[review] SHINee’s 2012 Gayo Daejuns & SM The Performance’s “Spectrum”

KBS Gayo Daejun

(1) Sherlock (Clue+Note) [Remix], SHINee

Does not Minho look totally fat?!

Does not Minho look totally fat?!

First impressions– Minho’s outfit is terrifying. The rest are okay, and I guess can appeal to my hipster tastes, but why is Minho always put with these awkward knee-length suit combinations? With pink highlights to boot? Just because he is the tall one in this group with model looks does not mean he looks good in everything. In fact, these pink highlights are absolutely in the wrong positions; they make him look look chunky instead of svelte. However, you will be happy to learn the Minho was on key! Twice! Even if barely. In fact, this whole performance was nothing short of wildly impressive. I was so moved that I am downloading the performance as I type.

This performance was completely live, though sadly, the MR backing was too loud for most of the members except Jonghyun. Nonetheless, despite Jonghyun having the loudest natural volume, sometimes the MR even crept up upon Jonghyun. Overall, Jonghyun was incredibly energetic in this performance, growling into the microphone all over the place and channeling beasts. Perhaps he has a special lady friend he was thinking of as he performed? This was one of the more aggressive performances of his I have ever seen. Jonghyun’s scatting was amazing, throwing caution to the wind, and came out sounding studio-recorded–it was a pity that the MR was fighting his voice for prominence. Jonghyun needs to be punted back to Immortal Song or better yet, Jonghyun should become a solo act (likewise, S.M. The Ballad should release more material).

Key handled the first chorus, Jonghyun got dibs on the second chorus, and Onew rounded off the third, though only for one line. Key really is a power singer, and I do not think I give him enough credit because I am always hounding him about his raspiness. Good job, Key, really. I think being in a musical has really helped him strengthen his voice for longer periods of singing and more intense choreography. That being said, I wish Onew could sing power parts more. If there is one New Years’ resolution I could give to SHINee’s producers, it is have Onew and Jonghyun swap parts–Onew handles the higher pitched power wailings and Jonghyun handles the smooth basses. Onew and Jonghyun are both extremely competent singers at any range, and that should be showcased and used more.

The dancing was sharp, as usual, and in sync. I never have much to say about dancing because from the past five years, SHINee has been very responsible for dancing, and I have come to expect nothing less. They have not delivered below par, ever.

Overall, the song performed was not the complete song Sherlock (Clue+Note), but a remix version, including the scatting and bridge of Clue, and then ending with Note. Musically, the connection from Clue to Note could have been handled a lot better; essentially, it was just like an awkward pause, or a “we must have something” moment. Perhaps a dance break would have disguised the awkwardness a bit more. Speaking of awkward, this was the performance in which Taemin ripped his pants.

(2) 90s songs medley, Idol Super Band

*most of the videos have been removed. When I have time, I will try to find a video to put here, otherwise please Google the songs yourself for the time being, or watch the full show.

For reference,
Guitar: Jinwoon (2AM) & L (Infinite)
Bass: Jinyoung (B1A4)
Drums: Minhyuk (CN Blue)
Keyboard: Taemin (SHINee)
Vocal: Jonghyun (SHINee), Changmin (2AM), Yoseob (Beast)

Each singer performed a different song from the 90s (I am not quite sure what they are, if someone wants to tell me in the comments, please do so and I will update). Listening to Yoseob was uncomfortable because the register was too low for him and it sounded too monotone. Changmin was totally fine, as usual.

To be honest, I am skeptical of this whole performance. Something just does not match up. The ending, where each instrument has their own (unbelievably corny) solo, is undoubtedly pre-recorded. There are also numerous piano backings that I am sure are not played by Taemin, because we see his close-ups from time to time and he is only playing block chords. Also, at the beginning of Changmin’s parts, Taemin’s hands do not match the block chord pattern, either. However, this could be timing mistakes on KBS’s part. Moreover, the ending, Taemin does a huge flourish and takes his hands off the keyboard– get this, while the last piano chords are playing. Taemin could have been playing some parts live, but some others, he could have been fudging. For this, I am not quite sure. Moreover, all three singers sound very pristine, no breathing anywhere. Of course, these three are amongst the best idol singers, and they are not dancing, so that could just be a coincidence. Nonetheless, I believe this performance has a high chance of being pre-recorded.

Jonghyun was very enthusiastic in this performance as well, as to be expected. SHINee never does much rock-influenced work, one of the genres Jonghyun does shine at. One random note about Yoseob– heavy makeup does not suit him at all. He has a rather cute, round face, so I think being a bit more natural about his looks is better. Jonghyun has largely gone the natural route in makeup, which I think Yoseob would be better off emulating. Not everyone can pull off heavy makeup like Key.

(3) Never Ending Story, Boowhal with Idol Super Ban

*most of the videos have been removed. When I have time, I will try to find a video to put here, otherwise please Google the songs yourself for the time being, or watch the full show.

Opened by Boowhal’s lead singer, who actually possesses a quite lovely, gritty voice, very suited to rock. However, getting them all to sing together at the end, while symbolic– the new idols and the old idols together– was terrible to listen to. They were all belting and it sounded cacophanous because they all have different types of voices and clearly were not focusing on making it work together. It would be better to sing harmony, but I doubt anyone at KBS thought that far ahead.

SBS Gayo Daejun 

(2) Sherlock (Clue+Note), SHINee

One of SHINee’s biggest strengths is complexity of dance, so when they perform, they need just a stage big enough for their dance and little else– no need for huge screens or larger-than-life props, or even backup dancers. While their introduction was dramatic, I could not help but feel it was a little unnecessary, though it delivered a bit of fan-service. My first thoughts: why is Jonghyun going the opposite direction? How is he going to get down? Can’t Taemin draw inspiration from another famous dancer? The Michael Jackson trope from all SMTown is getting boring. The rising stage at the end was a nice finishing touch.

I've been watching Lord of the Rings lately, and Minho's jacket makes me feel like he's a dwarf wearing a mail coat.

I’ve been watching Lord of the Rings lately, and Minho’s jacket makes me feel like he’s a dwarf wearing a mail coat.

The SHINee stylists also dressed Minho in another terrifying knee-length blazer / wizard robe. The metallic theme was nice, except I think they chose the wrong material for Jonghyun’s shirt. That sort of material looks best when it is straightened out but when Jonghyun danced and sat and did anything but stand quietly, it bunched up in unattractive rolls. For some reason, Onew’s outfit was a total win. The upturned collar encrusted with gold was very refreshing to see on him. I have commented on this before— Onew’s pale toned skin is very nicely set off by the color gold. He should wear gold colors more often.

While a passable live, this one was marred by a large error– Taemin’s microphone slipped early on and instead of sitting before his mouth, slid down into his chin. Every time he sang after that, he had to clutch the microphone to his mouth, or sometimes he did not even bother. This resulted in some missed instances of Taemin singing and some garbled phrasing afterwards. Of course, the microphone’s error is not Taemin’s fault in any way. Nonetheless, compared with the amazing KBS performance, SBS’s performance would be less in quality.

Onew is rather pale, isn't he?

Onew is rather pale, isn’t he?

Onew was better in this performance, having much punchier vocals than in the KBS performance. The MR in SBS was louder than the MR in KBS for some reason, but we heard Onew much more clearly, though he was panting quite a bit more; perhaps he was already tired of the end-of-the-year-music-festival-shuffle.

Even as SHINee fans, we must admit that Sherlock is such a ridiculous song and dance, but it amazes me how sincere they each are in performing it. I really do believe in it and am fascinated by it, even if it is the billionth time I have watched them perform it.

On a personal note, I was quite annoyed when the camera cut away to the four ladies, who all looked very uninterested. I am not sure who they are, at first I thought one looked like Hyorin, but I do not think that was Sistar. If you know who they are, please let me know! I would very much appreciate it, so I can be their anti in peace (just kidding).

(2) Color of 1991, Kim Won Jun, Taemin

2013: Year Of Taemin

2013: Year Of Taemin

Let me guess, is 2013 slated to become Year of Taemin again? We already gave 2012 to Taemin, now how about Minho’s turn to have rapid personal development?

I am pretty sure that this performance was entirely lip-synched. Even so, the pre-recordings, on Taemin’s side, were strained. Quite disappointing.



(3) Color of 1991, Kim Won Jun, Taemin, Goo Hara (KARA), Kim Wan Sun

This performance was quite irritating and grating on the ears because none of their voices fit well together, and they were not harmonizing quite correctly, everyone ending and starting in different positions. This same exact thing happened in Idol Super Band, except in this case, since there are only four singers, you can precisely pick out the weak links  (I am looking at you, Hara).

(4) Spectrum, S.M. The Performance

For reference, TVXQ’s Yunho, SHINee’s Taemin and Minho, EXO’s Lay and Kai, Super Junior’s Donghae and Eunhyuk are all in this ‘dance’ or ‘performance-focused’ sub-unit devised by SM. Think of S.M. The Ballad, which was focused on the vocals.

Right from the get-go, I was confused. All of the members in S.M. The Performance are quite well-known for being the best in their respective groups in dancing, except (drum-roll) Minho. In most serious SHINee fans’ minds, the dance skill ranking usually progresses like so, maybe switching around spots three and four:

  1. Taemin
  2. Key
  3. Jonghyun
  4. Minho
  5. Onew

Even if you watch SHINee’s music videos, it is clear that even the producers feel that way. Putting aside who has more singing parts, Jonghyun is always put in the center over Minho during dance breaks. Minho is the back corner anchor, along with Onew. I would think that Key would be a logical choice to join S.M. The Performance, after Taemin. Actually, scratch that, Key would be the first pick, since he has more stage presence than Taemin, even though his dance may not be as fluid as Taemin’s. It is actually quite easy to pick out Key dancing, since it has a lot more lively power and punch than the others. All things considered, Key delivers more of a ‘performance’ than Taemin.

To the actual live performance! The opening montage of all their faces looking deadly serious, Please Help Me Because I am Dying Of Laughter. Also The Fangirl Screams When Taemin Is First Up? I Am Dying Again. Using Britney’s Hold It Against Me? To put things in perspective, Hold It Against Me was released 11 January 2011, two years ago. SM, the dubstep ship is leaving the shores of trendiness! Stop clinging, or you will drown. Apparently, SHINee may be due for a comeback this spring, and if they get something dubsteppy, maybe this blog’s stoic writer who insults SHINee all the time will even shed a few non-crocodilian tears.

For reference, here is the list of songs that were used in the performance, courtesy of betty1918:

  1. Sun & Moon (T-Mass Dubstep Remix) — Above & Beyond
  2. Britney Spears — Hold It Against Me
  3. Knife Party — Centipede
  4. Kill The Noise — Jump Ya Body
  5. Metallica — Seek & Destroy
  6. SKRILLEX — Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites
  7. SM The Performance –Spectrum

As stated before, Taemin excels at precision, and that dark and smoky stage obscured a lot of Taemin’s dancing, a very sub-optimal setting.

Lay and Kai– meh. Eunhyuk– I heard on the grapevine that G-Dragon and TOP do not like his blue hair. Yunho– the camera work was too crazy, so I do not feel like I appreciated it quite enough. After Yunho’s performance, a wild Minho appeared in a group dance. So, Minho was not good enough to appear alone, or with Taemin. Hm. Everyone else had a solo or duet. Hm. Donghae– that handkerchief looks kind of dirty. In total, the in-house choreography seems extremely uninspired, in favor of macho, big movements, using props as a crutch, simply pulling from Tony Testa’s ‘shadow dances’ of Sherlock and Catch Me without any real novelty or innovation in dancing.

Definitely lip-synched. None of them are great singers in the first place, and achieving the smoothness of voice live, well bust my butt if it ain’t lip-synched.

This is a silly feeling of mine, but somehow I still feel like SM does not have enough street cred to be using dubstep so much. They feel too fake to be so strongly identified with a subculture. Pure dubstep will never make it into the mainstream, and the more SM delves into dubstep, the farther their pull away from their true audience– the mainstream. Dubstep is a very dangerous path to follow without keeping a firm foot in the world of bubblegum pop. Did you hear, SM? Britney has moved into eurotrance. Hurry up and follow.

About the track itself, it is remake of Zedd’s Spectrum. Listening to Zedd, Spectrum seems like an all right song, if it was released a year earlier (in 2011 instead of 2012), that is. The instrumentation has been used too much already by now, and much of the novelty listening to Spectrum stems from the ethereal-adolescent-boy, narrow-rock-influenced timbre of the singer. Listening to S.M. The Performance, this rendition is quite disappointing because everyone has been slickly autotuned, leaving no rawness behind. Sometimes I cannot even tell who is singing, because it all sounds too similar. Essentially, the most interesting part of Spectrum— the vocals– SM has thrown away. Spectrum is definitely suffering from Just Another Dubstep Influenced Pop Song (JADIPS) Syndrome.

If Key had been included in this project group, at least there would be two people who know how to sing in this group: Key and Yunho. Alas, even Yunho’s voice did not escape autotune.

MBC Gayo Daejun

(1) Sherlock (Clue+Note) [Remix], SHINee

sadly, this Mao outfit with irritating sleeve straps for Onew was not a win.

sadly, this Mao outfit with irritating sleeve straps for Onew was not a win.

The introductory dance break was nice, as it directly led into Sherlock. MBC’s stage feels echoey, and the MR was the lowest in volume, compared to KBS and SBS.

SHINee’s tiredness was beginning to show– Onew was almost gasping during the second verse, Jonghyun scarily went hoarse at the beginning of his scatting. Compared to Jonghyun’s KBS run of Sherlock, he is much more subdued in aggression. If you watch his performances with S.M. The Ballad where he does not have to dance, Jonghyun is aggressive all the time. For Jonghyun, properly singing has bit of an aggressive bite to it; even if you do not hear it, you see it.

Oh KBS, who cares if you are the most boring Gayo. In KBS’s Gayo, SHINee was the least tired, the microphones did not malfunction, and best of all, the fan chants and random screaming were the least obnoxious. Instead of removing MR, can somebody remove the fan chants and random screaming? SHINee is getting so good at live performances that it is a shame not to listen to them in quiet once in a while. Perhaps I need to wait for a Japanese concert tour DVD with Sherlock to come out. Undoubtedly, the first performance– minus Minho’s wizard robe and the awkward bridge synths– was the best performance of Sherlock. In fact, I believe it is the best live performance I have seen of Sherlock to date.

(2) Rocketeer [Minho & Amber], Moves like Jagger [Onew & Victoria, Jonghyun & Luna], My First Kiss [Key & Sulli, Taemin & Krystal]

I heard the first few lines and then immediately had to pause the video so I could make sure I did not gag from laughing too hard. I think some little kid’s helium balloon is missing. Clearly lip-synched. Amber’s singing voice is quite lovely, and I am infinitely pleased they chose her for Rocketeer.

Nothing much to say about everyone’s performance. Bad Engrish from Jonghyun, passable English from Onew, as usual. It was lip-synched and energetic; more for fan-service than anything.

SHINee deserves a rest after such a hectic 2012. I hear rumors of a spring comeback, perhaps even as early as March? What do you think the chances are of SHINee getting a eurotrance track? A girl can only hope.


7 thoughts on “[review] SHINee’s 2012 Gayo Daejuns & SM The Performance’s “Spectrum”

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

  2. This is going to be a long comment. Brace yourself. Lol.

    (1) I love it when SHINee’s stylists dress up the kids like they are on crack. Lol. It sounds evil but I seriously like it. Minho looks like a hot air balloon!! I guess he only has the legs and the height to pull off all the long coats given to them by sponsors.

    I agree with Jonghyun’s energy, he’s always the most hyped up one during live performances. And the most random one, too, after Onew. Jonghyun the beast is one sexy, sexy thing. SM should let him release a solo album, at least a mini-album, this year. Or they could do a SHINee The Ballad project or if they want to follow SNSD TTS, they can go SHINee OJ ..okay that came out weird as hell, nevermind. Lol. I miss S.M. The Ballad though, they soothed my lonely 2010 winter.

    I lost my mind when Taemin ripped his pants, seriously. Epicness overload. I have a very childish sense of humor and such things amuse me. I still haven’t gotten over that, yet!

    (2) Even though I’ve been digging band music a lot lately, this one didn’t cut for me. It just doesn’t fall into place for me…just not right. Granted, the vocals are awesome, as expected. Again, Jonghyun should release a solo mini-album, which he has his own hands on the production part. I’m sure he can definitely handle it.

    (3) One of the reasons I sometimes dislike these end of year performances. Nobody seems to plan ahead. Reference to 2PM’s last year’s hilarious balloon accident and super silent Suju performance. Bad managing.

    SBS Gayo Daejun

    (1) Taemin should abandon his feelings for MJ starting now, it’s getting too repetitive that it’s getting boring. I’ve been seeing that since 2009. I’m telling you, stylists find Minho’s height suitable for robes. It’s been like that since Replay era. Kekeke. I love Onew in this outfit although I wasn’t fond of the one in Sherlock, I was too busy digging Taemin’s outfit and Key’s pink shawl. Speaking of ridiculousness, ‘soy un dorito’! That joke was floating all over the net for months after the song came out. But hey, SHINee made it work somehow.

    (2) I want 2013 for year of Key for personal development. Minho already had acting gigs. Key baby needs to shine.

    (3) The station should plan ahead, not add all the popular idols and whip out some performance.

    (4) Sad moment of a Key fan. Why wouldn’t they add Key baby on projects like this? Or is it because he is unwilling to? Really, he can dance SO MUCH better than Minho. And he can perform! His stage persona is zomgsuper awesome. Be it a girl group dance or male dance, he can perform really well and make it work. I mean, he’s the one who made me dig 4minute’s MUZIK after one of the year end performances. Argh, SM!!!! Why u no let my Key baby shine?!? I’m so upset that I don’t even know what to say further about this performance. TT.TT

    MBC Gayo Daejun
    (1) End of year performances were the worst time for idols. I’m sure they’ll just crash on bed after the last one, I’m sure. It’s such…heartbreaking. Sometimes, fanchants are annoying, not saying they are bad but please, lower the volume people.

    (2) Omgggg, Minho! Lol. Someone please drag me out because I’m dying with laughter. Amber should sing more, nuff said. Their fan service worked. One pedo noona screaming her head off at Taemin kissing Krystal’s head. -points at self- Lol.

    SHINee should take a rest. I don’t want them to crash and burn. Even though they haven’t been promoting in Korea, their schedule was crazy. My heart sinks further as Key’s cheekbones show. I want them to comeback as well as take a break, I’m torn between two wishes. Maybe have two weeks of super relaxed break? I’m having a feeling that SHINee could be coming back with a dubstep-fused track, from all of SM’s recently released tracks with dubsteps in it. I want a eurotrance track!!! Or any decent dance track without dubstep, getting tired of dubstep at the moment.

    Wow. My comment was super long. I’m so sorry! My end of year feels just exploded. xD


  3. I just wanted to let you know that the song that Eunhyuk dance was to wasn’t Seek & Destroy by Metallica, it’s New York F**kin’ City (Dank’s Trap Edit) by Dank. Just in case anyone else out there was curious.

  4. Ight, Minho CAN dance. I don’t know if you are aware but if you kind of go through music videos you’ll notice, oh hey, minhos usually right beside taemin and if he isn’t he is on count. I don’t know where that accusation came from but please understand that Minho can dance just as well as the rest of shinee *minus taemin* if not better than some of them. Remember, he did have a solo to Oh my gosh during their first concert and it was darn good. And he is not even my favorite idol but I know a pretty good dancer when I see one. -_-

  5. Pingback: SHINee 2013 retrospective & Gayo Daejuns | the innocent lam

  6. Let’s be honest here, you are a little Key biased/ Taemin unbiased, aren’t you? .p I’m sorry, I know Key is known to be the most well-rounded member but there is no doubt that right now, that tittle should be “handed” to Taemin. I don’t think Key should be placed in SM The Perfomance before Taemin because it’s obvious that Taemin is a much better dancer and although I do agree that Key is more charismatic than Taemin, there is no way you can look away whenever that boy starts dancing. And I’m sorry, but Taemin’s singing has improved to the point where it’s better than Key’s now. I think you were a bit harsh when you said “If Key had been included in this project group, at least there would be two people who know how to sing in this group: Key and Yunho”- there’s a reason Taemin was given the most (well, maybe the same as Yunho) lines in the song.

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