Taemin did not keep us waiting for long for the second part of his 3rd studio album, Never Gonna Dance Again. He made his comeback on Monday with the second part of his 3rd studio album, Never Gonna Dance Again: Act #2, which is headlined by Idea (the actual title is IDEA:理想, but I am going to stick to Idea throughout this review). It follows the release of Act #1 of Never Gonna Dance Again in September, which was lead by the track Criminal.
To me, Idea seems to be one of Taemin’s weakest title tracks ever. However, this statement doesn’t make Idea a bad song necessarily. I just felt Taemin has raised the bar to an extremely high level with his past promotional tracks, the last being Criminal. There is some positives to the song, such as the intensity that is quite apparent and I felt that the atmosphere was going in a suspenseful direction overall. But to me, I feel like the future bass song gets straight to the point a little too quickly. There really isn’t much of a build up to the chorus from the verse (i.e. no pre-chorus really amped up the suspense and excitement). It just switched from verse to chorus without much thought, leaving you wondering what happened preceding the fact and dulling the song’s appeal after the fact. The chorus itself isn’t too bad instrumentally. I really enjoyed those synthetic violins that take front and centre of the chorus. They seemed to make the song more epic and gave the song some interesting textures. However, the chorus lacks a strong hook and the hook that we did get was quite distasteful, if I were to be honest. The second verse was pretty much non-existent given that it was blurred with the first chorus instrumental-wise. The bridge felt quite rushed, making way for a prolonged final chorus which had elements of what I liked and disliked in this song. Vocally, it was okay. The verse part was quite good, but I did find the overlapping at the end to be a bit much. BoA does make an appearance as the female voice we hear just ahead of the chorus, but it seems like she isn’t formally acknowledge as a featuring artist. Overall and put simply, Idea isn’t up to par with what we know Taemin for.
With a song as messy as Idea, I am not entirely sure how the video accompanying its release can be anything else but that. But the music video comes together quite well. There is some confusion on my part in interpreting the storyline that is hidden throughout the story (I am not sure why it isn’t the forefront of the video – this would have made this SM Entertainment music video unique, relatively to other music videos released by the company). From my understanding of the visuals and the lyrics, Taemin is imagining everything we see in the video. From the people at that bar whispering about him to the ghostly figures that appear in the forest with him. He thinks his bad experience in relationships and love is as result of someone in particular. But that person is a fragment of his delusional imagination. Hence we see Taemin in a white outfit (resembles a stray jacket) behind a glass wall, similar to the ones we see in jails in TV shows for the public to chat with locked up love ones. Per usual, this is my interpretation, so I maybe wrong. But I am still interested in reading about your interpretation and I know that Taemin has spoken about the actual meaning on a VLIVE recently.
The choreography looks really good. Regardless of whether we like the song or not, Taemin always exceeds expectations with the choreography. The entire final chorus routine looked really complicated but alluring, thanks to the increased intensity during this segment. He really pulled out his performance chops. The body rolls looked really nice, as they always do. Hahaha…
Song – 6/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 7.2/10