SHINee 2013 retrospective & Gayo Daejuns

2013 has musically been the busiest year for SHINee thus far, releasing three LPs (Dream Girl: Misconceptions of You, Why So Serious: Misconceptions of Me, Boys Meet U), one EP (Everybody), for a total of six singles. Excepting Jonghyun, all of the members have grown as singers– I would say that the most promising is Minho, with a close second place to Key, who is returning to and developing his original sound in Love Like Oxygen. Improvement of SHINee as singers and the concurrent increase of ballads sans rapping released gave us B-side gems like Beautiful, Password, Symptoms, and Excuse Me Miss. 2013 is easily the most consistent and technically advanced year we have seen from SHINee yet.

Outside of SHINee’s music, Taemin featured on Henry’s Trap (and visually on BoA’s Disturbance). Jonghyun composed and featured on IU’s Gloomy Clock and Son Dambi’s Red Candle, as well singing an OST for The King’s Dream. Key participated in two musicals: Catch Me If You Can and Bonnie and Clyde.

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On television, as a whole unit, SHINee appeared little: Weekly Idol and SHINee’s Wonderful Day were the high notes. While entertaining perhaps to SHINee fans, SHINee’s Wonderful Day was quite boring as the members are never as funny and wonderfully cohesive as when they are together as in Hello Baby. In the spring, Taemin was cast on We Got Married with Apink’s Naeun. However, together with the bland angelic “personality” of Taemin and the constructed fabrication of We Got Married, this was incredibly boring for most other than fans of Taemin and Naeun. A much better casting would have been Key or Jonghyun, who are much less guarded about their words and enjoy hamming it up for the cameras. Next, Onew and Minho both had their own turns at acting, with former with much-panned Welcome To the Royal Villa and the latter with Medical Top Team and Let’s Go Dream Team. Continue reading

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[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)

Continue reading

[kpop] best SHINee live performance outfits, 2010

Come on, guys, you know what a horrible fangirl I am, missing all the Gayo Daejuns to play Professor Layton and waking up at 12PM.

However, though I am a subpar fangirl, from the first Lucifer live performance, I have made myself watch and download every single live performance they’ve had since: Hello, Lucifer, and some Hot Times and Miss You for Jonghyunie! Though I’m not a terribly big fan of the leopard and solid colors S.M. stylists decided to outfit SHINee with in Hello, I’ve definitely had some eye-gasms with some outfits, or some clothing items (in chronological order):

100730 Lucifer, Onew:

Onew had those awful tie-dye pants on, but his shirt sort of took away from that. The shirt with a mesh back–the shirt in which we could see through! This fancam of Onew giving fan service (flexing his back and flashing his stomach.. yes it looks like he has some sort of abs! squee!) is adorable! Whoever was the stylist who thought of giving Onew a see through shirt was a genius. Fangirls appreciate.

100730 Onew; Onew was crying because of their Mubank win so he didn't show his face, but we see his back anyways. :D

100731 Lucifer, Jonghyun:

His shirt. Is just Pure Architecture. The white stripes on the right arm, and the triangular cut on the left bicep. I can’t get over the bicep that we see. Sure, Jonghyun does wear a lot of sleeveless shirts, but something about this angular cut makes us yearn to see more and it really highlights the injured feeling Lucifer is about. This is all strangely complemented by his poufy, straight hair. The white pants provide the right connection to the rest of his outfit.

100731 Jonghyun

100820 Lucifer, Taemin:

A manly style. Finally. The necklace really emphasizes the long torso and the lower neckline. Simple, but elegant. Simple, but elegantly manly. Tear. Little maknae is growing up. (He’s still younger than me, goddammit!)

100820 Taemin

100827 Lucifer, Jonghyun:

I’m usually not one for color (because I’m emo and depressed over paper grades all the time), but this one, nailed it. The white against a precious, low-cut apricot shirt. Fun, but also a little dangerous: white ripped jeans.

100827 Jonghyun

100911 Lucifer Goodbye Stage, Taemin:

He had amazing hair that day. Amazing eye makeup too.  The whole golden-black ensemble would have worked, if not for the clunky triangle necklace. Sigh.

100911 Taemin

101008 Hello, Jonghyun:

Just like Onew’s see through shirt. This very, very low v-neck, highlighted by the two necklaces, on Jonghyun shows his pecs without actually showing his pecs. The result is devastating. To fangirls, that is.

Moreover, it’s a triple cardigan. They’re so warm and make you feel fuzzy. Jonghyun is a heap of warm fuzzy niceness, of course. This is my favorite outfit of all.. it’s probably because as a kindergartner, I love cardigans!

101008 Jonghyun

In this whole list, I’ve had lots of Jonghyuns and no Minhos or Keys. Is this a Jonghyun bias? I wouldn’t say so, because of two reasons– Minho and Key are special in SHINee; Minho is the ‘manliest’ and Key is most fashionista, therefore, I believe the stylists go out of their way with unmemorable, ‘manly’ outfits for Minho and fantastically cutting-edge-wtf for Key. Next, Jonghyun has good combination of manly (big muscles) and girly (small waist, s-curve) that makes him any stylist’s darling, able to wear most anything with snazz.  If say, Taemin were to wear Jonghyun’s 101008 outfit, we’d be horrified to discover he has no pecs.

Happy 2011, kids. Play nice on the playground, now.

[kpop] SHINee biased analysis of Gayo Daejun

I completely forgot about Gayo Daejun last night. This is a fail, because I was planning to watch it. Instead, I got up at 12:20PM today. Major fail. Nevertheless, Youtube is forgiving.

SHINee appeared in three performances: Key and Onew singing trot, Taemin participating in the maknae performance of Britney Spears’ Circus, and Lucifer with f(x).

I advise you skip over the trot, unless you specifically like that genre. The corny sparkling black outfits of Key and Onew were kitschy, but their good-natured expressions made the whole 1:02 minutes bearable. Sort of.

Taemin as the ringleader in Circus was horrendous. Instead of being sexy, he was awkwardly-cute-trying-to-be-sexy. If you watch the beginning of the original music video, Britney Spears has an undeniable, overt sexuality: we see her curvy silhouette, and in another cut, she is dressed in a skin-tone, skin-tight outfit. Of course, some may argue that Taemin does not have to imitate Britney because they are, after all, different artists. In this case, given the lyrics and the music itself, it is sort of impossible not to channel sensuality. Moreover, they gave Taemin a whip. A whip. So yes. The producers knew that they wanted to channel Sex Taemin. Taemin has proved he can be Sex Taemin in Lucifer (see long hair and guyliner), though androgynously so.  In this performance, he looked like a lamb with his curly hair, and it didn’t help that his costume made him look like a Puritan on the way to Thanksgiving.

Also, I don’t think that Taemin’s voice has achieved the amount of finesse necessary for Circus, it sounded all rather the same inflection: awkward-sexy. Looking closely, Taemin lip-synced most of the performance, so the track we heard was pre-recorded, which makes the result all the more disappointing. Sometimes I think we tend to take Britney’s recorded voice for granted—-she has an amazing range of breathy, raspy, nasal inflections that all culminate in a snappy and addictive song. This performance highlights how much Taemin has to grow as an artist and the questionable choices of the producers: Why the Puritan outfit? Why Circus? Why Britney Spears (that music video would probably be banned in South Korea!)? Why not cover another Lady Gaga like Just Dance in 2009? Or at least a Ke$ha?

Given the improvement Taemin’s shown as a singer in Lucifer and Hello, compared to their Love Like Oxygen days (where Taemin never nailed his high note in live performances), I am confident he will continue to develop in the right direction.

I completely loved the beginning of Lucifer with f(x), all of them chained and yelling. Jonghyun in the cage made me have a symbolism-orgasm; breaking free during his long note was also a neat trick. However, the music reinterpretation was a bit lacking: the remix was just the rock remix they previosly performed with TRAX. In addition, the f(x) cameo felt unnecessary and random: while f(x) was on stage, there was minimal interaction, and after f(x) was done singing, they disappeared. Honestly, I think that f(x) was just put out there, with their experienced sunbaes, to get more exposure and try on a harder and womanlier image.

All in all, Gayo Daejun 2010 was a glorified Music Bank or Inkigayo or Music Core, take your pick. I’m sort of glad that I decided to sleep 12 hours instead. (I lied. I slept for around seven hours, woke up to play Professor Layton and the Unwound Future on the DS and then went back to sleep.)