[Review] DICE – ONEW (SHINee)

After another brief absence, I am back and coming to you with more reviews. This review focuses on the second comeback that occurred on Monday. The track in question is DICE and belongs to SHINee’s leader ONEW, who is returning to the music scene as a solo artist for the first time since 2018. He debuted as a solo artist in 2018 with the single BLUE and mini-album Voice. Since then, ONEW completed his mandatory military enlistment and last year returned as part of SHINee through Don’t Call Me and Atlantis. He also resumed his acting and musical careers, whilst also releasing a few collaborative singles and solo OSTs.

DICE is a retro city pop track that is extremely pleasant. For those who have been reading my blog knows that the word ‘pleasant’ can either be a good or bad thing. With DICE, the use of the term is a bit ambiguous. The pleasantness of DICE makes it palatable and balanced. But at the same time, however, the pleasantness is a bit of a disappointment, as I expected the song to kick it up a notch along the way. But it never did. ONEW sounds really good in this song, with smooth vocals bringing life to DICE. It was silky and the flow from one end of the song to the other just felt flawless. The retro influence on the instrumental gave DICE a very nice subtle groovy touch, whilst also being rhythmic. For the final chorus, I liked the leadup and that refinement when it came to the mini explosions in the instrumental. There were some smooth hooks and I can see the song growing on me even more as I continue to replay the song. But whilst DICE comes off as a great song, it ultimately lacks oomph. There is definitely potential for DICE to really have a bit more meat to it in both the instrumental and vocals department. It didn’t have to just be pleasant. We all know how good ONEW’s vocals are, as evident through the many hits SHINee have provided us. And we all know how good city pop songs can be if the instrumental was just a tad bulkier or bolder. Overall, DICE is promising and a nice return for ONEW, but it definitely felt like more could have been done.

The music video features ONEW as the main character, who notices the female character from afar. But she is soon kidnapped by these pale green masked people and ONEW goes in pursuit to find her. At the start, you can tell that ONEW is a bit scared and timid when going into the hotel and following the path of green gloop. But as he roles the dice, he becomes more comfortable and relaxed in his surroundings (though there are parts of him that is still scared and timid). He notices some unusual practices in the hotel including injecting lemons with some mysterious substance (that seems to be the life source of these masked people) and the use of chainsaws throughout the hotel. He later finds the female character, who has dealt with the masked people herself (i.e. ending their lives with high heels), and she runs away with ONEW in a happily ever after type of ending. I thought it was a neat video, with a small plot twist and creepy factor, all rolled into one.

The performance felt pleasant as well, which works well the version of the song that we got. But it is bit plain and looked loose. Had DICE had what I felt was lacking from it, and the choreography was intensified and made to look sharper and tighter, this would have been a smashing performance piece.

Song – 8/10
Performance – 9/10
Performance – 7.5/10
Overall Rating – 8.2/10

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