Hoshi interrupts your daily dose of anime for a
biased K-pop recommendation.~
All right, so my comeback post for Metanorn may not be the most relevant for the site, but with Metanorn’s and my favorite Korean boy band’s anniversary sharing the same month of May, I thought, “Why not?!” (Plus there’s the fun coincidence that SHINee is going on five years as well). To those of you who do know of my extreme love for these boys, this post was inevitable. The only reason it took so long was because I wasn’t sure how to fully express why anyone (especially those of you who don’t listen to Korean pop) should give SHINee a chance. So in honor of their 5th anniversary (which has already passed), I thought I’d present an oh-so special, and totally un-biased, post on why you should give these fantastic boys a listen. But before we get into the reasons why, I think some basic info should be given.~
Basic History & Discography✦
SHINee is a five member South Korean boy band who debuted on May 25, 2008 with their single ‘Replay’. Since then, they’ve released 3 albums (the latest which was split into two parts) and 4 mini-albums, as well as other releases in South Korea. They then made their Japanese debut in June of 2011 with the Japanese version of ‘Replay’ and have released several singles and 1 album (with a 2nd album to be released in June, actually) in Japan. They even became the first foreign artist in 44 years to have three different singles chart in the top three in the Oricon. They have also held two Asia concerts and one Japan tour, with another starting this November. As for the members, they consist (in order from oldest to youngest) of Onew, Jonghyun, Key, Minho, and Taemin. While all five sing, Onew and Jonghyun are the main vocals, with Key and Minho as the rappers and Taemin having a specialty in dance (though his vocals have improved greatly over the years, especially with their newest album).
◇ Discography (from oldest to newest; includes title songs and links to MVs) Show ▼
Reasons why (as written by a three-year fan)✦
All right, so why should you listen to SHINee? Why I am trying so hard to get some of you to check them out by writing a post about them? Well, I have a number of reasons, which I managed to boil down to three main points. The first point is definitely a bit fangirly, but how could I not resist? The other two are things that have impressed even the most skeptical-of-boy-bands people in my life. But of course, I’ll let you make your own judgments.~
◆ Fun & cheesy boy band shenanigans
Tie A Yellow Ribbon Around The Old Oak Tree – from The First Japan Arean Tour DVD
(Hilarious skit, cross-dressing, bright outfits, Engrish, and other fun things~)
The feeling I get from most people (at least here in the States, and not including your average One Direction fan) is “Boy bands? Really? That’s so 90’s!”. To me, boy bands are fun. It’s all about sweet love, cute boys (of course), and all sorts of fun, positive things; And SHINee just happens to have those aspects and more. Aside from their music, I fell hard for their funny, and somewhat cheesy, antics both on and off the stage. From the cheesy settings to some of their music videos, to dumb jokes on television shows, and to other ridiculous antics, I can’t help but crack a smile, and/or slam my face into a pillow to deal with second-hand embarrassment. While some of these may be scripted, or just a fluffy cover to please fans, it’s still quite enjoyable and keeps things fun. Aside from the usual boy band fluff though, SHINee brings some impressive vocals and choreography, as well as a unique style to the Korean pop scene.
◇ More SHINee shenanigans (or really just an excuse for me to post some of my favorite photos/gifs) Show ▼
◆ Voices & Style
Orgel – from Misconceptions of Me album
In the Korean pop scene, there are a lot of boy bands, and by a lot I mean TONS. Why SHINee, one group out of many, has gripped my music loving soul is because of their colorful combination of voices. Each member has their own distinctive voice that gives their music a great vocal variety; and with those voices, they are able to create heavenly harmonies, gorgeous ballads, intense pop songs, and so much more. While their first few albums were definitely on a mainstream level, as SHINee has grown, they’ve expanded to other music styles and shown others just what they can do. Their first album was fresh with a mix of R&B and pop and their sweet voices untouched by synthetics, while their second album veered off more into auto-tuning and experimentation with different styles, like electronica and hip-hop. Their latest albums however showcase a definite maturity in their vocals, along with more bright and instrumental sounds for the ‘Dream Girl’ chapter, and darker sounds for their ‘Why So Serious?’ chapter. Though they may try different music styles, SHINee still has a style that is uniquely their own. I listen to many boy bands, and I find that no one has music quite like SHINee does. Every release they have give us something new, something that becomes uniquely theirs. They’ve distinguished themselves not only in the music they release, but in their performances as well.
◇ A sample of favorite SHINee songs showcasing some of their different music styles over the years Show ▼
◆ Live peformances
Sherlock (Jpn. version) – from First Japan Arena Tour concert in Japan (2012)
If there’s one thing my sister and I have ever completely agreed on is that SHINee can put on a performance. I actually ended up securing my sister as a
normal fan because of a viewing of their Japan Arena Tour DVD, and with the above performance of their song ‘Sherlock’. I don’t think there’s any other performance on that DVD that has captivated me like ‘Sherlock’ has. It is, to me, a perfect example of just how…awesome SHINee’s live performances are. They have incredible energy while dancing, and still manage to sing live, at least whenever they can, with their occasional difficult choreography (I know lip-singing happens because of the choreography). But it’s not just their performances of their upbeat songs that can be powerful, but their ballads/slower songs as well. Even with television/music show performances, they manage to put on impressive performances and professionally cover small on-stage incidents with ease (like this somewhat recent incident, which I thought was too cool not to share). Whatever type of live performance it may be, SHINee doesn’t fail to light up the stage.
◇ A sample of SHINee’s performances; most are from the broadcasts of their Tokyo stops on both of their Japanese tours (I added more fun, upbeat performances at the beginning, and concluded with them singing their slower songs). Show ▼
I hope that I have at least peaked someone’s interest? I understand not everyone is into boy bands or Korean pop, so if their music is just not your thing, it’s totally cool. My secret goal for this post though was to rid some of the misconceptions (reference not intended) about boy bands, specifically SHINee as you can tell. If anyone actually decides to give them a listen, I highly recommend listening to their first album, and then their latest album, Misconceptions of Me. They are both flawless albums that really give a listener a general taste of SHINee’s music, and show just how much they’ve grown as singers. Anyway, thank you for taking your time to read this post if you did, and next time I’ll probably be bringing you something more relevant, like a manga post~ *hint hint*
This has been a labor of love for these five ridiculous guys. Three years of stanning and counting~
◇ Photo credits: Show ▼