Making their grand and long-awaited comeback today with their seventh studio album is SHINee with Don’t Call Me. This new song headlines their new album of the same name. Since the end of 2018, SHINee has been absent from the stage (aside from Taemin, who has continued to promote as a solo artist) due to military enlistment of three members. The three members who enlisted (Onew, Key and Minho) were all discharged in the latter half of 2020. Since returning to the industry, the group had rejoined with one another to hold a special live online concert in January, where they announced this comeback much to the excitement of fans.
Don’t Call Me is a dance track that has firm roots in the hip-hop genre of music. While we have definitely heard this combination in the past, SHINee’s take on this is quite refreshing and addictive. The refreshing description comes through in Don’t Call Me via the instrumentation. The variety of synths used throughout the song really intrigues you. They don’t really stick to one type of synth, so there is always something different around the corner. The use of bass helps make the song ‘hit hard’ (pun intended). The bass drives the song forward and really adds emphasis to the pre-chorus or chorus, where it predominately is used. It also made the song more dramatic, which we all know is my favourite effect. While I am talking about being dramatic, they really top it off with that dramatic piano piece that appeared at the end of the bridge and infused into the first section of the final chorus. It managed to blend in well with the rest of the song and just gave the song that extra level of interestingness, albeit random. Together, the synths and bass really makes this song a textural heaven. Also adding to the addictiveness is the repetition of the title. It opens with the ‘Don’t Call Me‘ chant that is pretty much engraved into your memory before the song actually kicked off. There is a bit of rapping throughout the song, but more in a spoken manner. When it came to the vocals, there was some really cool and interesting melodies to show off vocal flair. These were an attraction and made the song even more intriguing, as they aren’t what you expect. I particularly like the melody in the chorus. Overall, SHINee manages to pull off another stunning song that slides well into their growing and varying discography.
While I think SHINee is at that status in the industry where they can attempt anything music-wise and would be untouchable with that song, I don’t think it applies to their outfits. Sure, they might get some leeway here and there. But I still question some of the fashion choices. Namely Key’s feather hat and his other headwear throughout the video. I am also not keen on Onew’s red headwear (whatever that was) and Minho’s ear flap attachment to his hat. Aside from the questionable fashion, the music video sets look really cool. And the post-production added to these sets (especially when it came to the part of the music video with the piano piece) really elevated something that could have looked rather ordinary. Some of their solo shots were very intriguing and made me rewatch the video make sure I saw things right.
Per usual, SHINee excels in the choreography department. I really like how they were fierce with this performance, which matched their lyrics and tone of the song. The ending of the performance is definitely a scene engraved into my mind and felt like a statement to viewers that they are officially back. I also enjoyed the tiny hint of elegance that was brought into the song via that piano section towards at the end of the song.
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 9.2/10