The week before and the week after Chuseok (a national holiday in South Korea) are extremely loaded with comebacks. We have already bid farewell to the week before, with many comebacks and debuts that I am still trying to catch up on. But KPOP isn’t going to wait around for that. Kicking off the week after is SF9 with the release of Shine Together. It is the title track of the group’s second special single album, Special History Book, which was released today to celebrate their fourth anniversary together as a group and with their fans, FANTASY. This is also the group’s latest comeback after Summer Breeze.
Shine Together is a touching song, where the members express their gratitude to their fans who have been with them for the past four years. If you are expecting a dance track of some kind (and that is what SF9’s title tracks have mainly been) or striking in some manner, Shine Together won’t be fulfilling as the song is more of a mid-tempo ballad. Though, I would think they might get away with a slow paced routine. But if you are looking for a song that showcases their vocal abilities, then Shine Together is the right song for you. They express their emotions quite well, making the song feel warm and inviting to the listener. To fit in, the rappers go with a somewhat soft approach. There was some heft when it comes to Zuho’s rap sequence in the bridge, but this helps build a climax to the song. But I like that they managed to retain some speed, which helps pushes the song along. For the instrumental, it is very atmospheric. It doesn’t feel like your typical pop ballad approach. Instead, the piano and other instrumentation come together to cohesive work with the vocals and rapping to be a warm track that I am sure fans and listeners will find lovely and warm. It is your optimal instrumental for a song of gratitude and happy memories. If I were to be harsh for SF9 and their fans regarding this song (and I don’t want to, given the touching context behind it), I do find that Shine Together is lacking a strong melody. It is a bit wishy-washy during the chorus and I would have liked something with a little more catchiness to make the song more memorable. That being said, I don’t think that is the purpose of the song and Shine Together is fine as it is.
There are a lot of references to SF9 prior today including posters of a few of their previous comebacks, snippets of their concert (which features their fans), their debut mini-album, fan letters, amongst other items. Other than that, we see the members record Shine Together in their makeshift studio and reflect as a group by watching their concert video. It is very endearing and I am sure fans will really like the video. I particularly like how Zuho and Rowoon remade their symbol with polaroids, sticky notes of messages and their fan letters. Definitely meaningful and fitting for their anniversary celebration. I also like how the music video feels fitting for the fall season, which Korea is currently in. At the very end, we see the credits roll by. But instead of credits, I believe we see the names of each member of their fanclub, making it extra special as the music video does mention that it was made in conjunction with the fans.
Song – 8/10
Music Video – 8/10
Overall Rating – 8/10