[kpop/review] Taemin’s (not too shabby) final runs on Immortal Song, ep. 6, ep. 7., ep. 8, and overall assessment

Sixth performance; “Be Strong, Geumsoon-ah” by Hyeon In

This song has got the “heavy emote” warning written all over it; it concerns refugees fleeing to Busan during the Korean War, and is accompanied by a litter of string players. I’ve often criticized Taemin on his lack of emotion while singing, so this type of song certainly is a challenge.

I was half impressed, half indifferent. When Taemin slides into his middle and high register, the tones are dulcet and quite lovely, as compared to the relatively shakier, low register he uses in the beginning. During the chorus, he was overwhelmed by the background singers, and though his vocal runs definitely deserve praise (2.35s and 3.39s) in their exactness, they feel extremely rounded, just too a tad too precise. Too precise for a song that is supposed to stir up raw emotions. War is never pretty, and the emotions that come with it are not calm. They are turbulent, and Taemin has yet to exude real conflict on stage.

He may be a perfect ‘angel’ (as some Taemints love to say), but for this song, which addresses the overpowering sadness and the conflict within a lonely soul, an angelic, safe performance is boring. 

Seventh performance; “After April Goes By” by Kil Ogyoon

This was Taemin’s second-to-last performance in Immortal Song, which like his previous performance, included a bevy of backup singers and a litter of string players. He also used his lower register, which I highly dislike, since it is more like speaking than it is singing at this point. During an instrumental break, Taemin also popped and locked in his usual style, recycling moves I have seen on a bajillion variety shows. That was highly unsatisfactory.

I was very impressed by his techical ability this time, especially his vocal runs at 5.24s and 5.54s. Just judging aurally, I believe they are the times Taemin has let himself go the most out of all his performances in Immortal Song. I get so excited when I hear something like that, and then when he returns to his safe and steady crooning, my heart falls. Nonetheless, as before, for most of the time, his expression and emoting were flat and on autopilot.

Eighth performance; “Ecstatic Confession”

With this song, I feel like the audience was happy with the performance, because it was rather flashy, especially with continuous choreography. However, out of the three performances this time around, I liked this one the least. It definitely is the safest choice as there is not as much vocal exercising, and Taemin is still a very closed-off vocalist, taking no risks. Nonetheless, this piece is still a fast-paced song, enabling Taemin to be more of a ‘performer’ than a ‘singer’, quite evident at his 3.12s dance break. This dance break was unnecessary and not even during the bridge. Theoretically, the song could have ended at 3.12s, but they added some extra dubstep. I wonder why. Ridiculous. By now, you all probably know my loathing of a popping-and-locking Taemin during Immortal Song, which is a show focusing on the singing, not Taemin’s tried-and-true dance moves.

Though I do agree Taemin is a talented dancer, he really only has one style, and that severely limits him to how good of a dancer he can really be. Therefore, Taemin as a dancer is a one-trick pony at this point, and to exploit this trick almost every time he performs, I really want to go cry in the corner.


I am satisfied. Taemin’s participation in Immortal Song was not as I originally feared– that it would be deeply embarrassing because let’s face it, Taemin is not SHINee’s strongest singer. However, though Taemin was never the best or even could compete with the best singers in the program, he has improved greatly. His first performances were less confident, and he often wavered on pitch. He was also largely emotionless and mechanical.

He is less emotionless and mechanical now. Sometimes Taemin-the-singer breaks through rather than Taemin-the-dancer-slash-noob-singer. He is more confident, and he can deliver a more-or-less accurate performance. Of course, these past two statements are not very complimentary, but he is really starting to gain the feel of a strong individual performer, and he is beginning to understand what it is to be a singer, and not just an idol.

For live performance, the only way to get better at them is to perform live frequently. We may make public mistakes along the way, but sadly, that is the only way we can truly learn the best and the quickest. Personally, I played through five concerts before I sat for my final assessment for piano. I rocked that assessment, even though I am a terrible performer and lack technical ability that most serious amateur pianists my age have. I suspect it is the same with Taemin, he lacks singing technique. Though it may be painful at first to expose ourselves so much, but in the end, we can show the strongest performances we have ever given in our entire lives.

For that, brava, Taemin. I look forward to your improving even more, so I will never have another reason to seethe at you singing a line that should have been handled by Jonghyun.

read review on Taemin’s first performance, second performancethird / fourth / fifth performance on Immortal Song 2


8 thoughts on “[kpop/review] Taemin’s (not too shabby) final runs on Immortal Song, ep. 6, ep. 7., ep. 8, and overall assessment

  1. Pingback: [kpop/review] Taemin and that abyss on Immortal Song: ep. 3, 4, 5 | the innocent lam

  2. Pingback: [kpop/review] quick thoughts on Taemin’s (meh) debut on Immortal Song | the innocent lam

  3. Pingback: [kpop/review] Taemin’s (meh) second performance on Immortal Song | the innocent lam

  4. Thanks for the Immortal Song reviews! Really enjoyed reading it =)
    Now I’m not sure if this was just a typo or I’m missing something, but Taemin’s last Immortal Song 2 Performance was actually on 120421 and he sang “Ecstatic Confession”. Here’s a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxe7CNqg8Wk. He managed to win 3 rounds with this performance =)

  5. Hi Michele, I’ve been reading and lurking in your blog since last year (sory if i came across like a creeper). I must say I enjoy reading some of your opinions on k-pop particularly SHINee. How should I say this? Although I know that you’re a big SHINee fan, you are unlike many fangirls who constantly spazzing over their bias, thinking their bias are flawless like gods. And what I like the most about your blog is that you can freely critizes them even as their big fan. I mean constructive criticism is definitely the way to go. It definitely doesn’t hurt.

    I definitely agree with your assessment on Taemin’s perf on IMS2. Although I’m a Taemin biased shawol, I do have to criticize on some of his performances. I agree with you on most part. He does his singing pretty fine but sometimes, when I see him singing on stage, it is as if he’s holding back a little. As if he is singing to himself but I’m sure he didn’t intend to it that way. I think as a performer+singer, he needs to engage with the audience a little more, projects his voice a little clearer and louder and show a little more confidence. He tends to look serious even on some of the happy upbeat performance. The most important thing of all, he needs to work on his facial expression when singing so that it shows he’s really feeling the lyrics and message of the song. I don’t know, maybe its because Taembb is nervous since it his first major singing appearance alone on a huge stage without his hyungs.

    As for most of his song and perfs choices, while I personally prefer Taemin’s ballads performances because it shows more of his vocal range and the vocal risks he took, I’ve been noticing that he prefers to pick upbeat happy songs (safest choices) because he usually wins more than 1 rounds as opposed to some ballads because he know the IMS2 audience love his dancing . While I do like Taemin’s dancing because I think he is one of the talented dancers in k-pop, I’m not a biggest fan of the dance breaks he showcases on IMS2. Sometimes it look a little odd having a dance break in the middle of the performances. And the popping and locking moves look the same everytime. This can be said for all SME dancer-idols. They all usually the same pop and lock moves. Jaewon style-influences? maybe, Well, thats another story.

    Well, I can’t really blame him 100% , he probably picked a perf style that he thinks would win over the audience without really thinking much about a style he really likes.

    I don’t know if it is just me but I have this issue with IMS2 as well. I’ve been watching IMS2 even before Taemin was on it. While it is definitely is one of the best singing show I’ve seen, the audience tend to pick a performance that is more entertaining and enjoyable to watch over a performance that look more meaningful with a strong lyrics and better singing technique. I was pretty unhappy when MinKyung’s decent singing perf (she is usually good but in this ep its different, don’t ask me why) won over the audience as opposed to Ali’s mind-blowing singing technique and performance. While Minkyung looked lovely while wearing a white dress that made her look like snow white, Ali was wearing black dark dress that made her look like an evil gothic witch. Are the audience heavily biased on looks and enjoyable perf ? and that midblowing performance from Ali was probably a bit boring for the audence’s taste? maybe. Well, the audience are simply not music critics with no musical background. They probably just like something that looks fun, happy and enjoyable.

    All in all, I definitely think Taemin has come a long way as a performer singer but I think he needs to reflect a little on his little flaws that he makes when performing live. He is stil at the stage where he keeps on learning and improving. However, I’m proud that he improved significantly throughout the show. I hope that he still improves and can’t wait to see what kind of singer he turns out to be in the future.

    (Oh gosh, I never knew my comment would be this long sorry)

    • wow thanks for the long comment! ^^~ I apologize for the length of time it has taken me to get back to you ><;;; I got finished with college finals and then got shipped off to China (land of spotty internet) for more school.

      hi there (: lol, you aren't a creeper! ^^~ total fangirl here in my deep secret heart, even if I try to deny it.

      Yup, I really agree with everything you've said in your comment. Taemin has definitely come a long way, and I'm happy you see it as such, as Taemin-biased. Your point about IMS2 being about the overall performance rather than the singing is true, they definitely don't bemoan when Taemin sings happy ballads with a stoic look and does popping and locking even when it's not necessary t_t one more thing, about Taemin holding back and not taking risks.. I think it was clear in the beginning that he was never going to win (sorry, Taemin!!), so because of that, I think he should have been open to taking more risks because if you put that much effort into it even though you aren't going to take home the big prize, you might as well go for it and let yourself go.

      throughout his appearance on IMS2, I never really got the feeling Taemin wanted to win, either. Jonghyun, even though his performances were in the mood, there is no questioning he was also thinking of the competition. He was determined, Taemin seemed a little unfocused -_-"

      I hope Onew gets to have his stage on IMS2 one day (:
      thanks for your comment! again I apologize for the length of time it took me to reply D:

  6. Pingback: [kpop] SHINee: 2012 in review | the innocent lam

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