid writing and buttery production (which is pretty much all that SHINee does) and I listen to it like a rock album, as in, I listen for different things every time. They put out a lit af album, and they they’re like “let’s re-release this shit with three more lit af songs!” SAVIOR IS THE SHIT, production-wise it’s like a fucking Daft Punk song!!!!!!!! They have no right! It makes me angry!

And yes, they can dance their asses off and I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of watching TV appearances, just because I like them better than the actual music videos because it focuses on the dancing.

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Raizel: Yes, seriously, stick to the live performance videos on YouTube rather than the official videos for their songs, unless you are seeking squee. (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) Shinee has always been highly consistent in producing high quality music, with the SM Entertainment music production sheen. But unlike most other kpop groups, there is an overall R&B sound to much that is created by and around Shinee. From their first single, Replay, to now on Odd / Married to the Music, their sound has always had more of a specifically New Jack Swing sound than the other major kpop groups.

Keidra: As An Old, I think that is why SHINee especially appeals to me. I am too old to be into watching armies of dancing teenagers so while I am glad the rookie groups like IKon or whatever exist for other people, I kinda look at it like “nope, not for me” Not saying I can’t be convinced, but I particularly like Odd because it feels both throwback and contemporary, like taking some of the great elements of 90’s R&B/Pop and filtering it through a modern lens. I dig it.
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Raizel: While overall we like all of the members of Shinee as a unit, there is one member who we like due to his outside work — Jonghyun. I’ll leave the discussion of Hot Times to you …
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Keidra: So literally I LOVED SM The Ballad’s “Hot Times” 12 seconds into hearing the song, and Jonghyun is probably my favorite vocalist of the unit. Also his solo album, Base, is the FUCKING BUSINESS. It’s all of the New Jack-ness that you hear in a lot of SHINee songs on 11. He’s a really talented songwriter and I totally see him doing stuff for the long haul.

So yeah, thanks to SHINee for giving me some genuine excitement in a “meh” year for me.

Raizel: Put on Shinee because it’s body roll time!

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