[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)

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best kpop debuts, 2011 edition

I really have not paid much attention to any other groups except SHINee this year (add a dash of Big Bang and Tohoshinki). However, I think it is nigh-time to catch up on 2011’s debuts and cull which ones seem the most promising.

(1) Rania, Dr. Feel Good: really sex-driven, and also a bit of Sweet Dreams Are Made of This plagiarism. This all adds up to sort of catchy. Teddy Riley, the composer behind SNSD’s The Boys, also wrote this debut track– it shows because of the heavy sex beat (!). I think Rania is interesting because they are probably the most trashy/sexy kpop group right now, and I wonder if they will continue with that. Plus, there have been rumors of an American debut as well, which I do not think is actually too far-fetched because they would just be familiarly analogous to Asian Pussycat Dolls. They can definitely get by on the kpop scene without being too talented and working the sex image, it just depends on their company being able to get them good tracks to record.

(2) Block B, Freeze: I hesitate putting them on here, but I can totally see them filling the space that U-Kiss fills right now. Block B will develop their own niche; they are not exactly the best kpop out there but people like them anyway because they are cute-looking and barely-legal. The music itself really has nothing to do with it, rather the total conglomeration of their package that secures them the niche. I look forward to seeing them on the fringes of popularity like U-Kiss is, but that is about it.

(3) B1A4, OK: They are really fresh-faced, something that is missing in boy groups nowadays (time for another SHINee-esque debut?). Even Block B is a little mature despite all that jailbait. The chorus is not half-bad, though when they all pretend to play their instruments and rock out, it is a little sad because it is so obvious none of them know how to play them. They probably can capitalize on their fresh image for about two years; they remind me a bit of SHINee’s debut days.

(4) Kim Hyun Joong, Break Down: Got some Rain vibes. I am also hesitant about putting him here, because if 2011 is any indicator, 2012 will be the year of the groups, and solo artists like Hyun Joong will have it tough. Even Rain’s 2010 comeback was heavily lackluster (the easiest way to tell is to see if there is a Wikipedia article on that mini-album. There isn’t). The best solo comeback was probably BoA with Hurricane Venus, and even then, it was still small compared to the days where Rain, Se7en, Lee Hyori and BoA were all duking it on the dance floor for myriad holiday specials. So while Hyun Joong has talent, he just might be outgunned because he is simply a solo artist.

That was terrible. I cannot believe I sat through the whole thing thinking that I would discover some hidden gem like DNT’s debut, Crazily Pretty. Even though I listed four performers to watch out for, I have not downloaded any of their tracks to my music library.  They have potential, but they did not really break it into the mainstream with their debuts.

S.M.’s EXO, hurry up and debut already. My socks are still waiting to be rocked off.

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