[kpop] SHINee: 2012 in review

It has been a busy year for SHINee. Because of this year–more than any other–it has become clear that SM intends SHINee to take the helm of the boy bands after TVXQ.

shinee 3

ALBUM: Sherlock Read the review of Sherlock

Released online on 19 March 2012, and promoted for just under a month, Sherlock is the fourth extended play album SHINee has released to date. With a crazily choreographed dance by Tony Testa, SHINee promoted the singles Sherlock (Clue+Note) and Stranger. The lives in which SHINee did sing live were generally well-received, except for a few bumbling lines here and there by Minho, and even in the lives they did not sing live, their dancing was pristine. A solid, but short, comeback in Korea.

CONCERT TOURS: First Japan Area Tour, SHINee World II, SMTown Live World Tour III

Nothing much to say, really, sold-out shows all over the world; SHINee is busy filling their coffers.

see below for a discussion of JongTae, see Key covering Lady GagaTaemin not playing piano again

DRAMA: You’re Beautiful [Minho]

I never wrote anything about this drama on ilam, because (as everyone knows) my bias is mostly Jonghyun, so I rarely pay attention to other members’ solo activities, like Minho acting in You’re Beautiful. However, since I did love watching the Japanese verison, Hana Kimi, I watched the first few episodes of You’re Beautiful. I concluded that Minho has gotten better in acting, and his range of emotions has increased from two to four. Maybe even five. However, Sulli and the other actors were actually passable; I would have continued watching if not for the asinine writing. The funniest parts of Hana Kimi were perverted into emo touchy-feely moments in You’re Beautiful, so I ultimately decided to abandon watching.

GAYO DAEJUNS [end of year performances]: see this post for a complete review

SINGLES: Dazzling Girl, 1000 Years, MAXSTEP [Taemin], Spectrum [Taemin & Minho] / Read the reviews of Dazzling Girl, 1000 Years.

Released on 10 October 2012, Dazzling Girl was SHINee’s first original Japanese single, an upbeat dance track that quickly went down the drain after the first few listens–it also was not too popular in Japan, peaking at no. 2 in the Daily Singles Oricon chart, eventually earning gold certification.

Later this year, 12 December 2012 saw the release of 1000 Years, another original Japanese single by SHINee. This thoughtful single, while not too novel or epic–more like a hand-me-down from TVXQ–was the first real indication about how serious SHINee is about creating material in Japan. Nonetheless, 1000 Years has not been that successful either, peaking at no. 2 in the Daily Singles Oricon.

MAXSTEP by Younique and Spectrum by SM The Performance are, simply put, disasters in dubstep. I never paid much attention to MAXSTEP, as it was marketed as a song promoting Hyundai–a song like that will never be good, like 2NE1’s quasi-debut, Lollipop. As for Spectrum, I discussed it in depth in this post reviewing SHINee’s 2012 end-of-year performances.

SCANDALS: SHINee members receive SM stock, JongTae, Sulli and Taemin couple rings, jujugal closing, Onew’s depression / isolation / beating up Jonghyun, Taemin having lots of foreign sex

The first ‘scandal’ is not exactly scandalous, but I do remember there being quite a bit of uproar when on March 26, 2012, SHINee and their labelmates received shares of SM Entertainment. Each member of SHINee received 340 shares each, which at the time, was valued at $13,600, which is quite a measly value compared to what each SHINee member should bring in each year. Moreover, after payment of the fees to issue stock in the original IPO, a sunk cost, SM really does not lose money either from this transaction because at the core, they are just issuing pieces of paper. Moreover, however the artists choose to treat their shares, either by keeping them or selling them, SM does not lose money either. It is a win-win for SM. All in all, this was more of a symbolic gesture, SM still trying to cover its behind even all these years after TVXQ’s split, and trying to foster a more collaborative community in its company, giving its artists the illusion that they too, can contribute. But 340 shares? Stop kidding me. Out of 20.4 million shares of SM Entertainment outstanding, SHINee collectively owns only 0.000083% of the company.

SHINee fangirls have been waiting for ever this ever since Jonghyun bared his muscled back in LuciferJonghyun parades his muscled chest, every inch as glorious as Minho’s, and then does a steamy performance with Taemin to boot. Nosebleeds abound. The Taemint fandom gathers up a storm.

Of course, a few sharp-eyed Shawols eye Taemin during Sherlock live performances and bring up the unlikely rumor, yet again, that Taemin and Sulli are dating.

Adding to controversial rumors of Taemin dating, the Shawol boat was rocked when jujugal, a well-known Taemint who did many translations and ran her own popular blog, suddenly closed down. Later along the road, many Onew fan sites started closing their borders to outsiders as well. The reason? Malicious Onew-biased fans started accusing the other members of SHINee of isolating Onew, using evidence gathered from the Onew fan sites.

Running along these lines, rumors of Onew’s depression and uncontrollable breakdown which resulted in the beating up of Jonghyun started to spread, along with a rather hilarious one that Taemin loves having lots of sex when abroad. I partially addressed these rumors on formspring: [1], [2]. The conclusion to all these rumors, as ever, there may be a drop of truth–Onew may very well be struggling with fatigue, Taemin may be dating someone–but the extremes to which they are imagined are definitely not true. SHINee are all normal human beings, and we can all give them the benefit of the doubt that they are not as pigheaded as rumors make them out to be.

VARIETY: Taemin on Immortal Song / Read reviews on debut, ep. 2, ep. 3, 4, 5, ep. 6, 7, 8

We should have all seen it coming–with Taemin’s solo activity on Immortal Song kicking off the year–we should have known that 2012 would be Year of Taemin.

Taemin had a solid but unsatisfying run on Immortal Song, slowly improving throughout. However, it really is in the group activities later in 2012 that shows Taemin’s rapid progress as a singer.

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11 thoughts on “[kpop] SHINee: 2012 in review

  1. Pingback: [review] SHINee’s 2012 Gayo Daejuns & SM The Performance’s “Spectrum” | the innocent lam

  2. SM has definitely been parading Taemin around like he’s the chosen one. Although I’m still not satisfied with his live singing (he’s still very breathy, along with a lot of the comments you’ve made), he’s really improved as a more balanced performer. He’s been taking a lot of singing cues from Jonghyun, but comes off as a lighter, demure version, but he has moments where he breaks out and does surprising things onstage.

    I think Jonghyun has really branched out this year, showcasing his personality, highlighting ability to adapt to different genres, and garnering a lot of respect because of his consistent lives. His dancing also improved. He’s so much more engaged on stage now. Some find him excessive but I like that none of his performances are quite the same. He’s always subtly changing his technique so it’s been fun to watch Sherlock evolve from March to now.

    SHINee works so hard. SM’s workhorse, in my opinion. But (after a well-deserved and long-overdue rest), I’m hoping for a killer album with no dubstep and more well-used synth. And hopefully a composition from Jonghyun, I bet that boy is dying to produce something.

    This is too long, but I have to add.

    “I concluded that Minho has gotten better in acting, and his range of emotions has increased from two to four.”

    This was incredibly funny. I really do love Minho, but he is too easy to make fun of.

    • haha, that he is (Minho is easy to make fun of). I want to see other members of SHINee acting! (cough, Key, since he’s doing his musical and all)

      aww, yes, I agree with Jonghyun. Though I do have a lot of nostalgia with his debut days, where he covered a lot more songs in other genres. We don’t have lovely Onew-Jonghyun duets much anymore! Sad.

      I hope you’re having a good 2013 so far ^^
      Michelle

    • LOL @ your comment, Taemin the choosen one, I laughed so hard. I agree though, SM should stop with this parade coz its getting boring for me.. Hopefully other member will shine in 2013.. Please Key, I am looking at you right now.

  3. “it has become clear that SM intends SHINee to take the helm of the boy bands after TVXQ”
    can you elabore more, please? I didn’t quite get it.. Thanks! Your blog is intertaining!

    • sure! in SM, the top male group is undoubtedly TVXQ, right? However, Yunho and Changmin need to complete their military service. Once they are gone, the males to fill their shoes will be SHINee. SHINee taking on more Japanese activities really highlights that, because TVXQ are especially strong in Japan, and so SHINee is following in their footsteps. Also, SHINee’s lives are becoming really, really great, at TVXQ-level.

      So what I mean is that once TVXQ is not active, SHINee will become the male performance group that is most important to SM! (: Super Junior is also important, but in terms of musical performance, they are of course not as strong as SHINee or TVXQ.

      I hope that made things less confusing!
      Michelle

      • so do you think its mostly for japan? I was hoping for more korean release and promotion…
        I have been worried for some times now about their korean status, many boybands catching up lately, aren’t they?

      • I also think that SM’s plan is to have SHINee fill in TVXQ’s shoes in Japan once they go off to the military, but to be honest SHINee’s sales figures in Japan are looking kinda dismal right now. The most recent single (1000 years) especially was quite disappointing for me. I guess I shouldn’t have expected too much from a ballad, but since it wasn’t a Korean remake I was hoping for better. The last numbers on the Oricon chart I recall was around 45,000? And the thing that worries me the most is their sales numbers in Japan really isn’t climbing at all, which means that in spite of their promotional activities in Japan, their fanbase really isn’t growing. I sometimes think that instead of spending the effort in Japan without seeing much return, they’d be better off spending more of their time in Korea trying to establish themselves as one of the top male groups there. Right now, everyone agrees on Big Bang, Super Junior, TVXQ (listed alphabetically to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes). But after those three, there’s no clear group. SHINee’s a candidate, but so’s 2pm, Beast, and apparently Infinite is on the rise as well? If SHINee`s name can join the list so that instead of the top three, people think of the top 4, then I think everything else will come. Just my opinion.

  4. Pingback: [review] SHINee’s Chapter 1. Dream Girl – The Misconceptions of You. | the innocent lam

  5. Pingback: [single review] Henry’s Trap feat. Taemin and Kyuhyun | the innocent lam

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