SHINee( formed in 2008) is one of k-pop’s most famous and well know boy bands. Shinee is well known for their vocals and dances and their broad and ever broadening range of musical genres they incorporate in their discography. Shinee’s last Korean album Why So Serious? – The Misconceptions of Me was released in 2013 leaving a two year gap of no Korean releases. When their next album Odd was released on May of this year it was met with much fanfare. This review will be for the repackaged version of this album entitled Married to the Music which features four unreleased songs. This review is for these four songs.
A little Shinee music video history
Married to the Music brings a genuine retro vibe to the summer music line up. The bass in the beginning is very reminiscent of Another one bites the dust which is misleading, as the song progresses it takes on a funky disco sound. Overall the song is most definitely Michael Jackson inspired (this song would fit in on his Off the Wall album) the influence is especially strong in the chorus which has a Baby be mine flavor. Retro (or retro influenced) songs have always been popular in the summer so giving its distinct sound and catchy chorus this single will be a good fit for a summer success.
The Music Video
From the teaser images one can see that Shinee was going with a retro horror/camp theme with the Rocky Horror Picture Show type font used for the title. The overall feel of the photos reminded me of Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice and for some reason The Addams Family lol. So did the video fit the feel of the photo teasers? YES. The video opens with a black and white scene and one may think wow this is really vintage but once the video starts it is in color and despite all the bizarre horror elements there is an actual storyline. To make it short the young men show up for a party that was far from what they expected as they lose parts of themselves (in humorous horror fashion) to the party’s hostess who uses them in the end to make a perfect man. While that may seem bizarre (or disturbing) to some this video is done very humorously and in light while watching this video I remembered two other horror themed pop music videos besides the most famous which is Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Rockwell’s Someone’s Watching Me and Robbie Williams Rock DJ.
Shinee keeps it retro but moves it up a few decades to the 90’s (yes the 90’s is now officially retro) with Savior which is a funky dance/house track. The most standout aspect of this song for me is the chorus.
Shinee continues the 90s theme but cools it down with Hold you. The very beginning reminds me (a bit more chiptunish) of the 90s R&B single Can we talk by Tevin Campbell or more so the cover of the same song by JUNE. The music has a 90s R&B vibe like the aforementioned Tevin Campbell , Al.B Sure or Bobby Brown. The music sounds like it could have been a song that was recorded in the 90s one could totally hear the previously mentioned artists or even New Edition sing over this track. Shinee uses quite a lot of English on this track and it is done pretty well Key(?) seems to be channeling Drake in his rap in the beginning and adds a bit of edge to the laid back vibe of the song. Though the entire group sounds fantastic in this song Onew’s voice is the standout. Of all the new tracks Hold You is the track that showcases Shinee the best you can hear the voices much clearer without the music over taking them. I’m surprised that this song wasn’t released as the single from the repackaged album.
The last new track on Married to the music is written and composed by Shinee’s very own songwriter Jonghyun entitled Chocolate. Chocolate opens with a funky chiptunish melody and english phrases such as “how’d you like that” and” I just want to put the record straight once and for all” which was a bit odd at the beginning but it improves as the song continues. Surprisingly this is another track Shinee shines on (no pun intended). The chorus is almost fully in english and once again Shinee did a great job.
In all the new tracks kept the theme of summer music evocative of the late 70’s to the 90’s which makes it an impressive concept album. As with ODD I can see Married to the Music the repackaged album (as well as the single) becoming another summer success.