After taking a short break to recover from the more than usual reviews over the weekend, I am jumping back into the reviewing chair with this week’s first major release. SHINee made their long awaited comeback back in February with Don’t Call Me (the title of the lead track and title of their 7th studio album), three years after their previous comeback. Two months on, and the group has returned with the the repackaged version of their 7th studio album and the new single, Atlantis. Just a heads up that the album review for Don’t Call Me/Atlantis will be published this weekend. But we are hear about my personal thoughts about the new song, so let’s have a closer listen to Atlantis.
Take all of SHINee’s past work and boil them down into one song. I think that is the best way to describe the nostalgia and my overall thoughts of Atlantis. And that is saying a lot, given all of SHINee’s massive hits. The song starts off what I could describe as its own blank canvas, light guitar strumming that felt like the background was simmering way. It is paired with powerful vocals from Taemin and Key. It is then followed up with an atmospheric pre-chorus, heightened by the presence of those violins and Onew’s soaring vocals. The combination of this pre-chorus builds up effortlessly towards the chorus. The chorus itself combines an intensifying mixture of pulsating synths and percussion that just snowballs exponentially into a thrilling and adrenaline-inducing instrumental piece. And that isn’t enough, as SHINee comes together as one to sing their way through the chorus. I found the hooks and melodies to be quite piercing (in a good way), hooking me further into Atlantis. The song then repeats the sounds and vibes of the first chorus, but replacing Onew’s powerful pre-chorus with an equally as powerful rapping pre-chorus by Minho. Minho sounds different than usual, which I think is the result of throwing energy and intensity behind his delivery. This section is also heightened grungy synths that later evolved into a full on rock sequence. Atlantis then pulls back the pulsating chorus returns, followed up the vocal-centric stripped down bridge and finally ending with that chorus again (with the addition of ad-libs and what felt like added intensity). Overall, Atlantis really took on board all of SHINee’s strengths and moulded it into a song that has blown me (and many others) away.
While I do like the vibrancy of the music video provided by the presence of the members, and all the imagery that the video contained reminding us of the sea (i.e. tentacle in the can, the many appearances of various sea creatures, the visual pattern of ocean and sea), I wish the music video was more dynamic to match the energy of the song. I just feel what we got as a music video just doesn’t do the song justice. The use of the sets were nice, but they added a heavy coating of plainness and stillness to the video, rather than exuding that mature and legendary status that we now (and for a very long time) have associated with SHINee. The most promising set out of all the set was the sandy colour background which the producers applied a holographic sea water pattern over to resemble the shore line.
You cannot tell that in their 13th year and their oldest member is now past 30 with this choreography. SHINee kept themselves synchronized and in beat with the fast tempo of the song. It makes for an amazing routine. To me, it is not the chorus that is the routine’s best moments. Rather, I find the gracefulness of the first pre-chorus and the intensity of the second pre-chorus to be the routine’s best, showcasing two different but strongly compatible sides of SHINee.
Song – 10/10
Music Video – 6/10
Performance – 10/10
Overall Rating – 8.8/10