[Review] Chase – Minho (SHINee)

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MINHO makes his comeback a solo artist this past week with the single and debut mini-album that shares the same title, Chase. This is his first comeback since the release of Heartbreak at the end of last year. Since then, MINHO refocused on his acting career and released new music as a solo artist in Japan earlier this year. MINHO has definitely been busy.. In a rather interesting move (though not necessarily unheard of), MINHO released Chase (both the single and mini-album) digitally last week, while the physical version of the album and the music video dropped today.

Chase, as a whole, comes off as your typical R&B track. The slowness of the track helps makes the track sensual in nature, while the instrumentals help create a moody atmosphere. All of this was pretty successful. The instrumental was a combination of a neat piano loop, trap beats and a heavy bassline. Altogether, these instrumental created an alluring background piece. Another interesting aspect of Chase was the lyrics, which expresses the emptiness that one feels after chasing someone they cannot get to. Again, it feels like a message that is suited for the R&B genre. But aside from that, there isn’t much else from within Chase that attracted me to the song, and this limited appeal is why I put Chase down as a ‘typical R&B track’. In the vocal department, MINHO sings his lines for the entirety of Chase,. And while he does a decent job, they aren’t vocals that we can rave about, not like how I did in his previous solo releases. He handles the job well, but there are other compelling vocal performances out there. You might argue that it might be a bit harsh for me to judge MINHO as a singer, when he usually takes on the role of main rapper during group performances with SHINee. But from how I see it, he (or his company) had the opportunity to put out a song that showcase a better side of him, but the decision was made for Chase to be MINHO’s best foot forward. I get the need to show a different side of an artist in their solo work, but I don’t think Chase was the best choice. It also didn’t help that Chase didn’t have much of a hook to help make the track more memorable (i.e. during the chorus), not did it have melodies that could act in place of a hook. Overall, a fair effort from MINHO for his solo comeback, but I am sure that there are other styles and songs that fits MINHO’s profile better..

I found the whole music video for Chase to be quite an interesting watch. The very start of the music video features a suspenseful montage of shots from later on in the music video that perks up your interest. We see an affectionate couple, followed by a fiery accident and finally a shot of a female whispering into MINHO’s ear. The plot of the video then starts with MINHO waking up. We see flashbacks to a time when MINHO was lying in bed with his partner, but it is apparent from his messy surroundings in his solo shots that she is no longer around and he is heartbroken. At night, he visit bars to seek out his missing partner, but it earns him a bashing and bruised face. To be fair, he was pretty much disrupting the patron’s night. After failing to find her, he sits on the streets and his mind takes him back to the fiery accident I mentioned earlier. We see that he is practically unscathed from the car crash, but it turns out his lover was not as lucky as him. She was a fatality in the accident. In the midst of the accident, Minho notices his lover standing afar. But despite chasing after her, he cannot reach her. It is later revealed that her ghost has been haunting him by staring back through the mirror and whispering messages into his ear, which is probably why he cannot get her out of his head and ends up ‘chasing’ her every night. In the end, he takes a gun and shoots the mirror to stop her. As a quick sidenote, there was a sinister scene at the start of the video which flicked by where his lover staring directly at the camera whilst on the bed (see the 0:19 mark on the video), which gave me creepy chills.

It comes as no surprise to me that the moves in this routine were of the slow and smooth nature, which is complementary to R&B tracks of this nature. But it wasn’t the slow moves that stole the show for me. The formations of the dancers at the start and end of the performance, and their small bobs in time with the piano made me go wow. I also found the routine during the bridge to be quite cool, especially when MINHO and the female dancers all did a wave to bring him back up.

Song – 6/10
Music Video – 9/10
Performance – 8/10
Overall Rating – 7.3/10

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