[Album Review] Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2 (3rd Studio Album) – Taemin (SHINee)

Taemin is nominated in Best Male Soloist and Best Male Solo Performance categories in the 2020 KPOPREVIEWED Awards. Click here to support Taemin and your other favourite artists.

Taemin previously made his comeback in September with Act 1 of his Never Gonna Dance Again series, one half of his third Korean studio album since his solo debut. That section of the album was headlined by Criminal and 2 KIDS. In November, Taemin returned with Act 2 of Never Gonna Dance Again (the focus of this album review post), which features the title track Idea. There are eight other tracks on this album, so let’s move the album review along. I am super excited!!

Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2 Album Cover

1. IDEA (이데아) (Title Track)Click here to read the full review for IDEA. (6/10)

2. Heaven – While Heaven isn’t as instrumentally intense as IDEA, it doesn’t mean that this song was no less than epic. There are two elements that really hone into that epic atmosphere. Firstly, Taemin’s breathy vocals. They were impressive and definitely were jaw dropping, particularly when it came to his ad-libs towards the end of the song. The second element has to be the choir backing in this song, which gives off an haunting vibe as well as the epic vibes. (10/10)

3. ImpressionableImpressionable’s instrumental feels appropriate for the Halloween season, resembling a spooky tune. But with Taemin at the helm of this song, you know that this was done so intentional to be aesthetic. And it does come off that way in retrospect. I wanted to say that there was a playful spooky tone to Impressionable, but it seems to disappear into thin air as we progressed along the song. Taemin’s vocals have this vibrating effect to them, which gives off creepy vibes. I also like he does some rapping and rap-speaking in this song, which go hand in hand with one another in this song. (9/10)

4. Be Your Enemy (ft. Wendy from Red Velvet) – I felt excited for this song, given that it was the only collaborative track on this album. And it features Wendy from Red Velvet, who has been appearing here and there during her recovery from injuries. But Be Your Enemy doesn’t really go anywhere in a musical sense. It is a pretty stagnant song, with a pop instrumental that minutely builds upon itself by the time it wraps up. Taemin’s vocal side does shine and Wendy’s feature (although brief) compliments the main star of the album very well. (7/10)

5. Think Of You (안아줄래)Think Of You was a nice change of pace, going for a more upbeat dance feel. I really like funky roots of the song, which gives the song some life. It is subtle though which aids in refinement and doesn’t throw us another song that follows the retro trend explicitly. I really like the use of vocals in the background, which gives more texture and an interesting note to the song. (8.5/10)

6. Exclusive (Korean Version)Exclusive was previously released as a single as part of Taemin’s third mini-album in Japan. It is a very abrasive dance track, especially when we get to the final moments of the chorus. It contrasts strongly with the smoother verses, courtesy of Taemin’s vocals. It is memorable, aesthetic and epic all in one. (10/10)

7. PansyPansy is one of Taemin’s answer to a ballad on this album. I thought that this was a stunning song, partly thanks to the soloist’s vocals. It is the type of ballad that you have to stop what you are doing and close your eyes to listen to full appreciate the song. The way his voice is carried throughout the song is also a ride. I enjoyed the ‘My Oh My…’ melody, which was one of the most memorable sections of the song. The epic and dramatic percussion we get at the end caps off the song in a very ethereal manner. (10/10)

8. I Think It Is Love (사랑인 것 같아) – Following Pansy is another ballad. I Think It Is Love is a bit different however. It starts off like a typical ballad, but the chorus makes way for a more powerful instrumental centrepiece. The entire song comes together extremely well and left me stunned once it wrapped. The ending is the best bit, with Taemin singing alongside backing vocals that are harmonizing with him to amplify his delivery to give the end of the song another epic touch. (10/10)

9. Identity – The final song on the album is Identity. This one is a bit of a rollercoaster in many senses. The song starts off slow, almost like a ballad. But it slowly builds. I was blown away by Taemin’s ‘Oohs’ during the first instance that you can tell the song was slowly building. We are then introduced to Taemin’s eerie of the word “Bass”, before we at launched right into the dramatic and theatric approach of the chorus. It doesn’t last for long, with Taemin going back into the same gear in which provided us with the slow start and ‘Oohs’ to end off the song and album. Another perfect song, if you ask me. (10/10)

Overall Album Rating – 8.9/10

Never Gonna Dance Again: Act 2 Teaser Image

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