[Review] Killer – KEY (SHINee)

Casting out minds back to the end of August of last year, KEY returned as a solo artist with GASOLINE and his second studio album of the same name. Just over five months later (i.e. today), KEY returns with the repackaged version of GASOLINE, retitled as Killer. KEY’s latest title track also shares the same name.

I am super pumped to review this track. Without holding any of it back, Killer emerges with and consistently delivers an instrumental made of retro 80s synths (which reminds me of The Weeknd’s hit Blinding Lights). In fact, it features an unapologetic amount of 80s synth that just makes me so excited and feels like it could have been an amazing follow up to KEY’s Bad Love from 2021. Killer is also very up-tempo and upbeat, with the beat falling into the foot tapping category at the very minimum, but more so a track to get up and dance about to. I really enjoyed the intensity that comes with the choruses, which makes Killer feel explosive and powerful. To compliment, KEY projects one of his best and most impressive display of vocals ever, particular in the choruses, which ultimately helps fuel the intensity and power of the chorus. He also provides some falsetto, upping the ante to the song further. There are moments of reprieve, but they are very brief. Just enough to give you an opportunity to breathe for a second, before jumping right back to the energy that is Killer. I do think an intense rap segment, either from KEY or a featuring artist, would have been the icing on the cake and intensify the song even further. But what we got is absolutely fine and forms part of a super strong comeback.

I would have liked a stronger and more fleshed out story to the music video. It starts off with a flipped burning car and KEY zipping away on his motorcycle. Later we see KEY walk away from the wreckage with a flame thrower (or another type of flame gun). Based on the lyrics, KEY likens the pain memories cause following the breakdown of a relationship, where he likens the pain to killing his partner. The fiery crash most likely depicted his partner/past relationship, while his action of causing the fire signifies the end of the relationship with his partner. However, I do like details and would have liked to know the leadup to the the burning car. Apart from that, the music features a fair amount of passion and emotions, ranging from sadness to anger. All of which KEY nailed amazingly in this video.

From what I can see, the performance features equally passionate and intense moves that compliment the energy that comes off Killer. The entire chorus routine looks super cool based on what I could see via the snippets we got in the choreography. I also excited to hear KEY nail this song via a live performance, especially if he is dancing to the same calibre as in the music video.

Song – 9/10
Music Video – 8.5/10
Performance – 9/10
Overall Rating – 8.9/10

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